Growth Versus Goals

Stop for a moment to think about your lifelong dreams and goals. Focus on something that you wish to achieve in your lifetime. Are you actively working towards this accomplishment?

If you are like me, we always have to weigh short-term needs and goals, with longer-term growth. It is not easy. Spending fifteen minutes a day on that long-term goal can pay high dividends.

It is a matter of thinking about your goals versus your growth. Growing continuously over a long period of time leads to the ability to accomplish great lifetime achievements.

However, it can be a struggle to bypass short-term gratification for the longer-term goal realization. I find it useful to think about goals in various timeframes, for example, one-year, three-year, and ten-year goals.

Once these are defined, then ask yourself two questions. One, how must I grow in order to achieve these goals? And two, how can I allocate some of my time daily or weekly to this growth, and these goals?

If we don’t utilize today to make tomorrow great, then we lose the opportunity to attain something that may be very important to us.

As John Maxwell has said, “The great men and women of history were not great because of what they earned and owned, but rather for what they gave their lives to accomplish.”

Sacrifice Today for Tomorrow?

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.

Stopping the Distraction

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.

Are You Willing to Travel the Road to Success?

In a recent interview, when asked what he does in his spare time, Elon Musk said, “usually it’s work more.” Without a doubt, success is hard work. Most of us are not willing to put in the required work to reach the heights of success like Elon Musk.

Many people I coach have specific goals they want to achieve. Some are held back contained within their comfort zone. Others never test their limits because they just aren’t willing to put in the effort.

Successful people tend to be very focused and intent on achieving their goal. What we look at someone that is highly successful, we sometimes don’t see the  sacrifice they have made. They may have sacrificed time, money, relationships, or hobbies.

Successful people still have those things. But along their journey they gave up something to stay focused on their goal.

We all want success, but there is a limit to how much we are ready to sacrifice. Having a limit is fine. Knowing that sacrifice is required, and our limit, shouldn’t we be able to make better decisions?