The future can be scary or secure depending upon a lot of factors. Some of these situations you control, while others, not. There are three basic situations that dictate your actions.
- Situations that you control. You make the decision and are accountable for the outcome. Other people are affected by your decision and may try to sway your judgment.
- Situations that you can influence. You have the ability to alter someone else’s decision through your persuasive powers, usually around new or compelling information.
- Situations that you have no control or influence. You are helpless to affect the decision, whether it’s the right or wrong one, and are bound by the outcome.
Take a few minutes and examine your professional and personal life to identify those critical areas that may affect your future. These elements determine your direction and goals. Assess each one and categorize them into one of the three elements of Control, Influence, or No Control or Influence. You now have the basic elements to design your future. Here are some steps that may get you closer.
VISION– What is the ultimate goal of your vision? What does it look like? Describe your vision in detail. Use this “vision-picture” to find others who have already achieved your vision. The ones who “get it” are the ones who will most support your efforts as you move forward.
AIDES – What resources are required to assist your journey: People, financial support, education, prior experiences, mentors, certifications, others? How do you align the support you need to the tasks that are required? What steps have others taken to achieve your goal?
DO YOUR HOMEWORK– Research your vision. What industries, organizations or companies are looking for people like you? Do you fit their requirements? What do you need to do in order to be an attractive candidate? What do future trends say? Are you in sync?
IDENTIFY IMPEDIMENTS– What impediments do you see? Are they immovable or can they be overcome? Are there resources or strategies to remove those impediments? Who can help overcomer them? Do you have the tenacity to break through the impediments?
DEVELOP A STEP-BY-STEP STRATEGY– Create a roadmap from where you are, to where you ultimately want to be. Break it down into small steps that are achievable each year, then 5, 10 or 20 year period. The shorter the timeline, the bigger each step is required.
ASSIGN REASONABLE BENCHMARKS AND TIMELINES– Determine how long each step will take to reach each benchmark. Build a timeline that is reasonable and attainable. Track your achievements against your benchmarks and timeline. Accelerate when necessary.
IMPLEMENT STEP ONE– Begin your journey and move toward completing the first step toward your goal. Sometimes you can jump ahead a step or two. Adjust your plan as you move forward. Be determined and focused on your ultimate goal.
“If you don’t know where you’re going, any road’ll take you there” credited to George Harrison of the Beatles
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