Andy Stanley is quoted as saying; “It’s your direction, not your intention that determines destination.” Andy is right.
Someone is quoted as saying; “A vision is foresight with insight based on hindsight.” Someone is right. Foresight allows us to dream about what could be. Insight invites us to be a lifelong learner and hindsight is a wonderful teacher when evaluated correctly.
The critical starting point in this whole “Making The Most Of A Year” journey is having clarity as to where you want to end up. It’s of central importance. Doing the work to know where you intend to land a year from now (even ten years from now) gives you significant clarity, confidence and courage to invest the time to move towards that destination.
Think about it. Rarely does an ‘on purpose’ person start a journey WITHOUT a clear destination and some plan to get there. The whole premise of a GPS is an end point and a starting point. It’s inescapable; destination matters!
How can you make your destination clear and exciting? Here are five steps:
Look Forward. Know what your future could be. Take the time to dream, think, create and pray. What would you really like to be and what would you really like to do? Don’t let your current reality influence your aspirations. Allow your present reality to serve as a teacher, a guide, and a launching point. What could be? This goes well beyond your bucket list and into things that have deep meaning and significance to you.
Write a list. A bold, courageous list. Let it scare you, challenge you, invite you to become more, give more, do more. Stare at it. Feel what it makes you feel.
Look Back. Be aware of what you have experienced and learnt. What feedback has your history given you? How have the lessons of life thus far, served you? What stories have you told you about your capacity, your intelligence, your courage, and your Leadership? How has that served you?
When training as an Executive Coach I learnt that “there is no failure, only feedback.” This is a very helpful reframe when it comes to looking back on the learning’s and lessons of life. What have I learnt that will serve my future when invested wisely?
Write the lessons down. Then rewrite them in terms of HOW they will serve your personal growth and your future. Consider how these lessons might serve others when applied at the right time in the right context. Growth isn’t for you and you alone, more often they are life lessons. Perhaps you can help someone else make progress because of what you have learnt.
Two Creations. First create the picture and then create the reality. Stephen Covey made this famous when he said that there are two creations, first the mental, then the actual. When you are considering your next twelve months imagine what it will be like then begin to move towards it in terms of time and resource allocation.
In short, plan your work then work your plan.
Commit to Finish. Starting is easy. Finishing, not so much. Many a project has found itself on the incomplete heap. To actually make it to your destination committing to finishing is a key. When you commit to finishing, you keep your eyes on the finish line. When you commit to finishing, you break down the steps to get you there and take each one as it comes. When you commit to finishing you give yourself every opportunity to persevere and become creative in the ways you solve problems, develop capacity and make progress.
Start Now. Do the next most important step in this project RIGHT NOW. Buddha is credited with saying it so well. “There are only two mistakes one can make along the road to truth, not going all the way and not starting.”
Start now. My wife Megan consistently says to me, ‘motivation follows the action.’ Megan is right. The more you lean in, the more you take the next best step towards your clear and exciting destination.
#leadsmall – because when you do, big things can happen.