8/10/2010

Begin With The End In Mind

This is the one guaranteed path to success. If there is something that you can do to insure your path to exactly what you want, start from the end. This is how the great ones do it.

Let me ask you a question: what do you think your success rate would be if you could leap into the future and find out how things turned out? Suppose that you can enter a time warp and be in the same place but 5 years from now. Do you think you would be able to come back and navigate a more successful path? I believe that most of us would.

That is what I am telling you to do today. Obviously, none of us has a crystal ball that will tell us what the future holds. Life is definitely full of unexpected situations and consequences. However, our chance of success increases dramatically when we have an idea of where we are trying to get to.

Most people look at where they are now and start from there. This is exactly the wrong approach. Looking at your life over the next few weeks or months does not tell us much. You need to decide where you want to be 10, 20, or 30 years from now. Those who can see into the future clearly over this time frame fare much better than everyone else.

I will use the analogy to planning a trip. Do you plan to drive across country by drawing a line from where you are and connecting it to the next town over? What do you think your chances are to get across the country if you follow this pattern. Certainly, you might get there but you will most likely have a lot of wasted effort. Looking at the near term means that a slight deviation from your path will have major consequences when you go further out. The same is true when we are planning our lives.

Starting with the end in mind means that we know where we are going. This is often the most difficult process. Few spend serious time looking at where they would like to be in the end. Instead, the focus all attention on where they are at and what is wrong. Logical planning always will result in a better outcome than haphazard activity.

When one sets down exactly where he or she would like to end up, the process of figuring out how to get there is not difficult. It is only a matter of working backwards from that point. Like the analogy of planning a trip, once you know your destination, you can follow the road map backwards until you get to where you are at presently. Creating a plan of action to achieve your goals is the road map you need. After that, it is only a matter of following it.

Most people never get what they want because they have no idea what it is they want. Remember this tidbit the next time you feel lost. Do you have an end in mind? If not, spend the next few weeks thinking about exactly what it is that you want. The clearer the picture is, the greater the chance that you will achieve it.

To your success.
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