What would you like to achieve this year? This was the question I asked my grown-up children after midnight into this morning. We took turns sharing our goals and plans and getting advice on how to structure it, so it is SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-Bound). The truth is these things are not cliche, how you form your goals will affect if you achieve them or not, and if you will look back in time and feel you did your best or feel like you didn’t.
At a point in my life, my goals were primarily about myself, and what I wanted to accomplish. So, no judgment if that is what your goal looks like today. It will change as you grow, and you will come to realize that life is not self-contained, it’s more about the way your life interacts with others and makes a difference. The good news is, it’s never too early to add these components to your goals and plans.
For those who have the intention to build their businesses or organizations and impact lives positively, I have a few tips and ideas that can be useful for you. They are 7 tips, and if you have interacted with me well, you will notice that it’s always been about these same 7 tips for me.
1. Regularly leverage your endowments- Every week or month, dial back and evaluate your life, relationships, and aspirations by using your awareness to tell yourself the truth about how you are doing. Use your imagination to recreate your desired future, your conscience to decide what you can and cannot do, and your independent will to decide what you chose to do irrespective. You develop these endowments by using them more and more.
2. Create a compelling picture of the end and live it- Don’t respond to things based on how they make you feel, be goal-bound toward a vision, and let that vision be the only thing that moves you. For example, I want to be involved in positively impacting people, and I have a goal for this year. That goal is in 3 circles starting from inside out. Many things happen to me that want to make me react, but I keep my vision in front of me and ask myself if the activity I want to be distracted into helps that future.
3. Schedule your priorities- The great things we need to do every day don’t lend themselves to external motivation. Things like calling up team members and talking with them, things like reading, writing, or even praying don’t happen because something external hurries you, they happen because you schedule them. These high-value activities are the BIG rocks in your life of impact, you need to put them into your 24hr daily bucket ahead of other items.
4. Think Abundance- Know this, there is enough for you and your team to have more than enough. Don’t subscribe to the lie that someone must lose for someone to gain. Think deeply every time about how you can win without your team losing and how your team can win without you losing. Always look out for the best for everyone. Win-Win is possible.
5. Don’t Rush to Offer Solutions- Use your ears and heart more than your mouth. Listen carefully to what people are saying and allow their perspectives to change yours. God gave us two ears and one mouth, it’s indicative of how much we should use each organ. Resist the urge to prescribe before diagnosing. Practice this with your team and do it with customers too. Deliberately build a friendly relationship with everyone including customers.
6. Be a Team Player- Value diversity. Recognize that two independent people are better than one. The more different we are from each other, the more we can be productive. We need to learn to consciously celebrate our differences and work together with others to achieve our desired goals. The greatest inventions are made by collaborative efforts. To achieve more, we need to learn how to respect others and work with them for higher possibilities. It’s not about making compromises, compromise makes 1 + 1 = 1.5. It’s not about cooperation, cooperation makes 1 + 1 = 2. It’s about synergy which makes 1+1 = 3.
7. Never stop learning!- Every opportunity provides learning experiences. FAIL is our First Attempt In Learning. We need to see our failures as opportunities to be better. One of the things we can do to keep learning and growing is to consistently renew the four aspects of our expression – our physical body, our mental minds, our emotional hearts, and our spiritual service, meaning, or contribution.
This is one list I recommend you keep close and revise regularly (monthly). If you follow these 7 tips and make them your habits. You will be one of the great ones. Your life will be impactful, and your contribution will be meaningful