Your FUEL for Growth

In the previous installment, we reassessed and realigned   our “reference group,” or the associations that can help     or hurt us in achieving our goals.

Now we need to talk about the most powerful          influence in your life: the information or input you feed    your mind.

If we want to produce different results in life, we have to    think differently, to nurture a different mindset. As Einstein  said, “We cannot solve our problems with the same  thinking we used when we created them.”

If your thinking is stinking so will your results. What you  think about, you create. This is why all the monumental  classic personal-achievement books have focused on  how you think:Think and Grow Rich, As a Man Thinketh, The Power of Positive Thinking, The Magic of Thinking Big, etc.

You are not what you think you are, but what you think… you are!

The most constant influence of conditioning that affects our lives, our results and our ability to achieve is the information we feed our mind.

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Remain F-L-E-X-I-B-L-E

Have you ever heard the adage, “I will accomplish this even if it kills me”? Well, in my early years of goal setting and achieving… I almost died! I also missed a lot of other opportunities along the way.

I became so focused, so dogmatic about the goals I had set and my specific plans to achieve them that my blinders kept me from 1) seeing easier and faster routes to my destination, and 2) that some of the goals that were important earlier in the year or at the beginning of the decade were less important than I originally believed.

One of the greatest challenges to success is learning how to stay focused on your goals while remaining flexible enough to adapt to needed change.

Your Achievement Management System

Wow! We have covered some incredible ground thus far! You have your ambitious and appropriate goals that are based on your strengths and opportunities and have been whole-life balanced. You know who you want to become, who you want to serve and you have the strategic plan of action to achieve all your worthy goals.

Now it is time to create an execution system to implement your plan in the real world—your world.

Some of the best of intentions and greatest plans have failed because there wasn’t a system of execution to see them through. When it comes down to it, your new plans, your new actions, your new behavior, have to be implemented into your monthly, weekly and ultimately daily routine. A routine is something you do every day without fail… and eventually without thinking about it.

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Your Strategic Plan of Action

The difference between a dream or fantasy and a goal you will achieve is: 1) writing it down (what we have already done) and, 2) outlining a specific plan to achieve the goal (what we will do in this installment).Now it is time to formulate your strategic plan of action.

I explained early on in this series how goals work (you can review here). When you know what you are looking for, it gives your mind a ‘new set of eyes’ to see the world around you. You begin to notice the people, resources and even ideas needed for achieving your goal. But if your goal is defined only by an audacious and distant destination, your mind may be thrown off by elusiveness and ambiguity. It doesn’t know what to look for to help you get there.

To read more from Darren Hardy´s "Designing the best 10 years of your life", klick here


GIVE what you WANT

On your journey to achieving your
goals, this one shift in your mindset
can radically change how the world
around you responds to and receives you.

The process of goal-setting can make you very myopic and ‘ME’-focused. If we really want to get what we want, we have to remember one of the oldest success principles: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” Or as Zig Ziglar puts it: “You can have everything in life that you want if you will just help enough other people get what they want.”

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The MAGIC Factor to Achieving Your Goals

Typically, the first thought that comes to mind after writing down a goal is, “What do I need to do to accomplish this?” That, unfortunately, is not the right question to ask.

Let me give you an example—When I was single and ready to find my wife and be married, I made a long list of the qualities of the perfect woman (for me). I filled up more than 40 pages describing my wife to be in great detail—her personality, character, key attributes, attitudes and philosophies about life, tastes, interests, even what kind of family she’d come from, culture, and of course physical makeup down to the texture of her hair, etc. I wrote in depth what our life would be like and what we’d do together.

I then had my goal and it was specific, measureable, attainable (I hoped!), relevant and time-sensitive.

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This is it—The GRAND DESIGN!

Are you ready?

Ready to write (and right) your future? Ready to be bold, dream big and put it (your aspirations) on the line (literally)?

Ready to proclaim your BHAGs (Big, Hairy and Audacious Goals)?

This is it. It’s time for the GRAND DESIGN.

This is actually the easy part. You knew about goal-setting before this course—how to make a list of what you want to accomplish in the next one to 10 years.

The difficult part has been the process we have gone through to get here—figuring out who you really are, assessing how you’ve done in life so far, and most important, what assets, strengths and opportunities you have to work with going forward. We’ll come to another big challenge later in the series when we work on figuring out how to take the dreams, ambitions and big goals from your Grand Design and develop the plan of action to achieve them. But right now we’re going to focus on developing your Grand Design. And as a result, you’ll identify the person, the accomplishments and the life you have always wanted to have.

The links to the Guidelines document and the entire set of worksheets to design your 10-year and this year’s goals are listed in the RSS feed excerpt sent to your inbox. The Guidelines document contains subtle and seemingly inconsequential instructions and questions. But following these instructions and writing your goals will help you transform your wishes and aspirations into results. We will also “scrub” all your goals to make surethey are S.M.A.R.T.BALANCED and will ultimately produce the whole-life success you desire.

