Creating action - without becoming one of them.
Far too many individuals are not as successful as they think they should be, or as wealthy as they’d hoped they would be as an ambitious youth looking forward. Not coincidently, very few of people have a personal life action plan.
Most people simply get up each day, do whatever it is that they get paid to do, and then do whatever strikes them in the moment for their personal time. In short, they let life happen to them as opposed to proactively managing the activities and, often in doing so, the outcomes.
Others, usually the very successful, take a proactive approach. I suggest using these people as role models – they’ve shown that people from all backgrounds can have a life with which they are fully satisfied.
Even if it feels like your life and career are going well, it’s difficult to assess how much better it might be if you have never taken the time to determine what a “perfect life and career” would look like in a well considered and actionable plan.
In last week's blog I discussed the benefit that comes from taking a little time and stepping back from the day-to-day to imagine or visual what your own 'perfect' situation would look like 5 years down the line if it all came together. Additionally, I noted that this is contrary to the way most coaches would recommend creating a plan; common thinking is that you plan your life one step at a time, looking at a short time horizon – perhaps as little as 3 months from now. Then, said coaches believe, you work your way up, savoring each little victory.
But this becomes an easy way to lose your direction. Occasionally such ‘victories’ become very seductive and you follow them to find out too late that you have some good material possessions, perhaps a good title and salary; but you aren’t satisfied with your life.
Remember those stories of the male senior executive on his 3rd trophy wife and is alcoholic? Or how about the female corporate type who seems to have it made but when she’s alone and outside of the office, has no personal life at all. These things happen all the time. I’ve seen many of them. Smart and aggressive folks who turned into someone they don't even like anymore. So they self medicate. Therapists do a lot of work with those people.
If you want to enjoy success and have a great personal life, it is critical that you make a plan. Do it annually with at least a 3 year horizon or, preferably, 5 years. Otherwise, you will may turn into one of those stories. There are many organizations and coaches who can help you to create your own plan. We offer one ourselves on our websites. Regardless of how you create it, just do it. Once you've described a perfect life; it is way easier to go about getting it.
John M. McKee is the founder and CEO of BusinessSuccessCoach.net, an international consulting and coaching practice with subscribers in 43 countries. One of the founding senior executives of DIRECTV, his hands-on experience includes leading billion dollar organizations and launching start-ups in both the U.S. and Canada. The author of two published books, he is frequently seen providing advice on TV, in magazines, and newspapers.