The general who wins the battle makes many calculations in his temple before the battle is fought. The general who loses makes but few calculations beforehand – Sun-Tzu
The year has just started. A lot of people desire to be better, achieve more and make a difference. A research done shows that only 3% of people write down their goals and work towards them. This group achieves great success. The next 10% just imagine or think their goals, but never get to write them down. 60% set short term goals such as the where to go on holiday, what shoes to buy, et.c. This group which has the majority only has people who are getting by without making a difference. They are slaves to life. The last group of 27% has no idea about what they want out of life. They are just coasting through life going nowhere. These statistics are sobering. In which group are you? The difference between those who will celebrate success at the end of the year is in planning and goal setting. I would like to challenge you to plan and set goals for your life this year. There are 4 pillars of success which I would like to share with you as we begin 2008:
The wise King Solomon said, “Where the there is no vision, the people perish”. This was true then and even more today. Without a vision your career, marriage, finances, business, ministry, politics, anything and everything is doomed. Vision is the friend of every leader, helping you to keep perspective and stay the course. Without hope in the future, we lack power in the present. A vision is an overall conception of what you are striving to become. It clarifies intentions and aspirations. It is an aspiration that is massively inspiring, with an overarching sense of purpose. A vision is important in that it provides a rallying point to motivate you and galvanise your actions. You need a vision for your life, so that you can stand against the winds and the waves that fight your destiny. Have a vision that goes beyond meeting your daily needs. If you have a vision to buy a house or a car, then it is too small. A great vision should be an aspiration that touches many and outlives you.
A vision should be supported by worthwhile predetermined goals. The goals are specific milestones or targets which you want to achieve e.g US50 000 in savings, degree, revenue, profit. Once you are clear about your goals, set out to attain them with unshakable singleness of purpose and forceful zeal of a crusader. The goals should be specific, measurable and time bound. Add a burning desire and consuming passion to the goals for a good measure. With controlled attention, sustained effort and concentrated energy we will soon read good things about you. Set clear goals which you want to achieve in every area of your life – FAMILY/HOME, FINANCIAL/CAREER, MENTAL/EDUCATIONAL, SPIRITUALLY, SOCIAL and HEALTH.
Values are the vision and goal anchoring behaviours. Strong businesses and communities have strong value systems. Values shapes actions, and mould behaviour. Collectively they form a value system. They are standards, principles, ideals and morals which help in regulating systems whether social, commercial or spiritual. It is not enough to have a great vision and goals, you need supporting behaviours to anchor it. Values are what will make your vision tick, and thrive in the present and the future. Values run deep. They are the DNA of success.
Values can also be viewed as a philosophy of living. If you have weak values, your vision and goals are greatly exposed. The values which I personally cherish include staying power, power of execution, discipline, positive attitude. These inform my actions as I execute my goals.
Success without harmony is a disaster. True and lasting success should follow the law of priorities. It is important to establish a clear order when it comes to pursuit of success. If the order is not established, the success can become a pain (you don’t enjoy it) at best or a disaster (you completely lose it) at worst. For that reason, my priorities are as follows in that order – God, Wife, Family and Business. If at any point any one of these priorities threatens the other, alarm bells ring. We all might have different priorities for different reasons but the most important thing is to ensure we get them right.
I believe that if at this time of the year you put these four pillars in place, you will set yourself up for great success.
To a great year!