Archive for the ‘Change’ Category

DESTINY – Seven Keys to Making Your Destiny a Reality

Wednesday, August 12th, 2009

Every single human being has a special and particular destiny that they were born to make a reality. In my book, Battling for Your Prophetic Desiny, I have written at length about specific strategies that can be utilized in making one’s destiny come alive. I recently developed an acronym that captures seven essential things that we can all do to make our destinies a reality. These thoughts form the acronym DESTINY:

Determine your true passions

You have to find out exactly what makes you tick. Many people stop pursuing their true passions when they get a job. A job is your pre-occupation while your true passions are your true occupation. What gets you excited? Perhaps one of the hindrances to finding our true passions is limited imagination. Edmund Burke once said, “There is a boundary to men’s passions when they act from feelings; but none when they are under the influence of imagination”. Allow your imagination to unveil new passions that will enable you to stretch yourself.

Embrace your assignment

Your true passions will reveal to you your assignment. Your assignment is that which you are meant to accomplish with your life that few others will be able to do as well as you could. Every human being has the capability of expertise. What are your talents? Your talents are the key to your potential and purpose. Use your talents to unleash all you can be, do and have. What do you enjoy doing most? That could be your assignment. Knowing your assignment in life is more important than finding a job.

Start right NOW!

Life is lived in the now. Most people’s undoing is that they live either in the past or in the future and experience very little of the now. The company that you’ve always dreamt of starting, start it right now! That song that you always wanted to compose, write it right now! Myles Munroe once said, “The richest place in the world is the cemetery, because there are people there who died with books that were never written, songs that were never sung and companies that were never started.” You’ve got to commit to living in the now! That incident that’s been lingering in your mind for months, let it go right now! Move on and experience the fullness of what life has for you.

Transform your thinking

Your thinking sets the pace for your doing. Thinking makes a great difference. You can’t experience greatness if you continue to think in the same manner that you have always thought. Don’t allow yourself to get stuck in the rut of bad or poor thinking. Elevate your thinking by associating with good thinkers. This can be accomplished in many different ways – through reading their books, face-to-face contact with people that spur your thinking, listening to audio-books or watching educational video or TV.

Identify your strengths

Winners play to their strengths. If you are going to be massively successful in life you have to start that journey of identifying your strengths. This will not only expose you to your potential but it will also aid in constructing your character. As you identify your strengths, you will definitely uncover some opportunities for improvement in many areas of your life. Strengthen your areas that need improvement and you are well on your way to a great destiny. Don’t play safe, play to your strengths. That is the key to having great outcomes in life.

Notify key personnel

You need a circle of support around you that will motivate, support and keep you accountable. Share your dreams with them. Allow them to challenge you towards realizing your full potential. They may be the key to your ability to move to the next level. Find trusted people who will become your inner circle of confidence. Build a team of people around you who will encourage you to expand your sights. Never under-estimate the power of your close associates. People who achieve greatly in life have mastered the art of notifying key people around them what they are working on and allowing these people to be encouragers of their pursuits.

Yoke with thought leaders

Someone once said that who you become five years from today is determined by the books you read and the company you keep. You have to be strategic about the environment that you invest your time in. Last month I had a post here in which I explored different dimensions of bad company and good company. I think it’s worth revisiting and really taking a good look at. Associate with thought leaders and your life will improve greatly. You can make that destiny that you dream of a reality!  

Thinking Makes A Difference

Saturday, August 1st, 2009

Human beings are so designed such that they move forward based on the quality of their thinking. If our thinking is stagnant then our growth will be stunted! One of the things that keeps many people at the same level is herd-think – they go with the masses instead of using their quality of thinking to chart out a path that is truly theirs. A few years ago I enjoyed reading John C. Maxwell’s book, Thinking for a Change, which helps in developing that ability to think efficiently and correctly. I had already been practicing some of the concepts he developed in the book but he added superb insight to my understanding of the essence of good thinking. Three of his ideas stood out:

1. Good Thinking Creates the Foundation for Good Results

What do you want to achieve in life? The key to that will be in developing a reservoir of good thoughts that are well implemented. Your progress in life is directly proportional to the quality of your thoughts.

