Consider this statement: What and who you are today is a product of choices you made in the past. Who and what you would be in five, ten years will be the consequences of today’s choices!
Nothing challenges me more than the reality of this fact and I invite you to consider that statement; even if only in your sober moments.
When I was in my final year of undergraduate studies, I recall the panel assessing my project asking what I hoped to do with my life. Who I’d love to be? My answer then, to be honest, is not so clear to me right now because I was a perfect example of a student who wanted the best of every world. I was a social animal in many circles and I would only arrive for lectures just in time for the lecturer to enter. Preparation for exam was always a last-minute-dot com affair [I’m sure many can relate to that].
Somehow I managed to do well academically. Many wore expressions of shock at the fact that I read Chemical Engineering .Big deal! It really made we wonder why and I guess that’s why even my classmates nick-named me Mister Magic in those exciting days. So…….back to the panel. The only thing I remember about my response was that I would someday have a PhD. In what; I wasn’t even sure. I had a picture in my mind of a wealthy and successful person. How; I had no clue. Was I clear about what I wanted? Of course not. Am I now wealthy? Well, I still will be. Hopefully.
Here’s the interesting thing; I had thrice in that period of my life been specific in what I wanted and I got them. One, I wanted to be in the Kaduna Refinery for a 6-month Industrial Attachment and it happened in a classic movie style. Secondly, I wanted to do my national service in Port Harcourt. It also happened. Then I wanted to be assigned to NNPC and so it was. In all of these, I had clarity on what I desired. That was 31 years ago! In the area of envisioning my future, I was blank but in sub-situations, I had clarity. The results were remarkably different and consistent with the universal law of attraction – like attract like; you attract whatever you give your attention and energy to. End of story! Sorry I’m not about to present a memoir here.
The point is; if your life is in perfect balance and you really can’t wish for more, then I thank God for you and wish you well. However, if you know you are not at the level where you enjoy the freedom to buy whatever you want under the sun; you cannot afford to give yourself or your family vacation at any time or to any part of the world without a struggle; you are not ecstatic about your career or business; your health is not particularly in great shape; you labor 12-18 hours a day just to force ends to meet; you hardly have the time to get to hang out with friends; the time for recreation doesn’t exist in your to-do list any longer; you keep having this nagging feeling that you ought to have started developing a legacy project for a noble cause; your spiritual life is truthfully diminished because you are simply living a disjointed life full of small fires, then I’ve got news for you.
Something needs to change. It’s time to stop enduring a life of misery in pursuit of making a living in the way you’ve been taught. Many of us have been brainwashed into believing we are trapped without a means of escape. Some even think they are already too old to have a re-run. Little do we know that we erect our own walls and that in our pocket lies the key to unlock the doors that block us and it all begins with your choices about how you are going to live your life.
What dreams have you for yourself? “We all have two choices: we can make a living or we can design a life” – Anonymous
I believe that life isn’t a journey you start in order to reach “success.” It’s a journey you start because pursuing your dreams is something worthy of your life. And contrary to what you may have been led to believe, it’s hardly ever too late to recover. I meet people all the time who wake up every day to spend their days doing things they hate with people they can’t stand. And do you know why? That’s what they are told to do or they’re worried about what others might think of them if they didn’t or for lack of knowledge or low self-esteem and sometimes fear of the unknown.
How many people do you know who have spent at least 30% of their life practicing
things they have no interest in being good at while searching for something to fill the void that the “right work” or career is meant to fill. Talk about developing unwanted and dangerous social habits!
Your journey to freedom begins with your ability to ask questions and then take the required steps to head for the right path. The answers lie in transforming who you are by learning and doing what it requires to be on that path in a sustained manner. This usually requires having a mentor or a coach. That’s the secret I’ve discovered.
How much of what you learnt in your degree program have you put to profitable use? For most people; not much. It’s only after I began my journey to make a living doing
something I loved that I truly began to live. It’s one of the greatest of life’s challenges However, it’s also been the richest and most rewarding. And I’m just getting started.
It is said that nobody gets old by surprise. Given how brief the time we’re all given on earth is, I don’t think there’s a more worthy destination than pursuing the challenge of making a living doing what you love. It’s a direct route to a life well lived. It doesn’t matter whether you work for others or doing your own thing. Time passes without the ability take it back. You cannot reach your destination overnight but you can certainly change your direction overnight.
Today’s decisions are tomorrow’s realities. Remember you have 3 choices: Take it, leave it or change it. “To get what you want, STOP doing what isn’t working.” ~ Dennis Weaver. With that said, here are 7 steps to creating a life of significance, being the champion you were created to be:
1. Have A Vision For Your Life
Creating a vision is the process of developing a picture in your mind of what you want for your life in the future, translating it into the written word, picturing it in your mind, and developing it even further into specific action steps. It is my conviction that you should have a vision for every major aspect of your life – career, wealth, health and fitness, family, relationships, fun and adventure, spirituality and legacy. Visioning uses both mental and physical tools of your mind and body, such as the thoughts and actions to create and realize your goals. It’s been widely acknowledged by experts that there is power in defining, declaring, and then committing to what you want your life to look like. Your vision is the articulation of your desired future. A clear vision will help to set a desired course for you. Without this direction to guide us, we often fail to acquire the quality of life we want and expect.
