For example, when it comes to getting things done in the office, my wife, Viola, is one of these people. She has slowed down a little now because of her Parkinson's, but she is one of these people that you can ask to do something and before you turn around twice, it's done. It's disgusting! On the other hand, I get things done but I have to think it through, line it out and then go step one, two and three until it's done.
Either way, to be successful in life and not just the small routine tasks that come along, is a matter of the goals we set for ourselves and the priorities we establish to get them accomplished.
I believe you will agree, the key to success is to first determine what we want and then stay with it until it's done. Unfortunately, most people never set any goals for themselves and just wander around, living day to day, waiting for that paycheck to keep their bills paid.
I think this may be where the statement originated, "Why is there so much of the month left at the end of the money?"
Here is a good analogy that I believe will help you see what I am saying. During a time of war, people in the Navy have a constant fear that a torpedo will hit the ship they are on. To see one of those things coming through the water and know that it is going to hit the ship and explode has to be a scary feeling.
Just recently, I learned that for a torpedo to hit the mark, it must be launched close enough to its intended target to get some feedback. A torpedo has a Doppler radar guidance system and it goes "ping, ping, ping." As long as a ship is within range, it can make the necessary corrections to hit the target, regardless of what maneuvers the ship makes to throw it off course. But if the torpedo is launched too far out, it can't get feedback and it just wanders helplessly around in the ocean and eventually self-destructs. In a sense, this is what happens to people as well. That's why we need a target or goal to shoot for, and we need to keep it close enough in so we can see it and therefore get the necessary feedback to succeed.
Now this is a personal thing and it may or may not apply to you. Unfortunately, far too many people live on “... Someday I'll.” They say, “Someday I'll get around to it.”
Incidentally, someone gave me one of those awhile back. It was a little round piece of wood and had the words "Round Tuit" printed on it. You have probably seen them. Be that as it may, if we constantly take the attitude that “Someday I'll do this” or “I will do that,” whatever it may be, the chances are good that we will never get around to it. Like that torpedo that is launched too far out to get feedback, we will just wander around aimlessly and eventually die. Our address may be "1 - Someday I'll."
If we are to succeed, we must have positive self-discipline. Dr. Dennis Waitley, author and seminar leader, has compiled a terrific list of six action steps that will help any person to become more successful.
- No.1: Set short-range goals that build toward your long-range purpose. Once you have a five- to 10-year game plan in mind, break your goals down into yearly and quarterly goals; these are the length of a season.
- No. 2: Establish a reward or ceremony as an incentive for achieving your goals. Have something specific to celebrate upon the completion of each of your goals. It may be a trip, a family outing or a personal item. Make sure you celebrate.
- No. 3: Get group reinforcement and expert feedback. Don't share your goals with negative or cynical people. Share your goals with people who really care about you and who want to help you. Remember that misery loves company. Some people would just as soon that you stay in the same rut along with them.
- No. 4: Do high-priority work first. The reason most people spend their time doing low-priority work is that it is easier to do. Set your priorities on a "must do now,” “should do soon” and “would like to do when possible" basis. Plan your week the week before and plan your day the day before.
- No. 5: Concentrate your time and energy on the 20 percent of your activities, contacts and concepts that have proven most productive in the past. Remember the 80-20 rule — that 80 percent of the production volume comes from 20 percent of the producers.
- No. 6: Be patient. Whenever you make a change in your life or circumstances, anticipate a temporary drop in productivity and efficiency. It takes time for change to be assimilated. As familiarity and confidence rebuild, the performance will improve again to a new level.
This sure beats, "1 - Someday I'll.”
(Editor’s Note: Jim Davidson is a motivational speaker and syndicated columnist. He may be contacted at 2 Bentley Drive, Conway Arkansas 72034.)