“The key is not to prioritize what’s on the schedule,
– Stephen Covey
For some, today’s post will be the most important message of the year. Anticipating this, I prepared it in a unique and powerful way, which I’ll explain later. In the meantime, I encourage you to pay close attention to the message and determine if there’s any relevance to your life and career.
Your Potential for Greatness
What lies behind you and what lies before you are tiny matters compared to what lies within you. Man was designed for accomplishment, engineered for success, and endowed with the seeds of greatness. Understand this, you were born to win, but to be a winner, you must plan to win, prepare to win, and expect to win. Therefore, always dream and shoot higher than you know you can do. Do not bother just to be better than your contemporaries or predecessors. Try to be better than yourself.
What’s Holding You Back?
The sad thing is, many people who have been with a company five years do not have five years’ experience. They have one year’s experience five times and no specific plan for making next year anything but a repeat performance. Unrecognized, undeveloped, unused ability is one of the great tragedies of life.
Most people are about as happy as they make up their minds to be. How so? What you feed your mind determines your appetite. Whatever you put your time, energy and money into will become more important to you. It’s hard to care for something you’re not investing in.
Turning Things Around is Up to You!
If you don’t like how things are, change it! You’re not a tree. If you aren’t willing to risk $85 on your dream, then you’re probably not ready for a $2 million miracle.
It’s amazing what happens when you recognize your good qualities, accept responsibility for your future, and take positive action to make that future even brighter. But, before you change your thinking, you have to change what goes into your mind. You are what you are and where you are because of what has gone into your mind. You can change what you are and where you are by changing what goes into your mind.
When Do You Find Time to Work on Yourself?
Lack of direction, not lack of time, is the problem. We all have 24-hour days. What gets scheduled gets done. What doesn’t get scheduled doesn’t get done. The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities. To change your life, you need to change your priorities. You can’t fatten the pig on market day!
About this Post
There’s power in the words of influential people. Each of the four sections above consists of quotes attributed to sources such as: Zig Ziglar, Jim Rohn, Stephen Covey, Michael Hyatt, Will Rogers, Mark Batterson, Ralph Waldo Emerson, William Faulkner, John Howard, Zahid Abas and the movie “Fireproof”. My role was to mine the gold and bring it to market, although I confess to adding six words to enhance readability.
The value you assign to this collection of gold nuggets depends largely on what relevance you assign to your personal and professional development. I hope it’s important enough that you are working on your growth plan and implementing it to achieve your growth goals.
Whether it’s writing, teaching or coaching, what I love doing as much as anything else is helping people like you with your plan and its implementation. Why? “Because Your Potential Matters!”
The late Stephen Covey was well-know for his classic book “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.” Habit #3 is entitled, “Put First Things First.” It’s all about knowing what is important and honoring it by our actions. Looking at the culture, it would seem that defining importance is more difficult than one would think. People seem to be confused by this. What happens? Confusion becomes a barricade to any action, much less the right action.
Newton’s first law of motion says that a body at rest will remain at rest unless an outside force acts on it. This is a great metaphor for human behavior. A person will move from inaction to action only when motivated by something sufficiently important. Most barricade-busting motivation fits into the following categories: Wants, Needs, and Responsibilities.
- Emptiness Chooses Wants. — People fill voids with something they want.
- Pain Chooses Needs. — People relieve pain with something they believe they need.
- Conscience Chooses Responsibilities. — People choose right actions in obedience to their consciences.
Importance is established when one or more of these motivators takes center stage in the person’s mind and heart. Sometimes people coincidentally choose Right Actions when Responsibility does not play a significant role. That is, we sometimes do the right thing for the wrong reason.
Admittedly, the formula is not quite so straightforward. The strength of the motivators is constantly rising and falling because of emotional fluctuations, changes in personal perspectives and changes in external circumstances. It’s a dynamic environment.
Here’s what I am certain about. When an opportunity intersects with importance, we give it the red carpet treatment. Which means, we mark the calendar. We rearrange appointments. We set aside funds. We post reminders. We tell people. We tweet. We follow through.
It doesn’t matter whether the opportunity is one you created or a gift from someone else. Importance is still the motivation necessary to cause action. Until then, the opportunity is just another competing option in our busy lives. Only what we perceive to be truly important finds its way onto our calendars, into our budgets and into our conversations.
What’s on your calendar? What’s in your budget? What are you talking about?
– Zig Ziglar paraphrasing Stephen Covey