Personal success is often less complication than we think, it boils down to three focal points that you need to succeed. All the podcasts, books, seminars, coaching sessions, in some way, all reference these three things. Remember them and heed to them and you will have a basic guideline for achieving all that you want without trying to find the next new, hot idea. To ensure long-term, sustainable success in your life, you must have 1) a vision for your future 2) energy to work towards achieving it and 3) the discipline to commit to fulfilling your vision. That’s it! Those three things: vision, energy, discipline.
Now, this doesn’t mean that I am telling you to stop investing in those resources that can further your development. I personally am constantly finding new perspectives to inspire me on my journey. My Amazon book library is full of personal development books and when I come across an intriguing book title or book description, it is hard not to click “Buy Now with One-Click”. The challenge is that many people stay in the “acquisition stage” of learning what they need to be successful and don’t transition to the “action stage”. Commit yourself to continuing education and acquiring knowledge, but the most important thing is to commit yourself to taking the necessary actions toward your future.
The idea of intentional personal success or personal development can be traced back to various ancient societies (from Africa, Greece and others). Socrates statement, "The unexamined life is not worth living", connotes the priority of the quest for and exploration of life's meaning.
Great companies deliberately determine and document their vision, purpose, values and then set goals to achieve them. For several years success literature and best-selling business books have placed a great deal of focus on the significance for individuals and companies to create mission or purpose statements, formulate a vision and write an action plan which includes goal-setting. Fortunately, many organizations spend a great deal of focus on vital topics such as purpose and vision. Unfortunately, most individuals do not.
Psychologist Viktor Frankl wrote that, “Everyone has his own specific vocation or mission in life. Everyone must carry out a concrete assignment that demands fulfillment. Therein he cannot be replaced, nor can his life be repeated. Thus, everyone’s task is unique as his specific opportunity to implement it.” Your vision once contemplated becomes a deep source of meaning. It describes both a short-term and long-term perspective of what you want your life to look like. I suggest you begin thinking of and planning your next year but more significantly, to create a vision of how you envision your life ten years from now.
Tony Robbins said it best, “Most people overestimate what they can do in a year and they underestimate what they can do in two or three decades”. Don’t try to accomplish all the unaccomplished goals that have been frustrating you in one year. Instead focus on immediate actions to fulfill long-term goals. For starters, spend regular time in quiet places, without distractions so that you can envision what your future looks like, what you will be doing with your time, how you can make a difference. Keep a journal and write your thoughts down on paper.
A clear personal vision generates energy and focuses your life in a specific direction. Your vision describes where you are going and where you want to go. It is how you see your life at some future point in time. It is a visual snapshot that, once you see, you can pursue.
Creating a vision in your mind for your future is an energizer. It captures who you want to be, what you want to accomplish and the contributions you want to make to your company, your community and/or to humanity. Many people’s energy is depleted because of procrastination, lack of ambition and spending time on unnecessary activities and/or spending their day at jobs that they do not like. Whether you spend significant time on an occupation (something you are doing for the income) or a vocation (something you feel deeply called to), make sure that you define what success means to you.
In addition, there are things that you must focus on that are physiologically proven to increase energy. Diet, exercise, and adequate sleep are important for people in general. They are especially important for people who are ambitious and spend many hours a week working. If you are or want to become a high achiever, make sure that you drink enough water, eat balanced meals with adequate nutrients, and the necessary calories (please consult your physician or another healthcare practitioner). It is also important that you exercise regularly and get adequate rest.
Once you take initiative and remain disciplined in fulfilling your purpose, you will be amazed at the people and resources that you attract that will help you achieve your vision and goals. The universe will comply when you have a vision and start moving in that direction. Having a sense of vision fires us up, having discipline encourages you to not waste significant time that can be used towards moving ahead in life and energy is your fuel to reach the finished line. Spend significant time on a vision for the future, creating and maintaining the necessary energy and the discipline to reach the finish line.
Cheers to your success.