2. Good Thinking Increases Your Potential

Many of the thought leaders I have come to respect have been great proponents of the need to understand and pursue one’s full potential in life. Potential is simply the capacity that a person has for effectiveness in life. We can all attain our potential as we begin to elevate our thinking. Good thinking increases the level of results one can expect in life.

3. Good Thinking Produces More Good Thinking IF . . . You Make It a Habit

Nothing dominates life more than a habit. As you practice good thinking, you develop a foundation from which you can continue to harvest even better thinking. Internationally respected leadership authority, Stephen Covey, explains that we cannot face the challenges of today with the responses of yesterday. We have to continually raise our response – it takes a habit of good thinking to do that.

Will you climb out of the pile or will you stay rooted in it? As you climb out of the pile, remember the story of the crabs in a bucket. As one tries to climb out, the others will, without question, try to pull it back in. But know this one thing, there are encourager who will make themselves available to push you out of the pile and I’m one of them.

Nurturing Your Seeds of Potential and Promise

Monday, June 1st, 2009

I once read a quote that I’ve enjoyed requoting over the years. I don’t know who gave us the quote (might have been some wise wag like Socrates, or something) but here it is: “A new idea is delicate. It can be killed by a sneer or a yawn; it can be stabbed to death by a quip and worried to death by a frown on the right man’s brow.”Ideas are seeds of potential and promise. Careful nurturing of ideas leads to breakthroughs and success. Poor nurturing results in a failure of not knowing what might have been. I grew up on a farm in the Western region of Kenya. We had lots of chicken and one of my favorite tasks was collecting eggs after they had been laid. Eggs for me have always symbolized ideas – you drop them and they are gone. It’s very hard to salvage a dropped egg. I’ve seen some people scoop it up and still use it but by that time it’s already a mess that not worth saving.

Well after the eggs had been laid, I would go around and collect them into a nice padded bucket. Some of the eggs would go to the market right away and others would be carefully selected and put aside so that the hen can brood on them at the opportune moment. There are some eggs that are usually ready to go to the market soon after they are generated. These eggs don’t last long in the market. After a short while they get cooked and eaten. But there are those eggs which are brooded on by the mother hen. These eggs usually hatch into beautiful chicks which become the hope of the future of poultry population.

Now, think about your ideas. Are you sending them to the market too early or brooding on them? Do you want to add value or to multiply value? Which one is more preferable to you: making profits or reaching pure potential? Learn to nurture your ideas and your ”brooded on” idea will become the seed of pure potential. 

Optimistic Leadership

Friday, April 17th, 2009

No man demonstrated greater leadership in the 20th Century than Nelson Mandela – that icon of a man who was jailed for more than twenty years yet stayed focused and came out to break apartheid’s back, becoming his country’s first black president. In his book, Long Walk to Freedom, Mandela has a quote that I have always enjoyed reading. He says,

“I am fundamentally an optimist. Whether that comes from nature of nurture, I cannot say. Part of being optimistic is keeping one’s head pointed toward the sun, one’s feet moving forward. There were many moments when my faith in humanity was sorely tested, but I would not and could not give myself up to despair. That way lay defeat and death“. (p. 377)

Leaders face many unique situations. There are times when their vision is clouded by present circumstances and it is so easy to give up and throw in the towel. There are times when even driving the process of change becomes a weary task and their motives and judgements are brought into question. All leaders experience those times when they are surrounded by situations that don’t seem to align with their purposes and plans. It is in those situations that true leaders thrive. True leadership demands an optimistic attitude. If you are going to achieve that which you set out for, you must stay focused and continue to believe in the vision. That is the key to success as a leader. 

