by: Remie Longbrake | published: Sept 15, 2019
Highlighting the questions we all need to ask for successful outcomes.
Let’s face it, the Big questions need to be asked. What we are doing today will have a direct reflection on what we end up accomplishing later. It's important to set ourselves up for success, but first understand what success even means to us. There will be triumps and there will be difficulties. The key is to not let the difficult moments define who we are. There will also be sacrifices to be made. Anything worth having there is going to be something given in return. It could be just our time, but time is the one thing we can't get back. So naturally, it's important not to waste it or any other resource if it does not serve the bigger purpose at hand. The idea is to improve all areas of our lives. In doing so you will be challenged and possibly ridiculed for going after what you believe to be right. Don’t let that stop you from doing what matters. So first understand the challenges, but also realize the huge potential from doing all it takes to find success in you life, no matter what that is.
1. Where do you want to be?
Think BIG! What are your goals? First thing is to write down everything you want in your ideal life. The key is to be specific, as specific as possible, enough that you can close your eyes and visualize each detail. Also make sure it’s yours, you have to want it, not your spouse, kids, your parents, etc. Once I have my ideas I review them daily. Be sure to not just think about your goals, I want you to write them down. Keep a note pad beside your bed and make it one of the first things you do in the morning. When I write, I write as if I already have these things. It’s not wanting something, it’s from the perspective of already receiving. If you want a home in a certain area. Go find it. I’m not saying buy it, but if it’s for sale go to the open house, bring your spouse, step inside and visualization what it would be like living there. The kids in the back yard, deck, pets, the car you would park in the garage. Make it as real as possible. Even if you cannot afford it currently, you know what it takes to get that and you now have the connection.
2. What is stopping you?
We are often our own biggest enemy. It is the self doubt and the mind games we play with ourselves that often prevent us from taking the next step. It’s not enough to dream big, We have to understand what has been preventing us from getting there already. Write down all the challenges you face. What can be done to improve the situation right now. Look at your schedule and adjust accordingly. Key is to not make excuses. I hear, well I have kids and they are into sports or I have a long commute, not enough money, etc. I am not a fan of living far from a job. Is there a way to move closer? If you have kids, don’t pull them from things, but maybe switch duty with your spouse or get another parent involved you trust to pick the kids up with their own. Money can be an obstacle. Where can you save, can you move, can you sell anything? Can you obtain a pay raise, start a side hustle? You need to be willing to do things which are often uncomfortable to make progress. Again, it comes back to how much you want something, but understand what are the underlying issues preventing momentum in the first place.
It does make goals easier to accomplish once you understand what is preventing them and preventing you from achieving them. Get those goals down on paper and keep at them each day. Some of the prevention could be from other people. I’ve heard negativity, even from those close to me. Evaluate each relationship and have those critical conversations. Tell them exactly what you desire and ask for their help getting there. If they don’t want to change that is their decision, but do not let that impact your motivation. If that does you will not be happy and be even develop resentment. I know that could be a spouse or people very close. Those conversations are not easy, but they are important. Overall the key is have an understanding of what is in the way and be able to work through that the best way possible.
3. What are you doing in your free time?
What are you doing outside of work? It is important to remove the things that are not truly important to reach our goals. The average consumer watches TV almost 4 hours each day. That may not be you, but even 2 hours or 1 hour can be excessive. I hear that is our family time. That’s great, but are you actually interacting with each other? I doubt, it’s more likely you are watching tv or on your phones. How can you turn that time into production? My suggestion is to get a notebook and track for 2 weeks everything you do in a day. Then after that time, take an assessment of all activities. Which ones are moving you towards your goals and which ones are not? You’ll likely be surprised, how much time is being spent. Once you have your daily activities do you best to replace non-essential tasks with productive ones.