“I’ve missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. Twenty-six times, I’ve been trusted to take the game-winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.” – Michael Jordan
“Perfect is the enemy of good” – Voltaire
Goal setting is critical because it helps to overcome two of the common barriers to success for potential goal-setters. One of the barrier is the feeling that "I am not adequate." The second barrier is the feeling, "the project is not adequate." Both of them if examined and challenged become belief barriers which then become stumbling blocks to success. Many people with these problems need coaching, therapy, spiritual guidance, etc. However, from my observations and interactions, I have no doubt that the overwhelming majority of people can make huge, positive changes in their life by connecting their specific goals to their long-term plans. Goal-setting becomes a commitment which will help you develop a positive belief system and will harness your energies to complete projects.
Let's take a look at the story of a particular coaching client: Jessica had displayed talent as an artist since she was young. At one point it was what she wanted to go for a living. Jessica took several art classes in high school and earned a Bachelor of Arts in Illustration and Painting at her hometown college. After college she had some offers to work in an art gallery, to work as a design consultant and another teaching art at a local elementary school. However, the jobs were very low paying. When offered a position working in an office as an administrative assistant, at an art supply company, with a starting salary that almost doubled any other offer, she accepted it without hesitation. It has been ten years since she started the office position and since then she has received three promotions (she is now VP, Operations). She has also in the past decade, gotten married and had three children.
Jessica has not been doing much art related over that time. She still has a deep passion, yet two significant challenges have prevented her from completing any projects. One, her time is very limited. Between family time and work she ends each day tired and with little energy to focus on her art. In addition to the time challenge, Jessica is a perfectionist. With her limited time and energy, she has still managed to work on two paintings. Her husband and anyone else who looks at them thinks they are amazing works. But Jessica always sees one last touch up, one small detail to improve.
After one coaching session, she realizes and acknowledges that being so much of a perfectionist is holding her back. Through further exploration she also discovers, because she is not painting for anything specific and has no deadline to meet, she has the luxury to continue "dabbling" with the painting because there are no consequences for not completing it. Through more discussion and more exploring, she acknowledges that there were indeed consequences that were having an impact on her. The consequences are that she was giving a little time to something she is deeply passionate about and which she considered a "calling." She was afraid that one day she would look back and have a deep sense of regret of the time that passed which there was no chance to recapture and the artistic gifts which she wanted to express was only a blank, white canvas.
Through coaching, Jessica commits to re-igniting her passion for illustration and painting. After discussing this with her family, they collectively come up with a plan for Jessica to have four hours of week of uninterrupted time, for her artistic expression. She committed to dedicating the time for her art. The big question was now that time was no excuse, could she bring a painting to completion. The timing for Jessica couldn’t have been better. Her husband brought home a flyer he saw on the bulletin board at work. A major corporation was partnering with a local, but the internationally known gallery that was conducting a contest to find an "Artist-in-Residence." To the excitement of her family, she decided to enter. Jessica had a deadline: three months to complete an artistic work to submit to be considered.
I'll save the suspense. The gallery- internationally known- informed Jessica that she was selected as the Artist-in-Residence. Through coaching, self-reflection and support from her family, she was able to set a goal and overcome time constraints and- even more significantly- she overcome her perfectionist tendencies to be successful.
What challenges do you face? Are you confronting low self-esteem that makes you feel that your talents are not sufficient? Do you have difficulty, with all of your other commitments, in making time for your passions? Or maybe you have finished the project, but it is sitting there waiting for one final change before it's ready for the world. What ever it is. Decide what you want. Set a goal. And start taking the action steps to reach it.
Karim Camara is a Spiritual Teacher, Speaker and Life Coach. He is dedicated to helping individuals and organizaitons reach their potential. For more information on how Karim can help you or your organizaiton reach it’s potential, write him at Karim@KarimCamara.com or visit his website at www.KarimCamara.com.
As we approach the end of one year and the beginning of the next, many people will begin their annual “ritual” of writing “New Year Resolutions.” One word of advice for anyone reading this that plans on writing resolutions: Don’t! Many studies show that a little less than half of American’s write resolutions- ranging from losing weight, to quitting smoking, to spending, more time with family. Less than 10 % of those who commit to resolutions accomplish them. Instead of the short-term approach of writing resolutions intended to bring dramatic change, develop a long-term vision of your ideal state of fulfillment three, five or event ten years from now, then set goals to help you get there.
