I'm convinced that significant success in life, from learning to ride a bike, to building a business, to maximizing income or changing spending habits, basically all successful change, is built on three Principles, and a big IDEA. The three Principles are:
1. Clarity and Precision about Your Desired Outcome
What, exactly, are you trying to do? Most people believe they have clear and specific goals, but in my experience, most are far too vague. People want to earn "more" or weigh "less." They want to be "happy" or "fit" or have a "more loving family." These things are too general to motivate us and fail to guide our daily actions.
Instead, be clear about how much money you want to make, and how soon! Exactly what do you want to weigh? How do you define and measure "fitness?" What, exactly does "happy" mean? What does it look like?
Ask and answer a handful of these questions and you fulfill the first essential for success. What, exactly, do you want? How will you measure your success?
2. A Path to Get You There
Success requires a precise, methodical strategy or path to "get there." Your plan must be feasible. When you explain it to friends, they should exclaim, "I wish I'd thought of that!" It should be easy, do-able, and practical.
When your path is clear, practical, and fun, you'll naturally follow it. In fact, the excitement and challenge of the journey becomes it's own reward and the issue of "motivation" is half-solved! All you have to do is "paint by the numbers" or "follow instructions" to know you'll succeed! A clear easy-to-follow path is the second essential for change.
3. Lots of Internal and External Motivation
Change is a journey into the unknown. It means creating a "new you!" Of course there will be doubts, surprises, set-backs, and failures along the way. What did you expect? If your goal is worth doing, it's going to be difficult at times.
When you find that something is harder than you dreamed or didn't work like you expected, you'll need internal motivation that pulls, pushes, and drives you forward! You need to pick yourself up, brush yourself off and try again. Only a heart-felt DESIRE will do that! Discipline and determination, even pride, are not enough. Only DESIRE will keep you going forward.
And you'll also need external REASONS. You'll need cheerleaders, coaches, family and friends to cheer you on, give you better ideas, and encourage you! No major success happens without the "fans in the stands" cheering you along. When you're tired and frustrated, it's the external motivation that makes all the difference!
And finally, you'll need a big IDEA. For me, IDEA stands for: Intelligent Daily Effective ACTION!
Random action won't do it. Hard work, by itself, won't do it. Periodic short bursts of effort won't do it. Only INTELLIGENT (smart, well-thought-through), DAILY (persistent, continuous), EFFECTIVE ACTION will get you there!
Winning football teams know this. That's why two-a-day practices are so popular. That's why they lift weights, run plays over and over, study video, have a game-plan, and hire the best coaches they can find. A clear goal, a good plan, and effective motivation, coupled with Intelligent, Daily, Effective ACTION gets the job done.
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