The Traits of a Winner

Friday, April 3rd, 2009

There are many different traits that are essential for a better life but when it comes to truly winning in life, there are three crucial traits that one must embody. These are knowledge, passion and humor. Let’s take a quick look at each of these: 

Knowledge

Knowledge is the key quality that enables a man or woman to realize his or her true personal potential. Knowledge sets one apart since it enables you to demonstrate higher capacities and capabilities. The difference between one’s current state and a future desired state is normally bridged by the quality of one’s knowledge. Knowledge lifts you up from the pit to the pinnacle of your desires. 

Passion

Passion separates between the committed and the non-committed. Passion is the one essential quality that enables the realization of dreams and desires. Passion births zealous commitment in an individual and enables him or her to stay focused on the quest for a better life. All revolutions throughout the history of mankind have always been brought about by passion individuals.

Humor

Humor is an essential trait because it provides us with the motivation to continue striving through situations that may not fully be desirable. Having a sense of humor about life is essential. Fun, excitement, enjoyment, laughter and happiness are key pieces in teh puzzle of life. Life offers us many unique experiences and challenges. Humor enables us to ride these unique experiences and challenges without losing motivation.  

Your Potential and Capacity is Unlimited!

Friday, March 20th, 2009

We have a saying in Kenya that “A granary cannot be pushed into a hut”. This saying has been upper-most in my thoughts this week as I looked at the idea of personal potential in the light of current capacity and the limitations that surround it. We all face moments when our ability to perform is limited by current structures that pose immense threat to the vision within us. What is one to do in those situations?

A granary is a storehouse for grain. It symbolizes the fruit of one’s labor, or the yield of one’s hard work. A hut on the other hand is a dwelling of simple construction that is the common living area for many in African rural areas. Most huts are usually made of mud and have grass thatched roofs. Granaries on the other hand are made of wood and have tin/aluminium roofs.

Let us think of organizations. Robert Schuller once said that “You can’t fire a missile from a canoe”. A leader’s vision for his organization may sometimes be limited by current structures in the organization. There are also times when vision may be limited by structures that are not present within the organization. The organization’s objectives too play a great role in determining the results that will be yielded. There must be a solid foundation that ensures that any goals pursued will be achieved satisfactorily. A granary cannot be pushed into a hut.

How then do we ensure that our output will be measurable to our input without having to demolishing our present structures? How do we develop a system that allows us to fire missiles from canoes without toppling over into the water?

Every vision needs to be strengthened by the underlying philosophies and values that guide the organization. You can’t expect to achieve a big vision when the guiding philosophies do not match up to the vision. You cannot expect to accomplish great things when your strategy is flawed. Here are some ideas that can enable you to secure an output that is worthy of your input:

1. Have a Mission that matches your Vision

A company’s daily undertakings need to fit into the bigger picture of it’s ultimate objectives. Many organizations have dropped the ball by engaging in activities that are outside the range of the company vision. Vision is guarded by staying on the key path that is aligned with the company mission. Do this and you will be able to fire missiles from your canoe. I guarantee it!

2. Develop Goals that align with your Philosophy

Company philosophy is crucial to the outcomes and output of an organization. Your goals should align with the values that the company holds dearest. Every organization needs to clarify what it is that it holds as fundamental to it’s existence. Enron failed because the leader’s activities veered off the course of the company’s core values. Your have to hold onto your core values. Do this and your granary may be able to fit into your hut.

3. Create a Strategy that builds on your Accomplishments

Strategy is the key to building value in an organization. Value is measured by an organization’s accomplishments. The more a company accomplishes, the more it acquires a competitive advantage over other companies within that industry. Strategy therefore is key to the long-term existence of a company.

These three keys, applied in an orderly manner, will not only ensure that you fire missiles from your canoe but also that your granary fits into your hut.

