“BEGIN WITH THE END IN MIND. “
The phrase gained mainstream popularity after it was included in Stephen Covey’s book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. It’s a concept I learned while attending a professional development conference. Gary Williams, a dynamic leader in life skills and student development encouraged life skills coordinators from across the country to “begin with the end in mind” in every aspect of our job. I use the concept as a success compass.
What does success look like to you? What does it smell like, feel like, taste like? Society has created a sliding scale of what success means. For some, success is a position. For others, success is an amount of money. Yet for some, success isn’t an accomplishment at all. It is a mindset. Success demands definition. Personalizing success has great power! Your success should not be determined by the minds of others. Create what success means to YOU!
After you establish success, work toward it! Once you know where you want to go, everything you think, say, and do, should draw you closer to your final destination.
There are three reasons you should personalize success.
- Awareness: If you do not know what you are striving for, how will you know when you get there? People, who do not take the time to clarify their personal definition of success, usually end up chasing someone else’s. What’s worse is that it is a never-ending chase, and they typically never arrive. By personalizing your success you will constantly know where you are in the process of achieving success.
- Accountability: Most people are subconsciously afraid to genuinely define success. They are afraid because once you identify your success; you are responsible for making sure you attain it. Those who are fearful base their success on circumstances or happenstances that are influenced by a third party. Few people want to have the liability of holding themselves accountable for reaching their own version of success, for fear they will not achieve it. Accept liability for your accountability!
- Advancement: What does it take to get to the next level in your life? What does it take to become the most successful you? Without actualizing success, you will not know what it takes to obtain success, maintain success and supersede success.
Defining success is crucial to achievement. Personalizing success provides freedom from the crippling and constraining success of others. Without defining success, how will you know when you arrive? Once you have established your personal version of success, the next step is OWNING IT, then working toward it every day!