February 6, 2012

Don’t Wait for All the Lights to Turn Green

By Patrick Mahan

Goal setting is one of the most important, yet difficult steps toward achieving success. Goals give you clarity and a sense of direction. They lift the fog and give you a feeling of control over your life instead of drifting aimlessly from one day to the next, like a sailboat without sails.

Goals empower you and bridge the gap between where you are and where you want to be. But setting goals is one of the hardest things most people face. It's not difficult once you get started, but getting started is where most people fail.

Abraham Lincoln said, "The only way to fail is to quit." You could also say, "The only other way to fail is to never begin."

There are many reasons why people don't set goals...

Fear of failure tops the list. Another reason is that people don't want to be held accountable.  They don't want to stick their necks out and make a commitment.  Or they may lack self-confidence and feel like they don't deserve the things they might put on their list.  Or they may not fully understand the power and importance of goal setting.  Or they may simply not know how to set goals properly.

Regardless of how you feel about goal setting now, it's important to open your mind and realize the life-changing impact they can have if you just give them a chance.

Tons of research has proven that people who write down their goals are infinitely more likely to realize those goals than people who do not write them down.  After all, an unwritten goal is merely a wish, or a dream.  The act of writing it down is a critical step and one that you'll find has magical powers.

The most successful people on the planet are intensely goal-driven.  So if you want to be successful, doesn't it make sense to model your actions after theirs?

But again, the difficulty is getting started.  We want everything to be perfect. But as Zig Ziglar said, "You can't wait for all the lights to turn green before heading into town."

Start today, wherever you are, by mapping out your plan. Any plan will do for now.  You can make adjustments along the way.

General Patton said, “A good plan executed today, is far and away better than a perfect plan next week." Perfectionism is the downfall of many people.  And perfectionism is often another term for procrastination.

It may be difficult to think about where you want to be in 5 years, or 10 years, but the key is to get moving.  Just create some forward momentum and use the power of inertia to your advantage.  You may have to take a job that is less than ideal, but it doesn't have to last forever.  Look at it as a stepping stone on your path to discovering your true destiny.

Consider this, it's like driving down a highway at night.  You may not be able to see 20 yards in front of you, but as you drive forward the next 20 yards are revealed.  And then the next 20 and so on.  But if you sit in a parked car, then you'll never see anything!

It's been said that we can't go back and create a new beginning, but we can start today and create a new ending.  And goals are the key to making this happen.  Look inside yourself and ask what things and activities inspire you.  These are the building blocks for an exciting and successful future.

You don't have to know exactly where you're gonna end up. Just follow your passion and when the time is right, everything will click into place.  And that's the moment you'll realize that everything happened for a reason. Every trial and tribulation you experienced acted as sandpaper, smoothing off your rough edges.

Decide what you want. Write it down. Take action. Make adjustments. Keep pushing. This is the formula for success that has been used by top achievers since the beginning of time.  

Are you using this formula... or are you waiting for all the lights to turn green first?

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  1. Love the Patton quote. That is my management style.

    1. Tom, I like that quote too! Patton had so many memorable quotes. It's no wonder why he was such a remarkable leader.

  2. i love this quote "perfectionism is often another term for procrastination."


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