2. Develop Plans For The Long and Short Term
According to the legendary Jim Rohn; If you don’t design your own life plan, chances are you’ll fall into someone else’s plan. And guess what they have planned for you? Not much. Living life fully requires that you must live out of your imagination and not your history. If you can, imagine yourself in the future state of your dream, one, five or even ten years to come. Stepping incrementally backwards, what are the major building blocks capable of turning your imagination into reality. Write them down as detailed as possible in your empowerment journal and strive to consult experts who have succeeded in your chosen area for best results. Drive it down to daily routines and activities. This takes some considerable effort; but it’s well worth it. All you have to do is know where you’re going. The answers will come to you of their own accord. It’ works for me and I know it will work for you too.
3. Know The Price You’d Have To Pay
Albert Einstein said that “you must be willing to give up what you are in order to become what you will be. You cannot change your state without paying a price. Plot this along with your various plans – big and small. It comes in form of time to be invested, enrolling your family and friends, making them know sacrifices that may be required and the benefits that will accrue to them along the way, cost of acquiring tools, skills and knowledge, possible relocation, energy required for extra hours of combining basic existence with preparing for the future. This process is not one get-rich-quick scheme. Have a full view of what discomforts may arise and how to deal with them while putting in place plans for financing the journey. It may appear scary at first but with faith, persistence and focus on the goal, you will attract exactly what you want. It’s the law.
4. Get Empowered And Get Into Action
It was Einstein who said that you cannot solve a problem at the level of understanding that caused it. I also understand that the fastest way to double your income is to triple your rate of learning. What specific knowledge, tools and skills would you require to actualize each of your major goals and plans? Go get them. Success is not to be pursued; it is to be attracted by the person you become. Attend programs that will aid your journey or address specific deficiencies. A good recommendation is Purpose Power & Lifestyle Design International PPLD, for example, which runs a six-week “Power Up” program, which is well suited for those who may wish to discover what’s missing for them. This is an experiential program whose promise is to provide a powerful, self-discovery experience that enables each and every participant and their organization to achieve outstanding results and create all that is possible for them in their business and their lives. Visit www.ppld.apoti.net for more information. A class is starting in a few days. And remember that the best way to take advantage of acquired knowledge is to immediately start putting them to use. The law of diminishing intent says that “The longer you wait to do what you know you should do now, the greater the chances are you’ll never do it”. Knowledge isn’t power without use. On a final note, for every major activity, ask yourself “is this moving me closer to or farther away from my goals”?
5. Build Your Support
Success is neither achievable nor sweet without the support of your close friends and family. One critical element of success is your support group. This includes your cheerleaders who spur and encourage you to action, especially when the inevitable twists and turns show up. Your mentors and coaches are also there to provide knowledge while holding your vision. You need the critics who make you see the blind spots and help strengthen your resolve when they appear frightened by the size of your dream. While it may be useful to listen to various shades of opinion, you must certainly avoid taking advice from those who either say it can’t be done or experts who are obvious failures. Ensure to keep adding value to as many lives as possible for there you will find your apostles, customers, collaborators and cheerleaders. Share your dreams with trusted allies to enrich your decision-making even as you must expect that these people will hold you accountable. This keeps you on track as well as helps you to avoid the temptation of reverting to your old ways, especially as it relates to developing empowering new habits.
6. Celebrate Small Successes
Success requires sustained energy levels. Some days will be bright and shiny while others will be dreadful and gloomy. These are all essential for the journey to become fruitful. Another name for obstacle is opportunity. Every little triumph is worth celebrating. It’s both empowering and stimulating for future victories. The mistake we usually make is to focus on what’s not working. It’s so natural to us and it’s all in our interpretation. What’s not working for you may be just what I need to kick myself into critical thinking mode for better results. What others may consider to be failure may be just another discovery of the option that won’t work. There’s no other way to become an expert if you haven’t encountered and overcome obstacles of different dimensions. Celebrate small wins in whatever way you choose. I’ve found this to be a particularly useful tool in that it gives little room for despondency and discouragement. The higher you energy levels, the more creative and productive you will be. Spoil yourself with some gadgets; pop a choice drink with your family, friends, collaborators or even colleagues. Take a little vacation to refresh and refuel; whatever. These are the memories you will call up as you proceed when you need tuning up for motivation.
7. Review Your Outcomes Regularly
It’s important to establish your metrics for major goals because what gets; measured gets managed. Someone once said that it takes 20 years to become an overnight success! Some of your goals will be process goals while others will be activity goals. Many of your health/fitness, spiritual and habits-formation goals will belong to process while a lot of your wealth and career goals will be activity. The major difference as you may have guessed is that process goals are not chunkable into bite sizes but are rather progressive in nature – for example, living a healthy life through appropriate nutrition or becoming a caring, loving Christian or husband. The activity goals are precise and quantifiable – for instance, reading a book a week, saving fifty thousand naira monthly. You get the point? What is important is to ensure a review of your goals to ensure you are on track and doing well. Some of these goals may also become unnecessary or inadequate in light of evolving circumstances. Costs may change, time required may differ, people in your life may cease to exist; all of these call for adaptability. Course-correct as you proceed and keep your eyes on the ball and the goal-post.
So here you have them – the 7 steps to becoming your own champion, living life in your own terms. Whether you work for or own a big or small organization, the decision about how you choose to live your life is yours. Your results, personal or group, will depend entirely on how you show up. And how you show up will be defined by how faithfully you follow-through on these 7 steps. Here’s an invitation to you to reflect on how satisfied you are with the state of things in your life. Do a reality check and if you decide that it’s time for a change, I recommend that you seek help from those qualified to provide guidance.
The six-week Power Up program of PPLD is one that is highly recommended. Visit www.ppld.apoti.net for details on how this program works and the benefits it holds for your journey to success and significance. The only way you can keep leading is to keep growing.
Are you ready to be your own Champion?