Personal Growth Starts Within

Friday, March 6th, 2009

Personal growth has always been a key topic when it comes to realizing personal potential. The truth is that if you don’t grow, you will go. Personal growth is a necessity in today’s world.  The secret to any person’s future is hidden in their level of commitment to personal growth and development. This is particularly true for leaders. It’s your “inner” growth which sets the pace for your “outer” leadership. Here are some principles which can generate a life of continued growth:

1. Have a personal growth plan

Growth is not automatic. You have to make a conscious effort to commit to a daily growth plan. This could include reading books that enhance your understanding of your chosen field, listening to tapes and audio-books that elevate your understanding and subscribing to websites or newsletters that enhance your insight. This has to be a personal commitment. There’s a proverb that goes, “You’ve got to do your own growing no matter how tall your grandfather is”. Make that commitment. Develop a personal growth plan.

2. Stay out of your comfort zone

There’s a quote I learnt in college that I really like. Ron Osbourne said, “Unless you try to do something beyond what you have already mastered, you will never grow”. Many people get stuck in the rut of ”same old, same old”. You’ve got to stretch and expand yourself. Do something new. Do it in a different way. Some wag oce said that insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. Stay out of that comfort zone. Comfort creates ease and ease is the greatest enemy of growth.

3. Grow for who you will be, not what you will get

You need a proper focus if your growth is to go the distance. You can’t just have the goal of acquiring stuff because once you acquire your motivation will wane. Growth should be geared towards becoming a better person, living a better life. Grow to become, not to have. Growth brings good things; good things don’t bring growth. It is more important to be a better person than to have better things. We win in life by being better people, not by having the biggest and the best of stuff. True success is really an intangible thing – it’s the quality of person that you are.   

Maintaining “Flux” During Shifting Times

Thursday, November 27th, 2008

A few years ago (actually seven years ago) I made a commitment to certain personal objectives. I came up with fifty dimensions of intent which I penned in a book that I wrote for myself and titled, “My Life Vision”. One of my intentions (please review the article on Serendipity and Synchronicity from December 23) is to embrace a state of constant shift and flux in my life as I pursue my destiny.

The word shift means to change; for example to shift gears in an automobile from one ratio to another. It can also mean to move; for example to transfer from one place, position, direction, etc. Flux, on the other hand, means continuous change, passage or movement. It may also mean a constant flow. Life is in constant flow and we must learn to change in order to attain the better life. Embracing change and being open to movement is a sign of great maturity and understanding of the processes of life. In order to attain true significance, our attitude should be: “shift happens … flux is fun“. As we enter into 2008, my primary objective is to embrace great changes and allow the flow of life to lead me towards a higher dimension of my destiny.   

Organizations thrive or flounder in seasons of flux. Leaders must therefore be masters at navigating shifting winds. Organizations themselves also need to shift leaders and people around every so often (… insanity is doing the same thing – or having the same people doing the same things – all the time yet expecting different results). Flux is fun! Shift happens!

Breaking Through Barriers That May Limit Your Potential

Tuesday, February 26th, 2008

We all experience moments in life when obstacles seem to crowd our goals and aspirations. Whether you are a leader of an organization, an employee in a department, a small-business owner, a student, the President or even just a regular guy, we have all experienced many barriers to our goals. I’ve seen so many people with great dreams that would add tremendous value to society but every time they try to plug into their dreams, they get knocked down by societal barriers.

Regardless of your situation or status in life, I want you to know that you can smash any barriers that hinder your life goals and your organization’s direction. I know this full well because my life has been about smashing barriers. I come from a community that is not well regarded in terms of access to higher positions in my country – Kenya. I was denied the opportunity to come to the United States four times before I finally got the Visa. I came to this country with a big dream and only $140 in my pocket. Imagine all the barriers I have had to surmount in order to get to where I am now. When I told people that I wanted to speak for a living, a lot of them said, “You are barking up the wrong tree, son. You’ve got a heavy African accent, no money, no contacts, ….how do you ever expect to do this?” Well, I didn’t have to know the “how” since I had a solid “why”. My passion has been one – to help people – and that is why barriers are getting smashed as I begin to slice the frontiers of developing people and empowering them to live a better life. Here are some ideas:

Three Core Hammers for Smashing Through Barriers

1. Generate a Solid Idea of Your Life Purpose

Purpose is the key to understanding the “why” of life. When you know what your purpose is, you will not lose heart in the face of obstacles and barriers. Understanding purpose enables you to stay committed and motivated towards pursuing your goals. Purpose produces passion and that is essential in overcoming challenges. Leaders in organizations need to have a clear picture of what the organization’s purpose is.

