|The Success Factory, Cheshire (Wikipedia)|
You put in the hours and work hard, contributing untold effort, but if you are not heading in the right direction - doing the right things - all that energy and exertion are not moving you forward.
The first, and most important, element of success is focus. You must be working toward, intending, aiming for something worthwhile.
After getting your focus right the speed at which you succeed comes down to mastery of three essential, indispensable, but universally accessible skills: goal setting, communication, and time management.
Goal setting is tantamount to focus, but there is more to it than determining a direction and loosely defining what the future might hold. Effective goal setters define an end-state which energizes for the long haul while focusing on doing things they can do now with what they have available.
To set a goal, clearly envision the end-state, the objective - it must evoke powerful, positive emotions. Set a time limit. And, right from the start, commit to render the necessary energy and effort to achieve the worthwhile objective - there is no such thing as something for nothing. Then focus on what you can do now to get moving.
An often overlooked key to effective goal setting is leveraging desire for consistent progress. The power of desire is its nature to apply energy toward the attainment of that longing. Yearning for something, even something simple, focuses energy moving the goal setter toward the sought after objective. Desire is your natural motivator - use it. Align your desires with worthy goals.
Communication is an indispensable success skill in that this journey of life is not a solitary adventure. No one survives alone and no one succeeds alone. To excel or just to get by, an individual must communicate needs, desires, and intentions.
Communicating one on one, in groups, through writing or some other medium is a skill high achievers master. People with vision and the ability to communicate get other people to contribute to realizing that vision - in this way great communicators multiply their power.
The third indispensable success skill is time management. How an individual uses her time enables goal setting and communication. The key to effective time management is not managing time, but rather managing self - what you do.
Achievers devote the majority of their time, energy and talents to tasks that matter most in bringing about their desired outcome. Achievers schedule priorities rather than prioritize schedules. Effective time managers know precisely where to apply their assets to optimize progress.
Consider these success skills in a straightforward example: driving from New York to Los Angeles. The ultimate goal, the end-state is reaching LA. Getting to LA inspires the journey but the driver must set and achieve a series of intermediate objectives to navigate the route. She must communicate along the way - to enlist help, to facilitate traffic flow and to negotiate for needed resources.
How fast she travels across the country depends on how she manages her actions over time. If she is in a hurry she focuses and applies herself to tasks moving her directly to LA. If she is not quite so motivated she is apt to wander, explore or linger.
Traveling from New York to LA is not without its challenges. A driver is likely to take a few wrong turns and even encounter some difficulties. If our driver sets goals effectively, communicates well, and applies herself to the task then mile by mile, turn by turn, she will move ever closer to her objective and in the end arrive. So it is with achieving any measure of success.
Succeeding at anything is not a mystery. Success comes down to mastery of three indispensable skills: goal setting - aligning desires with focus; communication - enlisting support where you can; and time management - applying yourself.
The more effectively you master these skills the faster you succeed. Master the three indispensable success skills to keep moving in the right direction and get where you want to go.
Scott F. Paradis, author of "Success 101 How Life Works - Know the Rules, Play to Win" and "Warriors, Diplomats, Heroes, Why America's Army Succeeds - Lessons for Business and Life" focuses on the fundamental principles of leadership and success; http://Success101Workshop.com
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