Peter Drucker- considered “the father” of modern management- said, “when the history of our time is written...it is likely the most important event those historians will see is not technology, not the Internet, not e-commerce. It is an unprecedented change in the human condition. For the first time, substantial and rapidly growing numbers of people have choices. For the first time, they will have to manage themselves. And society is totally unprepared for it. (Leader to Leader Journal, Managing Knowledge Means Managing Oneself, Peter Drucker, Spring 2000)
Although Drucker wrote that quote seventeen years ago, it holds as much truth today as when he first wrote it. We can no longer rely on past paradigms or follow common customs to attain success.
A high school diploma, college degree, and graduate or professional degree are proven to increase individual income and professional success. Even they alone cannot be relied upon to predict our professional success. More than ever individuals will have to learn to develop their personal leadership skills and make decisions to shape their destiny. One of the most significant practices to determine your desired outcome and ensure success is setting goals. Goals are simply dreams with deadlines.
Here are some action steps you can begin as you prepare for the next year and beyond:
1) Write your personal mission statement.
A written statement, ideally one sentence, describes who you want to be and what you want to do. It is the beginning of creating your legacy (the impact you make and what people will remember about you when you are no longer on this earth). Being conscious of your mission is much deeper than pursuing a goal. It goes to the core of what you want to achieve in life and the unique gifts that you can contribute.
2) Establish a vision for your life
Ask yourself the question, “Where do I want to be five years from now? Ten years from now?” Where do you live? Where will you be working? How do you spend your days? How are your relationships?
Not having a personal vision is like getting in a car and traveling with no idea of a particular destination. Many studies show that one of the traits of individuals who achieve great success is the ability to focus on the present but still have a long-term vision for the future.
3) Be intentional about the things that you value. Sustained fulfillment will not happen unless you intentionally give adequate time and priority to your core values.
A) Spiritual - How do I acknowledge and relate to a higher power? What is my ultimate concern? B) Individual - Who am I? What are my unique gifts? What is my destination? Do I have self-respect? Do I feel competent and have self-confidence? C) Relational - How do I interact and connect with others? Do I feel valued and respected by others? Do I feel loved? D) Vocational - What will I do with my life? What is my calling/purpose? What is my contribution to this world? What will be my legacy? E) Financial - Do I have sufficient income to meet my expenses? F) Physical - Is my body functioning properly? Am I in and striving towards optimal health, well-being, and energy (adequate diet, exercise, clothing, and shelter)? G) Recreational - How do I enjoy life? How do I add variety? How do I break the “routine”? What are my passions? How do I have fun?
The commitment you make to these areas is an indicator of how much you value them. Values demonstrate the importance and worth that we give to something. They also show a person’s principals and standards of behavior. Hence, commitment means dedicating real thought and energy, not just articulating words.
4) Lastly, write goals that are SMART- an acronym you have likely heard before. Using the criteria to ensure that goals are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and within a Timeframe will help you achieve your goals.
If you focus on your mission, vision, and values and set goals to accomplish them, you will not only have potential for a great year but, more significantly, you will be on your way to a life of balance, fulfillment, and will also likely make a significant contribution to the world.
Karim Camara, is the Founding and Lead Pastor of Abundant Life Church, Brooklyn, New York. He is also a Speaker, Coach and Trainer dedicated to helping individuals and organizations become dramatically more productive.
Welcome to the inaugural blog post for this site! I hope you decide to become a regular member of my online community.
It is only fitting that we launch with the “From Goals to Great” e-course (can sign up on my home page), to give you an introduction to goal setting as a key strategy in attaining what you want in life and reaching your greatness. A goal is a specific outcome that you decide to achieve by a certain point in time. Or, more simply, a goal is a dream with a deadline.
Marshall Goldsmith in his book, Triggers: Creating Behavior That Lasts, Becoming the Person You Want to Be, warns us that, “Regret, is the emotion we experience when we assess our present circumstances and reconsider how we got here.” I don't know about you but I sure don't want to look back at my life with regret. I am determined to overcome the challenges and reach my potential.
What are the challenges that you are facing? Many of the things I hear from those I serve as a spiritual teacher or life coach include: