Sunday, March 29, 2009
Defining Your Success-Part 2: Are We There Yet?
The most predictable question that a child will ask while on a seemingly long journey is: "Are we there yet?" Because adults may underestimate a child's ability to grasp the mechanics of travel, they often withhold important details about the trip. Children have to grow into an understanding of time, rates of speed, geography, etc., but the more information that they have, the easier it will be to gain their buy-in. Adults are no different. If people understand where you are going, they will better be able to decide whether they want to support your efforts.
"Success is a journey, not a destination. The doing is often more important than the outcome." -Arthur Ashe
I love this quote by Arthur Ashe. While I agree that the journey is what determines the outcome, it occurs to me that it is critical to know the destination. You must know where you are going first, so that you can devise a plan that details the best way to get there. In other words, you must have a vision for your life. One of my brothers said to me that each of us has a God-given purpose. Once we identify what that is, we should go about the business of formulating a vision for what we want to accomplish during our time on this planet.
Successful people align themselves with those who share the same/similar vision because they recognize the power in the collective efforts of like-minded people. They have a clear vision for their lives and they know how to articulate it to others. If your goal is to become a parent, you wouldn't enter into a relationship with someone who doesn't want children. If your goal is to become an English professor, you shouldn't major in physics. If your goal is to be promoted to a management position at work, it is critical that your supervisor be aware of your aspirations. They must also, however, share your vision and be committed to helping you reach your goal.
Consider all of the relationships that you have. Look at your marriage, family, work, school, social clubs, etc. Ask yourself, "What is my vision for my life? Do the most important relationships that I have support my vision?" This an assessment that we should make every time we consider entering into a new relationship or ponder a new opportunity.
When partnerships dissolve, one of three things has occurred. One partner develops a vision where none existed prior. One's vision has changed. One or both parties discovers that their visions for life are not the compatible. It is critical that both parties be honest and forthright about their intentions. If one chooses to withhold information, the other is forced to make decisions without knowing the big picture. This relationship is doomed to fail. Both parties have a right to know the truth because the lie will hinder both people from reaching their individual destinies. Using someone else's skills and talents for personal gain is unfair. Put all of the cards on the table. The big lesson here is that if there is no shared vision, then go your separate ways. No harm, no foul.
Take some time and discover your true purpose and formulate a vision for your life. Then surround yourself with people who share that vision. If you know where you're at,where you're going, and who's going with you, then you'll never have to ask, "Are we there yet?" again.
Be good to yourself! More next time...