To make progress you must have a clear sense of direction…

“The great thing in this world is not so much where we are, but in what direction we are going.”

Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.

How do you know you are in the wrong place if you don’t have a clear sense of where you want to be? How can you tell if you are going in the wrong direction if you don’t know exactly where you want to be in the future?

You can either choose to wallow in misery about where you are today or, you can invest your energy and time into creating the roadmap to get to where you want to be. 

The direction is everything; if there is no clear sense of direction, there can be no progress. 

Become more…

“To have more than you’ve got, become more than you are.”

Jim Rohn

What is it that you really want to have? I don’t read this quote through the lens of “stuff” or possessions. That is an earthly and short-term view. What is that you want to have that truly matters? How do you solve for this? Here’s one way to approach the challenge.

Get out pad of paper and write down one-word answers to the following question: “What are the adjectives that best describe the behaviors or values that I want to define my life in 1 year, 3 years, 5 years, and beyond?” If at all possible do not use multiple word phrases. Use one word answers that make you think through the meaning and drill down to the essence of what truly matters.

Next, circle the five that are MOST important to you. Then narrow it down to the three that really and truly matter. This is going to be a lot harder than it sounds! If it helps use this question as a way to help you through the process of elimination. “If I don’t achieve this I will seriously regret it for the rest of my life.”

Some of the words that come to mind for me and that I am currently thinking through (not in any order) are; Faith, Purpose, Family, Impact, Humility, Service, Gratitude, Focus, Growth, Change. It’s a work in progress, but such an impactful exercise.

Once you have your top 3 identified the hard work starts. The good news is that the question is simple. “What do I need to start, stop or continue in my life in order to make this an absolute reality?” This will not be an easy exercise or process of addition, elimination or escalation. But understanding what is truly important, and then planning the work necessary to complete it is how you not only become more than who you are but you become the person that you were meant to be.

Willing to fail…

“All progress takes place outside the comfort zone.”

Michael John Bobak

When was the last time you were near the edge of your comfort zone? How did it make you feel? Did you want to lean into the experience? Or did you want to back away? Is getting outside of your own personally defined limits something that you seek out or turn away from?

If you want to grow, you must be willing to risk failure. You must be willing to take on more than you know you are capable of doing. To grow you must be willing to push past the point where you know that you cannot fail. This is what it means to get outside of the comfort zone. Failure becomes a possibility, and this is where the real opportunity for growth occurs.

How does this make you feel? Does the idea of regularly seeking out opportunities that push you past your personal limitations inspire or terrify you?

I think the really important question is this. What is more frightening, stretching and possibly failing, or becoming complacent and irrelevant?

I’ll choose growth and the risk of failure every time. The alternative scares me to death…

Truth is fertilizer for growth…

“All progress begins with telling the truth.”

Dan Sullivan

Lying to yourself, or others, is poisonous on so many levels. An inability to both see, and tell, the truth is one of the most limiting and self-destructive behaviors one can exhibit.

If you are lying to yourself about anything you are only hurting yourself. You won’t be able to grow and learn and you will forever be captive to a “victim mentality.” When you are lying to yourself about something, about anything, you are saying that it is someone’s else’s fault or responsibility for whatever situation you find yourself in. If you want to grow, you have to be able to tell yourself the truth first.

If you are lying to others, for whatever reason, you are making a conscious choice to put the relationship at risk. You are making a choice to value self over others. If the relationship is important, and valuable, then speaking truth will enable further grow and progress, even if it hurts at the time. Mistruths and lies become poison for growth.

To truly get better, start by committing to only tell the truth, both to yourself and to others. There is simply no other way.

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