A couple of months ago I ran across this article written by Bob Proctor. Bob made some really good points in this article and I thought it was worth sharing.
I like the analogy he uses for planning his trip from Toronto to Gatlinburg. That is a very long trip and would be really overwhelming if Bob had not broken that long trip into a collection of smaller trips. As a side note, I have been to Gatlinburg, TN. I took a ghost tour there around Halloween a few years ago. It is a very beautiful small town in a very beautiful part of Tennessee. Definitely worth traveling to.
This same idea works with our dreams and goals. When you are trying to figure out what your dreams are, you shouldn’t have any limitations on them. The dreams you make your own can be anything you want them to be and being realistic does not need to be one of the requirements. When it comes to the goals you set to get there though, need to be realistic. They need to be something that you can attain in a reasonable amount of time. If you make a series of several reasonable goals and are able to accomplish them, you will see that if those goals kept you moving along in achieving that dream you had, that you will be able to accomplish things you might not have realized were possible. If you look at trying to achieve that dream in one process, it can be very overwhelming and your chances of success reduce greatly.
The three rules of thumb that Bob discussed in his article had a lot of relevance in my opinion. Good ideas to apply to this.
Bob talks in the first rule of thumb that you can’t switch it to autopilot. This is so true. Even if you are breaking up the journey into several smaller journeys, it is still imperative that you maintain your focus and efforts daily to keep you moving along that path. When you lose effort and focus, you tend to lose momentum. When you lose momentum, you will slow down the rate of your journey. By doing this you are increasing the chances of getting off the path you have plotted and never getting back on track. This puts achieving your ultimate dream in great jeopardy.
In Bob’s second rule of thumb, he discusses that getting started can be one of the most important things. Don’t make your goals so difficult and overwhelming that you create a fear of failure in yourself and never get started. I would recommend start with some very easy to attain goals to get you started. This gets things going and allows you to achieve some level of success right away. These small successes early on will help keep you motivated when you find yourself working on more difficult goals farther along the journey.
The third rule of thumb is to enjoy the ride. This is the most important one in my opinion. Remember that life is a journey in itself and we are only on this earth for a little while in the grand scheme of things. It is important to enjoy the journey. Don’t get so caught up in the details of what you are doing that you forget to take the time to enjoy what you have accomplished up to that point. Take the time to be thankful that you are able to do what you are doing. Maybe you need to take the time to actually physically detach from what you are doing to go by yourself for a walk to really stop and enjoy what you are doing. Do take the time though. Each day of our life is a gift and even though the journey might be long, don’t lose sight of the amazing, wonderous things you will see along the way!
Fix on Your Vision, Then Plot Your Course
by Bob Proctor
One summer, I had a wedding to attend in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. I had a few days to spare, and my wife and I enjoy each other’s company, so I suggested to Linda that we drive instead of flying. She readily agreed and started collecting the maps we’d need for the trip. As we plotted the course, we would be driving from Toronto to Detroit, Detroit to Cincinnati, Cincinnati to Lexington, Lexington to Louisville and then into Gatlinburg.
We were plotting the vision, you see, to get us from Point A to Point B.
When we got in the car to begin the trip, which city was I thinking of? Detroit. I had to get to Detroit first. If I missed Detroit, there’d be a good chance we wouldn’t find our way to the wedding at all.
Detroit was first on my list—that was my GOAL. After Detroit was accomplished, Cincinnati became my goal, and so on, all the way to my final destination: Gatlinburg, Tennessee.
I’ve had people come up and tell me that they’ve given up on their big dreams because they never seemed to get closer, no matter what they envisioned or tried. The error they’re making is that they’re looking for their Gatlinburg, Tennessee, while they’re still sitting in the driveway in Toronto. In many instances, they’re writing their Gatlinburg goal on a Goal Card I’ve given them, or they’re writing it in a journal somewhere. This is all well and good, but if you’re not also plotting your course to get from where you are to where you want to be, if you’re not figuring out the first goal for Detroit, then following that plotline forward in progressive order, you’re going to end up in Montreal instead.
You’ve GOT to plot the course. Figure out what you need to do between here and there and make those your goals. Once you have the course plotted, though, there are three very distinct rules of thumb I want you to remember.
First, just because you’ve plotted the course doesn’t mean you can put your whole plan on autopilot. When pilots reach cruising altitude, they’ll quite often put the plane on autopilot and let years of genius physics and calculus computations steer the plane toward its destination. But even with autopilot, you’ve got to manually get the plane in the air and manually land it. And even with autopilot, you’ve got to keep an eye on your instruments and pay attention to possible curveballs Mother Nature might toss your way.
You cannot rely on autopilot to get you where you want to go. You have to be personally involved and focused on the process.
Second, don’t get so carried away with the details of plotting the action steps within your vision that you don’t ever get out of your driveway. You know what I’m talking about—you see people around you do it all the time. They get so caught up in planning and charting and graphing their future that they never BEGIN it. This is fear in disguise—that’s all it is. Your plan doesn’t have to be perfect. Get the foundational elements in place and get moving.
Third, don’t be so intent on motoring to Detroit that you miss the scenery along the way. You’re on purpose, you’re on your way, enjoy the journey, for heaven’s sake. After all, that’s what you’re doing this for, isn’t it?