There are many definitions of success. For some, success definitely means wealth accumulation. For others, the accomplishment of a goal or purpose signifies success. Moreover, the attainment of popularity or profit can also be success for some. And then, there are those who find success in inner peace – without much thought to wealth or money. None of these definitions are wrong. It all depends on where a person is on his/her journey. Whatever definition we attribute to success — we need to apply vision, strategy, and passion to accomplish it. Many people have often told me not to look at the end goal. They say, “persevere and trust the process.” However, these past few weeks, I have come to realize that you should look at the end goal. You need to visualize your results, and then strategize around those results. I have found that if you don’t, you will waste strategy – without knowing exactly where you are going. You will do so much, and end up in many places. This can be tiring, unless working tirelessly without an end goal in mind is also your definition of success. To put it simply, perseverance without vision is wasted strategy.
The End Goal Matters
I am of the inclination that every successful thing we do in life requires direction. A successful end goal entails a clear vision. It entails a depiction or an indication of the fruits of your endeavors. A clear vision of the end goal helps you strategize your action steps. It gives you a conception of the future, and what you wish to see or accomplish. A clear vision also guides you to persevere with as many strategies as possible to attain your goal. Whereas, persevering without a clear end goal in mind limits the endless possibilities or action steps you can undertake to realize that goal. A vision of the end goal helps you tackle challenges along the way, because you know what you eventually want. Tough times motivate you to push harder or find new ways of working, rather than put you down. Without a vision, you run around endlessly. Your goals start to look like routine, and/or an accumulation of purposeless events. The end goal is the connection between your passion and the many actions steps you will choose to realize that passion. The end goal drives perseverance, and fosters resilience.
Goal Setting and Action Steps
One goal setting technique that helps me, is picturing or knowing exactly what I want. This process encompasses self-knowledge. You need to know yourself, and your specifications. Self-knowledge fosters empowerment, and helps you recognize your shortcomings. You shouldn’t put limits on your dreams, however no one can do everything on earth. No one has the mental and physical capacity to do everything under the sun.
The first step to getting anything done is to identify what you need to do. Ask yourself all of the intrinsic questions. What do you wish to accomplish? What is your vision? Jot down everything you need (and want) to do. I like to classify items by difficulty and priority as well. If you’re easily overwhelmed, you may want to organize your list into categories, or multiple smaller lists. For example, short-term goals, long-term goals, bucket lists, creative projects, collaborations, and tasks. Once you have your list, pick one thing to focus on. Just one. Don’t start with your most ambitious goal. Instead, go for something lower on the difficulty scale that won’t take months to accomplish. You want it to be relatively easy because you may be involved in other things at the moment. Once that is done – no matter how small it is – you’ll feel motivated to take on something else. You have started small and you have accomplished a “small win”. You have added an ingredient to the recipe for happiness.
Pull it Apart
Be specific about what you want to achieve. “Start a successful business” is too vague. “Sell services or products” is better. “Find ways to sell x or y” is perfect (start small, remember?) Next, break it down into bite-size pieces or milestones. This allows you to easily identify a starting point, and reduces the chance that you’ll get overwhelmed before you begin. You can use an app to keep track of these pieces, or use a notebook or bullet journal (my personal preference).
For example, if you want to start a blog, your breakdown might look like this:
1. Decide what your overall message will be
2. Decide which design will best display your message
3. Go through your notes and review what you wrote earlier.
4. Ask around for suggestion.
5. Educate yourself further on the matter
6. Collaborate with like-minded people.
You may think of more things to add to this list later on, but be mindful not to overwhelm yourself with too many steps. This is your plan, so adjust it as you see fit. Remember to cross off each task that you complete, for a little extra boost of motivation. Do all of this while keeping your vision in mind. Remember, perseverance without vision is wasted strategy. Your vision is what creates possibilities for the strategies that you use to enrich your future.