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  • Rick Ezell

7 Steps to Success

Have you found yourself floundering in reaching your goals? At every point, we all face obstacles and the momentum leaks. Here are seven actions needed to achieve your goals.

Assess your present.

Before an architect begins a blueprint, he inspects the property site, assessing environmental factors that could either enhance or restrict his final design. Before a coach begins the rebuilding of a losing team into a championship team he assesses the talent of his players to determine if they are being utilized in the right positions.

If you were to do a personal audit, what would it reveal? What actions are needed to reach your goal?

Determine your purpose.

Assessing your present answers the “where” question. Determining your purpose answers the “why” question. Why were you born? What is your reason for existence?

A Russian priest was discouraged and disappointed about his ministry. One evening, he took a walk in the woods and wandered into a military installation.

The young, armed guard at the perimeter shouted, “Halt! Who are you and why are you here?”

The priest perked up and asked, “What did you say?”

The soldier became even more stern and said, “Who are you and why are you here?”

The priest asked, “How much do you get paid?”

The young man, caught off guard by the question, said, “Why does it matter to you?”

“Because,” the priest replied, “I’ll pay you that much to ask me those same two questions every day.”

Focus your concentration.

Monumental power exists in focus. Many people fail to reach their aim because they do not learn to maximize their efforts. Diffused light falls harmlessly onto a piece of paper, but intensely focused, the same amount of light becomes a laser beam that can cut through steel. The same principle holds true for human effort. Diffused effort has little effect, but intense effort focused on a single goal can bring about startling results.

Dr. Norman Vincent Peale wrote, “When every physical and mental resource is focused, one’s power to solve a problem multiplies tremendously. To win in this life, you simply have to give your all, every bit of yourself . . . Life cannot deny itself to the person who gives life everything.”

Let go of your past.

We all have a past. We must not allow the past to dictate our future. We cannot change the past, but we can change the meaning of the past.

One Olympic runner shared the secret of his success. The runner said, “The only way to win a race is to forget all previous victories which would give you false pride and all former failure which would give you false fears. Each race is a new beginning. Pressing on to the finish tape is all that’s important!”

Pumbaa from The Lion King said: “You got to put your past behind you.”

Establish your plan.

It’s been said, “Most people don’t plan to fail they fail to plan.” Admittedly, most people spend more time planning their vacation than planning their life.

Ted Engstrom, in his book Strategy for Living, said, “How we live is determined by our goals. What goals we choose are determined by our priorities. Whether we reach our goals is determined by our planning.”

Pay the price.

For every worthwhile prize in life there’s a price. For every cause, there is a cost. Great goals require great sacrifice.

The cost is work. Whether you are pursuing an academic degree, a promotion, or a gold medal, it doesn’t come without intense labor. I think of the Olympic swimmers who will spend approximately 1200 hours per year training for a four-minute race. Is the cost worth it? Ask them when the gold medal hangs around their neck.

Forward your movement.

Missionary David Livingstone returned home to England. He was asked, “Where are you ready to go next?

He replied, “I’m ready to go anywhere provided it is forward.”

Those whose aim is high and cause is worthy live the same way.

A few years ago, United Technologies printed a poster entitled “Aim So High You’ll Never Be Bored” that sums up the pursuit. “The greatest waste of our natural resources is the number of people who never achieve their potential. Get out of that slow lane. Shift into that fast lane. If you think you can’t, you won’t. If you think you can, there’s a good chance you will. Even making the effort will make you feel like a new person. Reputations are made by searching for things that can’t be done and doing them. Aim low: boring. Aim high: soaring.”

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