Everyone has a slightly different definition when it comes to success. Recently we attended a forum that is made up of some of the most “successful” people in our industry. Interestingly enough, this was the focus the forum which lasted almost two hours. One of the definitions I heard, "Success is reducing the “have to’s” and increasing the “want to’s," hit the nail on the head for me. Who wouldn't want this?!
The thing is, most of us tend to get so busy in life that we lose the focus of our success. We go and go, and increase the “have to’s” instead of the “want to’s" as a result. So today I am giving you permission to take a time out from your life. Whether you take the time out tonight after your household has settled down or in the early morning before anyone rises, just take it! Take an hour out of your life to reset and get aimed back in the right direction. When you are ready, grab this article, a pen and a piece of paper and we will help you refocus.
First things first, which I bet you can guess...define success. As I mentioned before, success is a little different for everyone and it will be a little different for you as well.
Next let's talk about the finish line. If you are sitting here at the end of your life - whenever that may be - and you are looking back on your life, what does it look like? What accomplishments have you had? What have you done in your life that you consider was of great significance? Don't be afraid to spend some time here and really think about the things that if you hadn't done them, you would regret it. The things that made you feel, well, successful in any aspect of your life.
Now it is time to put that driver in your car. We have talked about the what and we will talk about the how, but these may vary throughout your life and so it is the 'why' that will drive you to the finish line. So, let's get to it. Why is all of this so important? What is your purpose for all of this? By the way, a one-word answer is not enough for something so profound that it might even bring tears to your eyes. Why are these things so important to accomplish in your life?
Okay, now for the 'how'... where do you start and what is your plan. One of my favorite authors and motivational speakers of all time is John Maxwell. He talked about beginning with the end in mind and working backwards. Since we started with the end in mind, let's begin to work backward. What does your life need to look like in five years to achieve the things you wrote down? What about your life in three years? What about the end of this year? What about the end of the month? What about the end of the week? We start with one day at a time...one step at a time. If you follow this thinking, you will naturally layout your plan.
Last, although most important, we have to prepare for when the going gets rough. How you are going to stick with it, not give up or get sidetracked. There are two things you need to do: First, calendarize your next timeout to revisit this. Don't just wait and say, "Oh...I plan to do it again in January." Trust me...you’ll get busy and it won't happen. Mark it on your calendar now and block off the time. Second, you need reinforcements. You need people in your life that will hold you accountable. Phil Buchanan, a coach for Cannon Financial Institute, put it best when he said, "We never grow beyond needing a mentor." He continued to say that we also need a person who loves us so much that they will call B.S. on us.
There is one thing that saddens me deeply about what we do: It is when you watch someone do something that is hurting them and jeopardizing their personal success… and knowing you can only help someone who wants to be helped. My dad has always said, "Progress starts by telling the truth and the person you have to tell the truth to, is yourself." Our tag line is "Helping people live Life on purpose" and I believe that God has blessed me with the best job (if you want to call it that) to allow me to do that. I'm not talking about investments, insurance, or lowering taxes. I am talking about the fact that there is no greater gift than the chance to help people we have grown to love and care about do less of the “have to’s” and more of the “want to’s." So...cheers to a refreshed vision of your success!