Do you remember when you were asked as a child; "What would you like to be when you grow up?" Did you have an answer? How about now, do you know what you want too much a year from now? Three years from now? What would have to happen to make those next 3 years successful? What is your preferred future?
If you want success, then you must design the future you want. The following will help you design your preferred future:
1. Define success for yourself. Most of us allow others to define success for us. We choose to be judged by their values. We live by "shoulds" and "oughts" and rules. What I suggest is that you'll be brutally honest and dredge down deep inside yourself for the answers. Find what would really make you happy; what would make you feel successful. Success that values acquisitions (cars, homes, vacations) as goals is not much of a success. Money is a tool to help you achieve your goals, not a goal in and of itself.
2. The Final Score Card. Imagine you're dead. What will you have had to accomplish for you to consider yourself successful? To help you answer that, create the perfect 10 in each of these four categories:
a. Physical (I would not have died from a disused body. I would have been fit and in perfect health, etc.)
b. Mental (I would have been reading, learning, and mentally alert during my last years.)
c. Financial (I would have had no debt)
d. Relationships (Loving, supportive, and rich)
Now imagine you're at your own funeral observing. What would you want people to say about you? Who was giving your ealogy and what would they say? Pick one person at random from each of these categories and write down what you'd like to say about you:
a. Any family member
b. Any friend
c. Any business acquaintance
d. Any community member
Then write down your legacy. What one thing would you like to be remembered for?
3. Establish priorities for the next 3 years. Now that you've defined success for yourself, and you know what you'd like people to say about you, and what you'd like to be like when you die, you have defined your Preferred Future. You now know where it is you'd like to go. What you need to do now is set goals based on the answer to the Three Year Quest question: "If we were to meet three years from today, what would you have had to accomplish for you to feel happy about the progress you'd made , both personally and professionally? "
Once you've answered the Three Year Quest question, you'll have a list of goals to accomplish; goals that will help you achieve your Preferred Future. And once you've done that, you'll know how to make decisions about what to do, and what to do next. You'll be able to decide if what you're contemplating doing will help you achieve your Preferred Future. If it will, it gets a high priority on your to-do list. If it does not, delegate it to someone else.
And whatever you do, focus on your Preferred Future.