Thursday, January 1, 2009

Are You Ready to Make a Difference?

The secret of success in life is for a man to be ready for opportunity when it comes.
--Benjamin Disraeli (1804–1881) British prime minister and novelist

I don't think high achievers necessarily know all the steps they need to take to achieve their goals. I read an account of Amazon's founder Jeff Bezos, who years ago worked on a project to decide which product would best sell online. The model he drew his initial conclusions from, was the retail catalog industry. If you're old enough to remember what it was like to get a dozen lovely catalogues in the mail, you may have trouble recalling any book catalogues, unless it was a special book niche, like for homeschoolers. Nevertheless, he built an incredibly successful online company without knowing in advance that Amazon would transform the retail book industry.

One of my lessons for 2008 was precisely this: you can drive from Atlanta to New York without seeing the whole road. You can even get their in fog and darkness, seeing only a few hundred yards in front of you at a time.

Now one could argue that one does have a map to guide you on the road trip, while the maps for success in life are not so clear. How many times have we wished for the divine to send us a detailed blueprint of what we're supposed to do in our lives?

The truth is, the blueprint may be there, but you haven't taken time to take a close look at it. The reality of a lifetime of achievement, is that the map exists for who you are, not for what you do. Actions are vitally important, but they follow from the person you are.

As you are well aware, Mixonian loves to assign homework, so here's your task for today: Think about the kind of person you want to be. You are mostly there already, but everyone has areas they wish to polish, that's essentially our lifework. If you're not sure what kind of person you want to be, consider what kind of person achieves the goals that you would like to achieve.

For example, what kind of person has her own creative service business? What kind of person earns enough income to be present with his family? What kind of person enjoys a debt-free peace of mind? What kind of person is fit?

I think it was Aristotle who said something like (how's that for specific?): The thought determines the action, the action determines the habit, the habit determines the destiny.

Be yourself of course, but be your best self. Then, not only will you be ready for an opportunity, you'll be able to recognize that golden chance to make an impact.