How many times have you set out to do something and you plan carefully and talk about it with such enthusiasm that gets all your hearers excited. In fact people want to be your friend and want to associate with you just because of your great idea. Well, that was a few years ago. The years have come and gone and nothing has changed. You never implemented it and your life did not profit from the idea. In fact to rub it in and add insult to injury, you now see someone else come up with the same idea and to your greatest annoyance they do very well. At this point all you have is the memory of your idea and what could have been.
I see this scenario repeat itself every day in the lives of people and in companies around the world. Many times the problem is not that we do not know what to do. It is that we do not do what we know. For some people they want to wait till they have all the pieces together before starting. Imagine you are driving at night. Visibility is very low and so you have to go very slow. Your headlamps cannot see more than a few meters ahead of you. This does not stop you from driving on. You don’t insist on seeing a few hundred meters. You take the drive one meter at a time.
Similarly in the executing of your dream or strategy there are a few things you must put in place after which you must start. First is a clear understanding of the vision. What is your picture of success? Is it well defined? Do all the parties to the vision understand this? A picture of success serves as a compass for the journey. It gives you what to look forward to. It has the ability to inspire and motivate. Your picture of success should be so vivid that it invokes energy from deep within that you did not know existed. Your picture of success should be greater than your present day experience of success. If your present experience of success surpasses your picture of success in its intensity and ability to motivate you will remain on the same spot. When a woman is ready to give birth do you realize that even the woman cannot stop herself. When that Baby wants to come out, nothing can stop it from coming. Your picture of success has the ability to pull the ‘baby’ out of you. It has the ability to put a smile on your face in the midst of adverse situations. It has the ability to transform your life from the present form to the reality of the picture of success.
Having a picture is however not enough. The picture must be able to inspire the follow up action required. One of the first things that need to be done is the assembling of the team that will work with you. No matter how great you are, you will need people. Suppliers, craftsmen, builders, strategists and every other kind of skill required. This is the stage where a lot of people fail. They select their team emotionally and not strategically. At the onset of a business or venture many people are looking for the cheapest people possible. They soon however realize that cheap is expensive. B Players do not produce A results. A buffalo in the midst of a thousand birds can never develop wings to fly. You need to have an ‘A’ mentality form the beginning that goes for ‘A’ players. It is easier to set the stage and foundation as an A player than to try to convert from a C Player to an A player later. The interesting thing however is that every C player has a place where they will be A Players. I believe in people. I believe that no one was born a fool. People however take up the roles of fools by leaving their minds to market forces. They open their minds to whatever junk is flying by. They don’t stand for something and so they fall for anything. ‘A’ Players however streamline the information that they allow into their minds. A players associate with A players. No matter how lonely a lion gets, it cannot decide to share a quiet evening with a zebra. Similarly, A players like the company of other A Players who will motivate them and serve as inspiration triggers for them.
‘A’ players always have a sense of urgency. If the pressure is not coming from outside, they create it from within. Complacency is a delusion that makes you think that time will wait for you. Many dreams are on the shelf because of procrastination which is another word for complacency. While your picture of success can be an inspiration for you to leapfrog from one form to another, great achievers over time have also realized that they can simulate certain emotions to create that sense of urgency. Feelings of loss of time, loss of money and loss of people are excellent motivators for action. They are great stimulators of urgency. I remember reading a book as a child titled ‘around the world in 80 days. The feeling of urgency made the task possible in 79 days.
Whether by a positive picture or by a simulation of urgency, transformation will only follow action. The best of ideas are worth nothing without the power of action. The fear of failure should not be allowed to stop you. Failure is the external expression of a stagnant mind. It is a mind that sees no way forward. This is why the picture of the destination is crucial. Once you have a destination in mind, and the mind is fertilized with the right information and associations, the mind has no choice but to find a way to get to the destination.
If you cannot fly, run. If you cannot run, walk. If you cannot walk, crawl. Whatever you do, keep moving.