2. Develop an Enduring Vision

Lots of people have vision but very few stick to it when barriers come their way. If you will smash through barriers, you need to have an enduring vision. The United States as a country has come through many generations of challenges because of an enduring vision that was cast by the founding fathers. I succeeded in finally being able to come to the United States because I had an enduring vision.

3. When Knocked Down, Get Back Up!

I like reading biographies. One of the stories I have enjoyed so much was that of Abraham Lincoln. Lincoln had a steady stream of barriers throughout his life and he smashed through all of them. Look at this:

In 1816 his family was forced out of their home. He had to work to support them. In 1818 his mother died. In 1831 he failed in business. In 1832 he ran for state legislature and lost. In 1832 he lost his job and wanted to go to law school but couldn’t get in.In 1833 he borrowed money from a friend to begin a business and by the end of the next year he was bankrupt. He spent the next 17 years of his life paying off this debt. In 1834 he ran for state legislature again and won. In 1835 he was engaged to be married. His sweetheart died and his heart was broken. In 1836 he had a total nervous breakdown and was in bed for six months. In 1838 he sought to become speaker of the state legislature but was defeated. In 1840 he sought to become elector but was defeated. In 1843 he ran for congress and lost. In 1846 he ran for congress again. This time he won, went to Washington and did a good job.In 1848 he ran for reelection to congress and lost. In 1849 he sought the job of land officer in his home state and was rejected. In 1854 he ran for Senate of the United States but lost. In 1856 he sought the Vice-Presidential nomination at his party’s convention and got less that 100 votes. In 1858 he ran for US Senate again – again, he lost. In 1860 he was elected President of the United States.

My! That’s a long list of barriers for just one single guy! But you know what? He had purpose and vision plus he got back up each time he was knocked down. You can do it too! Let’s smash through barriers!

Here’s a helpful resource:

Battling for your Prophetic Destiny is packed with insight on how you can conquer every barrier as you pursue your purpose. Your destiny is secure!

Becoming a Meaningful Specific Rather Than a Wandering Generality

Tuesday, February 19th, 2008

One of the quotes that had great impact on my life when I was in college was Zig Ziglar’s famous question, “Are you a meaningful specific or a wandering generality?” This quote came to mind as I was thinking about the ingredients that make a life of purpose, direction and productivity. A keen study of the lives of people who excel will reveal that the main ingredient for their success is usually one thing: passion. Their dedication to a cause, belief in people and commitment to living their best life come from their passion. They find the one thing they really enjoy doing, then do it with passion. Passion is the key ingredient to success. 

Where does passion come from? How can we use it to become meaningful specifics? Passion is born out of desire – having a dream, vision or longing to see something different from a current situation. What do you see in your future? What’s your dream? Martin Luther King Jnr. was a very passionate man because he had a dream for racial equality. Princess Diana had a passion for charity work because she wanted to see a better world. Your passion will enable you to soar from obscurity and into the limelight. Your passion will enable you to realize something greater than yourself. Your passion will enable you to be a meaningful specific. 

Passion is effective when it is birthed from the inside. You must be motivated intrinsically. You cannot exhibit passion on the outside when deep down you are shallow. You’ve got to cultivate it deep within yourself. That comes by immersing yourself wholeheartedly into pursuing your vision or dream. Here are two key things that generate passion:

a). Relentless Dedication – In order to become a meaningful specific, you must be relentlessly dedicated to making your dream come true. What are you doing on a daily basis that is adding value to your ability to fully become who you were born to be? Are you being true to the voice within you that is calling you to perform at your optimum level?

b). Steady Focus – Steady Focus comes from always having your vision right in front of you. Think about why you have immense success driving every day – the windshield is right in front of you and you are always looking out through it! It’s the same thing with your dream. You must keep it right in front of you. There are many ways that you can do this. Write it down and recite it throughout the day. Design your environment to remind you of your vision every day.

