Being able to sacrifice short term goals for long term goals can be a tough lesson to learn. Many times a new manager will struggle implementing a change that will lead to an improvement tomorrow. If you believe the change will result in better performance in the future, are you willing to miss today’s target?
In manufacturing when a piece of equipment is not running optimally, you may need to add additional people or supplies to keep production running. This increases the cost of every piece manufactured. Making the decision to stop and fix the problem can be relatively easy.
On the other hand, if you are implementing an improvement and the future results are only theoretical, it is harder to make the decision to change. You need to have the courage to sacrifice the known for the untested. Preparation, study, experience, and research can help move you forward.
My experience has taught me that once a decision is reached, it is critical to implement as quickly as possible. If you have decided, today is the time to act. Tomorrow cannot be better without action today.
Theodore Roosevelt said, “Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure, than to take rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much, because they live in the gray twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat.”
The sweet joy of triumph! When we succeed at a challenging task, solve a complicated problem, or reach a goal, we rejoice. We are elated. Failures fade away because we have achieved a milestone.
Would we know the feeling of triumph without the awareness of defeat? Isn’t our recognition of a win enhanced by the missteps we made along the way?
Every day I must remind myself that it is imperative to risk failure in order to find success. If I wait for the best opportunity, then I will miss many openings for progress. So many of our daily decisions are affected by timing. Yet rarely is our timing perfect.
If we want success and to experience triumph, then we must act. Nelson Mandela said, “I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.”
Today was made for challenges. Today was made for triumph. We can take the leap of faith that is needed to overcome.
“Tomorrow we will become what we choose today. To change means to choose to change.” – John C. Maxwell
I love this quote because there is so much wisdom in just fifteen words.
1. Change takes time. We must work today for what we want tomorrow. Our focus needs to be on the future. Very little permanent change occurs within one day.
2. Change is a choice. It will not occur without intent. We have the opportunity to decide what we wish to change.
3. Change is never ending. Every day we can work towards tomorrow’s goals. Incremental change has a huge impact over a lifetime of effort.
Often we stumble on these points, and we don’t change as much as we expect. We can choose to change to meet our goals in our professional life, our personal life, in our diet, our exercise, or our habits. Can we change? Each day we can strive to make ourselves better tomorrow.
When I agree to something I really don’t want to do, it can remain on my list of things to do for a long time. It can make me feel unproductive. It affects my attitude about my day.
It’s funny that most of these commitments are made with myself. Repairs around my house that I need to do. Emails that I intend to write. Books that I would like to read. You get the idea.
All of these open commitments slow me down. The more I have open the less agile I am during my day.
The lesson learned for me is to not accept responsibility until I am ready to take action. Instead I keep a list of all the things I need to do, but not yet ready to start.
Then I focus my priority on three to five areas that need my attention. This system makes me more effective. I accomplish more within a shorter period of time. As I complete one item, I add another from my list.
Too simple? It is easy to manage on a daily basis. Aren’t the best systems simple?
If you feel overwhelmed with all that is on your daily agenda, maybe a similar system will help you. With this approach, I am able to stop distractions and create a sharp focus.