Now that the Super Bowl is over and I am trying to cope with my sport’s depression (I am a Panthers fan) I had a thought walking through the airport. Recently I became re-engaged with the idea of being intentional about my success. I had never left goal setting and planning, but for some reason I had achieved a level of success and was happy with it. Not now, I really feel alive when I am working on something big so I did the unthinkable, bought a paper note-book (that’s the unthinkable – because I am paperless) and started planning for something big.
Part of sports depression is to not talk about the game and pretend it didn’t happen, however it is perfectly acceptable to talk about the commercial. This morning grading papers for my UNCC class, one of my students used “puppy-monkey-baby” in his paper… if I could – I would have given him extra credit. Ok back to success. Years ago there was a super bowl ad that Monster.com did where the theme was, “When I Grow Up”.. here it is if you don’t remember it.
One of the lines that struck me then and still gets me is the kids that says, “I want to claw my way up to middle management”. Now I know some great middle managers, but it’s funny because kids typically don’t aspire to be middle management. They want to be sports starts or entertainers or as my seven-year-old says, “a singer-teacher-mom with ponies”. What happen to our dreams in life? Where did they go and why do people settle?
People leave their future up to chance. Have you ever heard the saying, “people spend more time on planning the wedding than the marriage”? I think people spend more time on planning their weddings than they do their entire lives. The problem with accidental success is you run the high risk of two things
- You don’t get want you want and you are stuck somewhere you don’t want to be
- It’s usually marginal
I had a mentor say that there is nothing worse than a person going to their grave with their music still in them. That always struck me because for some reason I could picture that in my mind. To be marginal is to achieve a little and stop. In my first book The 8 Pitfalls, I wrote about projects and I made the point that you know when projects are good and you know when projects are bad but the difficult part is when projects are somewhere in the middle and folks settle. That’s the same way with life. You know when your life is both good and bad and usually you do something about it. The problem comes when your life is OK because failure is breathing down your neck and success seems like a lot of work.
Don’t settle and don’t leave it to chance. Start today with a few simple steps.
- Commit to change – really commit, don’t just give it lip services.
- Outline what it is you want to be – this will take time. I am taking all of 2016 to do this step
- Set goals – once outlined start breaking things down into smaller parts and start putting actions steps to them and dates on when they will be achieved.
I had another mentor ask me about twenty years ago what my definition of success was. I was unable to tell him. He said that if you don’t know what something is than you will never be able to obtain it. He then told me what his definition was and I started on a process to create my own definition. Over time I realized that I really liked his definition so with permission I adopted it.
“The continuous journey towards the achievement of a predetermined worthwhile goal”
What I love about this definition is that it’s the journey that is what is so exciting… It’s the journey that gets you up in the morning… it’s the journey that keeps you motivated and positive not the achievement. Don’t sign up for accidental, marginal success, join me for an intentional exciting life!
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About The Author:
Christopher Elmore has written 8 books, countless articles, lectures at UNC – Charlotte and travels around the country speaking on on the topics of startup success, sales, presentation skills, change, entrepreneurship, accounts payable and payment automation. Having deep startup and entrepreneurial experience, Christopher was one of the six people that startedAvidXchange in 2000 and continues to work in the business today. If you hire Christopher to speak or teach at your company or event… you won’t be sorry! Request a media kit or contact us for more information.