Equipping People With the Skills for Leading Change

Tuesday, February 12th, 2008

When I was in college I was elected chairman of a club on campus that was composed of students who were eager to develop and grow their leadership. One of my very first tasks was to change certain initiatives and processes that the group had operated by. As I did this, I discovered that there were five key things that worked so well.

1. Communicating Clear Vision

Success in handling change boils down to how well the vision for change has been communicated. The vision needs to be rational and understandable to constituents. This brings about a sense of shared purpose and makes it easier to initiate actions to achieve that purpose.

2. Giving People Authority to Move in the New Direction

Once people have bought into the new vision, they need to be given the authority to implement it. Vision brings responsibility. Responsibility without authority causes frustration. People need to know that they have the authority to implement the new direction within clearly stated guidelines.

3. Aligning ‘Structures’ to the Vision

All the information that people recieve, the personnel that work with them and the systems that are used to drive the mission must be aligned to the vision. This ensures that any actions taken in implementing and executing the vision are not blocked. Vision is delicate and without a proper alignment of all structures, it can result in disaster. 

4. Providing the Right Skills and Attitudes

Nothing empowers people more than proper and relevant training. Without the right skills and attitudes people feel disempowered. Training should be built upon the current skills and attributes of your people. The focus should be on expanding them so that they can handle the change and lead it effectively. 

5. Confronting those who Undercut the Change

Nothing disempowers people the way a bad boss or manager can. Change causes friction but it can result in disaster when key people undercut it. When confronting such people start on a positive note. Clearly outline the problem and encourage a response. Show that you understand their position and explain why their actions are wrong. Indicate the desired action and reiterate the positive aspects of the person. 

Change: The 3 D’s That Can Lead to Disaster

Friday, January 11th, 2008

Change is a constant. You can’t step into the same river twice. People need to understand that change is part of life. Most people struggle with handling change because it causes the 3 D’s – discomfort, disruption and dislocation. A crucial part of the process of handling change will involve helping people handle the dis’s and get pluses out them. Let us explore how we can do that:

Discomfort – Change requires difficult adjustments by people. Adjustments can cause stress and bring tension to groups. In some cases change has been known to lead to depression in some people and a mutiny from others. Uncertainty about the results of the change can bring fatigue and frustration. The key to avoiding all this is to ensure that people know in advance what to expect and how to deal with it. The discomfort of change can be prevented by preparing people adequately for the coming changes.

Disruption – When significant changes are made, some people experience personal pain at the loss of familiar things to which they had become very attached. This can be a source of great trauma. Leaders can help people by allowing them to verbalize their sense of loss and grief, and then gently pointing them to the benefits of the change and the bright new future ahead of them.

Dislocation – Any change, whether it involves new strategies, new programs, new equipment, new work procedures, new facilities, new management practices or new leaders, disrupts an existing order and leads to discontinuity. In a time of change, leaders should frequently explain what is happening and keep their people informed. People will be more optimistic if they know the change is progressing successfully. Leaders should frequently communicate what steps have been initiated, what changes have been completed and what resulting improvements have occurred.

Handling these three dis’s appropriately will be the key to avoiding the dreaded dis of change – disaster! People must be helped through change seasons, otherwise they will see a lack of help as a sign of impending disaster within the group.