4. Who do you know?
It is true, you are who you associate with. Again, take an assessment of everyone you encounter in a two week period. Go a month out if you need to, but I doubt you’ll need to. Your spouse, girlfriend, boyfriend, friends, family, co-workers, bosses, gym mates, church, etc. Then ask yourself, out of these people who are helping or acting as inspiration to your goals. I’ll be honest when I done this for myself I had way more negative influences then positive one. I wasn’t reaching out and interacting with the right people. I really didn’t know it at the time, the people closest to me were my hindrance. I had to breakup with a girlfriend and have some heart to heart conversations for family, friends and co-workers. I actually quit a job because it wasn’t meeting my goals and people were too negative there. I’m not saying you have to quit relationships and jobs, but it is something to consider.
Many of us are brought up with a scarcity mindset, at least I was. It’s worry about money, food, and a constant struggle. As a kid I saw this every day and it made a huge impact in my life. This could be you as well. Reality is people do struggle, even in the richest country on Earth. It is so important to surround yourself with positivity because if you’re around worry, you are going to worry. If you are around people who do drugs, well chances are you’ll be one of them in due time. If you are around those who cuss a lot, good chance you’ll be cussing soon! It is about associations. When I moved to a new town, I immediately set out to meet the most successful. The business owners, leadership groups, council meetings, etc. Initially I used LinkedIn and started searching in my area. Offered to meet for coffee and put myself out there. I wasn’t trying to sell people or set up a date, I was just trying to meet others. I still do this today. I make it a part of my routine. If I go to the store and see someone in a suit or sport jacket, I’ll go shake their hand and ask what they do. It’s easier today, but some people are rude and try not to let it bother me. Also, I have been considered more introverted then outgoing. So I know if I can do this you can to. Worst happens they so go away, then so what. It doesn’t matter because I’ve met great people this way. So my suggestion would be make a list of the top 20 most successful people you know or would like to know in your area. Jump on LinkedIn, ask at church, golf course, or just start going to local events. Start figuring out where people go and show up with an open mind. Remember its about adding value so don’t make an assumption that people owe you something. Be gracious and offer your help in what ever ways you can. Network and see how you can mutually benefit. Once you connect with these people reach stay in contact, join in monthly meetings and be known. Don’t be afraid to step out even further. Ask those people who they know, who is in the next town and keep on connecting.
5. What risks are you taking?
Are you taking risks or playing it safe? The most successful got there because they took risks not because they are lucky. Luck is a word for average people who don’t want to put in the work. Study the lives of leaders in business and sports and you will realize their lives were not perfect but they understood it takes effort to get what is desired. People from all different backgrounds who literally came from nothing, in the hardest situations have persevered. You can to! Be cautious, especially with money aspect. If it’s an investment of some sort understand it first. Don’t blindly trust others with your money. Even in stocks, mutual funds, I would recommend to know what you are doing. Understand the fees involved, risk of loss and that of gains. Know you short term and long term risks. Study companies you invest in and their leadership. It is a mindset change to many people, but seek out information and don’t be afraid to ask questions. Real estate can be financially sound but you have to study the local market, make connections and understand the risks involved and know your exit plan.
We consider risk mostly in our investment, but this also come in play in our relationships. I’ve been guilty of getting in relationships that were not sound. It was physical and not emotionally rewarding. In the end it ended kind of how it started, explosive and included way more drama and energy then it should have. So it is important to have relationships that boost us up and don’t leave us drained or in a toxic place. During that time I definitely was not meeting others, helping out in my community or really providing value at all, even to myself or the girlfriend at the time. It was a learning experience at best, but probably one I could have done without. Consider all the risks you are taking, in business, your career, your finances, your spiritual journey and everything else you are taking part in. Bottom line is our risks should not be careless, but be calculated and persistent in our goals to its completion.
We have to start somewhere. No matter where you are at you should be growing your network, your influencers, and your money. Stop using I have too little time or money as an excuse. Go after what you want. Get excited and include others in your journey and surround yourself with those who are going the same direction.
It’s amazing what you can achieve when you address these questions. It is easy to rationalize why you’re not successful and make sense of why it’s OK to accept being average as good enough. Average is what other people do, but it’s not what you do.
Success is completely up to you, and it is whatever you want it to be. It is your journey. This is your life. Plan out and move towards your goals, remove road blocks from your path, and continue to work with people who can help everyone grow and enjoy the way.
Glad to work with you as you continue your journey.