Anyone who has ever obtained some measure of success in life, will likely tell you that success requires risk and where there is risk, comes reward. Often, we read and celebrate the victory of sheroes and heroes who overcame the odds to win it all. This is great when we’re just getting started, but what happens when the success doesn’t come as fast as we first intended? What happens when we’ve made some decisions that didn’t go as planned? How do we deal with the pressure that builds up when we’re between the start and finish lines? Have you ever questioned your decision to start a business or perhaps you have started and now you are not sure what to do next? Well, here are several concepts to get you on track or keep you on track.
Whether this is your first or your fiftieth goal, these suggestions are worthy of consideration:
1. Have a clear vision
No matter what we do in life, vision is critical for success. Our vision can be for a business, the purchase of a new home, or the start of a new relationship. “Where there is no vision, the people perish…” (Proverbs 29:18, KJV). Without vision, the tasks we hope to accomplish won’t add up to much. Imagine being blindfolded, spun around a few times, and then be told to hit a target you cannot see. How likely are you to hit that target? Not likely. Not only that, but vision takes knowing what our reason is for doing it in the first place. Now, I learned the importance of having a strong “why” in my early days of leadership development.
Many books have been written on the subject of knowing one’s “why.” Our reason for pursuing our goal is directly tied to our vision. We often hear people encourage us to have a vision, but I will say that the vision won’t mean much without a strong “why” for doing it. Write the vision and the reason for doing it. The vision is the most critical step in obtaining an achievement of virtually any kind. Not only that but write the vision and reason and keep it nearby to remind you of why you started the plan, project or venture in the first place. If you want to make it even more compelling, list the people and/or institutions who will benefit from it. We stand less of a chance of giving up on our vision if we know why we are pursuing it in the first place.
2. Control your emotions
My fitness coach, former Navy SEAL Brad McCleod of SEALGrinderPT, drills into our minds, the importance of emotional strength when accomplishing a task or a goal. His friend, comrade and fellow former Navy SEAL Jocko Williams often says, “Your emotions don’t matter.” If we want success, we cannot allow our emotions to control our actions. Many times, we want to avoid making mistakes and avoid potentially painful lessons. Too often, the woes of the world, negative talk from friends, family and/or loved ones, can weigh us down. It is very easy to get carried away by whatever is on the news, social media, or tv.
Most successful people I know stay extremely focused on fueling their minds with good, positive, mental nourishment from audiobooks and motivational videos that keep them thinking about the future. Sure, there is nothing wrong with entertainment from time to time. Just know that successful people are careful about time and conversations. They are both investments. When something challenging comes your way, don’t take it as a sign of the end of your plans. See it for what it is and respond accordingly. Solve the issue or put it to the side until it can be solved, but don’t let it discourage or deter you. Make a decision to move in spite of what appears in front of you and move forward. Don’t worry about how you feel, execute your plans, and feel better along the way. Of course, if you are in harm’s way or having health challenges, seek appropriate help, but in the context of your typical day, stay positive, address the matter as quickly as possible, and move forward.
3. Understand the role of failure
Failure is only realized if we give up and quit. Our society as a whole, bombards us with fear and in short, people have grown to be afraid. Afraid to live, afraid to achieve, and afraid to fail. We put our best image forward because our society rewards success and punishes mistakes and failures. What is often not written about, are the enormous amounts of failures people had while on their way to a successful accomplishment. Failure is not glamorous. Failure doesn’t sell ads. Failure is often hidden and pushed to the side whenever it appears. I say to the contrary, failure is necessary for success. It has a critical role in our lives. It is often misunderstood and too often, new entrepreneurs quit too early because of fear of failure.
Don’t let perceived failure get in the way of the lesson that can be learned in the process. Inside every failure, will be some form of lesson that can be learned. Sometimes, more failures happen just before a successful accomplishment. If we don’t make our intended goal the first time, we can ask ourselves questions like “What can I learn from this mistake?” “Is there another way to accomplish this task?” “What can I do different next time?” Write these questions down and don’t leave them in your head. According to Brian Tracy, a legend in the personal development world, writing our most challenging issues down helps us move from a problem-based mindset to a solution-oriented mindset. Write the answers as they come and take action on them.
4. Be persistence
My parents instilled the idea of persistence early in life. We were always surrounded by seemingly insurmountable circumstances, but their faith always outweighed the challenges that surrounded us. Persistence means we continue down the path of success, despite the circumstances that surround us. Doesn’t it seem like distractions appear and setbacks increase as we move toward a dream or a goal? I have found that issues come up for a number of reasons.
Whatever those reasons are, our reasons we developed earlier, ought to be bigger, bolder and more empowering in our minds than the circumstances that surround us. Rather than allowing them to be stumbling blocks, catch them, and make them your stepping stones. We have the mental capacity to overcome anything that is thrown our way. Nothing but persistence will do. A “can do” attitude is a winning attitude. Winners are the people who press forward and don’t allow their circumstances to dictate their outcome. Persistent people shape and mold their circumstances to do their bidding. Persistent people are people who fall down and get back up as many times as it takes for as long as it takes to see a successful end. If we launch out believing that things will work out and we can see it in our minds mixed with the feeling of that accomplishment, we will eventually succeed. It is our choice. It is up to us to make that determination. Choose well.
Achieving our goals and dreams in life are no small task, however, the journey will be worthwhile should we dare to make the choice to attain them. The key concepts of a clear vision, having emotional control, understanding the role of failure, and staying persistent, while in pursuit of our aim, will help us stay on the road of success and off the sidelines of regret.
About Jabari Butler
Serial Entrepreneur | Forbes Technology Council | Co-founder, Sign1News
Whether I am ministering, teaching, speaking, or developing plans for a start-up business, I am always looking for innovative ways to improve our lives and community through innovation and personal development techniques. I enjoy running and biking. I also enjoy spending quality time with my family over a great meal. Visit me at jabaributler.com.