From Visionary to Vibrationary Living

Saturday, January 5th, 2008

In many leadership and personal development circles today, people talk about the need for vision and why it’s important to craft a personal vision for life. While this is great, few address the need to go beyond having a vision to acting on the vision. A Japanese proverb says that vision without action is a daydream; action without vision is a nightmare. I have come to prefer the term, being vibrationary to being visionary. The difference between visionary and vibrationary living is that whereas in visionary living, our path is guided and directed by the power of a compelling desire propelled by a glimpse of the future while in vibrationary living, we discern trends and read the pulse of society, enabling us to respond to the heartbeat of the real needs of people. Understanding the heartbeat of human need is more powerful than any vision we could ever have.

If we are going to be precise in the New Year, we must transition from visionary living to vibrationary living. A New Year requires a New Strategy. I suggest that we start responding to the needs of society rather than sitting in our own ‘vision cubicles’ to develop our own ideas.

Transitioning from vision to vibration is in essence shifting our focus from seeing to hearing. While it is essential that we be able to see where the needs are in society, it is also important that our ears be well turned up to be able to hear what the people are saying and what is vibrating in their hearts. This means that our ears should be close to the heart of the society. Sound is a series of vibrations moving as waves through air. Ringing a bell for example, sets off vibrations in the air. Detection of these vibrations or sound waves is called hearing. It is essential to understand how the ear works. Humans hear by bone conduction or primarily by detecting airborne sound waves, which are collected by the auricles. The auricles help locate the direction of sound. Then one turns to focus on the direction. Therefore hearing comes before seeing.

This transition will require a change from structure to rhythm. This will require a greater degree of sensitivity to the needs of society. Making the transition from visionary living to vibrationary living will require that we change from critical thinking to modulating. Make the big transition.

Planning Ahead Trumps Making Resolutions

Friday, December 28th, 2007

It’s that time of the year again when people make new resolutions. I would like to suggest a different focus that I believe should also deliver tremendous results in 2007. How about learning to PLAN AHEAD. I have never made any new year resolutions since 1999 when I learnt about the need to PLAN AHEAD from the works of John Maxwell. Here are some thoughts on what has kepy me on track with my personal goals:

Pre-determine a course of action

This essentially means having a vision for your life. Visualizing that which you intend to attain is the first step towards being successful in pursuing it. You need to have a concise end for which you can measure your progress against. Develop a vision which will be your pre-determined course of action.

Layout your goals

Once you have pre-determined a course of action, the next step is to break it down into specific goals that can be realized. To empower your vision you need to write it down and define it clearly. Laying out your goals enables you to harness the power of visualization.

Adjust your priorities

You will need to make some changes in the new year if you hope to make it a different year from the past. This will mean being open to adjusting your priorities. Priorities are the pathway to success. Making adjustments is the key to reaching your goals.

Notify key people

We all have circles of support around us. In order to accomplish your goals you need to find those people who affirm your positive goals and share your goals with them. These people will encourage you, motivate you and keep you on the path towards success.

Allow time for your plans

Many times when we set goals we expect them to be realized within a certain time frame. While it is essential to set deadlines, we should never get married to the deadlines. Timelines should motivate us to work smartly towards our goals. If your goals are not attained within the timelines you set, don’t quit. Set new timelines and stay motivated.  

Head into action

Action is the first step towards achievement. A journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step. Head into action. Inch by inch it’s a cinch. Action must start now! The greatest enemy of success is procrastination. In order to achieve your dreams you must be action-oriented.

Expect problems

Every endeavor that has ever been worth pursuing has always had it’s problems and challenges. Problems are a sign that you are on the right track. The absence of problems is very likely a sign that something is wrong. Problems should never cause you to lose sight of your ultimate goals. They should be a call towards being more creative.

Always point to your successes

It is easy to lose motivation when failure sets in. The key to staying focused is in pointing to your already realized successes. Your track record of past successes is the springboard for your future achievements. When failure threatens your progress, embrace the confidence that comes from your record of past achievements.

Daily review your planning

Planning is a dynamic process. Plans should be reviewed on a daily basis to ensure that you are on the right track. You must be open to changing your plans daily. Flexibility is the key to success. You must be able to revisit your plans every day. Nothing ever dominates life unless it happens daily. It is the daily habit of reviewing your plans that will determine whether you realize them or not.

For 2008, make a quality decision that you will not make any resolutions, but you will PLAN AHEAD. I’m rooting for you!

Intentional Accidents: Serendipity and Synchronicity in Life

Sunday, December 23rd, 2007

Dr. Mark J. Chironna has a little booklet titled, Tripping Over Your Treasures, that I have always enjoyed reading. He starts off by explaining the meaning of the word serendipity, saying that dreams are arrived at quite accidentally yet when one is being intentional. It may seem like a contradiction but I find this to be extremely true. When I was planning on my coming to the United States in 2001, I was very intentional about the whole process but my actual leaving of Kenya came accidentally! I also find that there is one more thing that contributes to the realization of dreams: synchronicity. Synchronicity is the coincidence of events that seem to be meaningfully related. I met my wife because of synchronicity. We had both signed up for the same elective course in college. Who would have thought that an elective course in school would bring two people together! 

The word serendipity was created by Sir Horace Walpole in 1754 after having read a Persian fairy tale, The Three Princes of Serendip. In this tale, three sons of a King were always on their way somewhere only to bump into things accidentally on purpose that helped them along the way to their next stop.  As I was thinking about this, I started seeing that in my own life I have ‘bumped’ into people and things who helped me along the way. I would never have learnt about the Honor Academy in Texas had I not volunteered to go with some American missionaries to a remote village in Northern Kenya. In Texas, I met a friend who introduced me to the family that helped me move to Colorado. While in Colorado and later in Massachussets I pursued a great friendship with a classmate at Regent University. This led to our marriage in 2004. That’s a lot of serendipity! 

The American College Dictionary defines serendipity as the faculty of making desirable but unsought-for discoveries by accident. Synchronicity on the other hand is meaningful coincidences that cannot be explained by cause and effect. Both of these words invite us to experiencing deeper lives full of meaning and richness. Let the old pass and welcome into the new. The best is yet to come! May 2008 be full of synchronicity and serendipity for you!  

The Wisdom of Changing Before You Have To

Friday, September 7th, 2007

Life is in constant flow. Change is happening every day, all day, all around us. There are different aspects of change that we go through in our journey through life. There are those changes that we plan for and then there are those that are unplanned for. There are changes that change us and then there are those that have no impact on our lives. There is change that is multi-dimensional, cutting through many areas of our lives, and then there is change that affects only one aspect of our lives.

All these different facets of change reveal to us that change will always be with us. What matters is whether we have any control over the changes that are happening in and around us. The key to successfully navigating change is in our ability to be strategic about change. Having a strategy means being wise enough to change before we have to. Yes, there are changes that force us to change and then there are changes that we put in place to ensure that we are leading the process of change. Every human being has that ability to lead change in his or her personal life.

If we are going to change before we have to, we must lead change in our lives. This begins with being open to new ideas. The process of learning and adapting to new things enables us to have a sort of malleability that allows us to be stretched, extended and shaped without breaking. Changes that force you to change can easily break you. Changes that you initiate cannot break you because you are driving and leading the process of change. Strategic change gives you an elasticity that enables you to grow in measured steps that increase your potential and capacity in life.

The world will always be changing. If you limit yourself to what you knew and what you were comfortable with earlier in your life, you will grow increasingly frustrated with your surroundings as you age. This is because everything will be changing about you but you will be stagnant and unable to flow with the changes. People who live with an “I’ve-arrived-mentality” usually buckle up when life pressures them in areas that have not been developed. Being wise enough to continually embrace change and grow in all areas of life is the mark of a golden life (Gold is the most malleable metal).

If you will make your mark in life, you must embrace the wisdom of changing before you have to. Having a strategic plan for changing consistently is the first step towards this. For a strategic step-by-step plan for changing before you have to please look at my post from December 28, 2006: Forget Resolutions … plan ahead!