Read more at The Success Magazine here:

Your BALANCE Sheet

In the previous installments, we inventoried your current assets, liabilities, strengths and weaknesses. We also looked at your potential opportunities and threats to your future. Before deciding where to apply those assets and the focus of your creative effort, we need to total the current balances in each account of your life.

This is a crucially important step for two reasons:

Imbalance = Disaster

We often see people who have become successful in one area of life, but are utter disasters in many other areas. Tabloid magazines are full of this kind of drama, with headlines of bitter divorces, drunk-driving arrests, family feuds, racist rants, bulimia, drug rehab, depression and suicide attempts. Many of these same people, the ones many Americans idolize, are some of the most unhappy, insecure and depressed people you will find. Why? Their focus on succeeding in one area of life created a great imbalance with the other areas.

Remember the final words given to me by dad’s wealthy friend the day before he died? Read them (and live by them) HERE.

Be wary of the price the rest of your life has to pay for the success in one area of your life.

Wrong Account
Someone recently shared with me an incredibly poignant distinction, he said before you build your business plan, build your life plan. Figure out what kind of life you want to have first—where you want to live, what type of people you want to be surrounded by, whether you want to work nights and weekends, whether you want to travel (and how much and where), whether you want to be home for dinner every night, if you want a short commute, what type of environment you want to go to each day, how you want to dress, etc.

He said to then build your business or professional plan around these criteria.

Whoa! I have been doing it all backward! You?

Most of us have done exactly the opposite—we build our business plan first. We outline all our big goals, plans and ambitions, and then figure out how to fit our lives around them (usually sacrificing much of the rest of our lives). Or sometimes we define a professional plan by outlining the money we want to make and titles we want to obtain—again, sacrificing much of the rest of our lives. If we continue to live this way, when we get to the end of our lives, we’re likely to discover we paid too high a price and sacrificed what was really important in life, for too little.

Life without balance can cost you your relationships. Life without balance can cost you your health. Life without balance can cost you your spirituality. Life without balance can cost you your wealth and your happiness. So find things to motivate you from all areas of life. Your success depends on it.” —Jim Rohn

Don’t let that happen to you… and now is the time to find the right balance for you and your life’s desires.

Download and complete the LIFE ASSESSMENT Worksheet and WHEEL OF LIFE Chart. This is worksheet set 4. It will have to be printed first to complete. You will not be able to fill in the form fields on your computer. (NOTE: The link will be sent via the e-mail feed. If you are just registering now, the link will be in the next feed along with links to all prior worksheets. E-mail feeds typically distribute later in the evening following posts published earlier in the day.)

Have you learned some new things about yourself? Have you discovered some gifts, attributes, opportunities and hidden potential you didn’t fully credit before? Share your experiences with this ongoing process in the comments below. You are also welcome to ask any questions you might have.

Finding Your Unique Advantage


We’ve examined your life thus far and have looked into your future and established what direction you want your life to take from this point forward. You now know what you stand for (your values); you know the mission you will crusade for (your actions); and you’ve clarified the vision for your life (the outcomes you want to realize).

Before it’s possible to formulate the strategic life plan, you must first take inventory of your assets and liabilities. What are your distinct advantages? Where do you have unique leverage? What weaknesses do you need to shore up and what hazards do you need to avoid?

This is where I always start when preparing a plan to perform a turnaround on a company. Before you can make a plan of where to take the organization, you first have to figure out where it stands—you must know its current assets and liabilities. What are its current weaknesses and where might its most damaging threats come from? You need to be aware of its unique strengths as well as any unseen or underdeveloped opportunities. This is the same assessment necessary to do a turnaround on, or to accelerate, your life.

Your Personal S.W.O.T Analysis

STRENGTHS: We know we are most likely to succeed when we use our innate talents to their fullest extent. The problem is most people don’t do enough due diligence on their skill sets or introspection on their unique talents to discover their significant advantage so they can thrive—easily, joyfully and prosperously.

WEAKNESSES: Similarly, if you identify your weaknesses and build your strategic plan to work around those traits, by either improving, covering for or circumventing them entirely, it’s possible to avoid painful (and expensive) difficulties and potential setbacks.

OPPORTUNITIES: We are constantly surrounded by opportunities; unfortunately, they go unnoticed by most people. I will challenge you through a series of questions to identify and recognize some of the tremendous advantages and opportunities you have at your feet, but are not maximizing or might have missed altogether.

THREATS: It’s critical to identify where the landmines are before you march into the battlefield of life. In my mentorship of high-growth companies, I have witnessed that it is not lack of opportunity, lack of growth or lack of success that kills most companies, but the unplanned and unprepared for problems that arise which throw the organization into an unrecoverable tailspin. This is true for individuals as well. Our lack of threat assessment leaves us off guard. Problems seem to come out of nowhere and blindside us, resulting in disaster. I’ll help you identify your potential landmines so the course we chart for your strategic plan avoids those lurking dangers.

Using the S.W.O.T. framework you will come to better understand yourself. You’ll see the tremendous advantages you possess and how you can leverage them to begin to separate yourself from your peers. You’ll also discover special talents and abilities that you may need to further develop to achieve your most ambitious goals.

360˚ VIEW

Now I have a scary challenge for you. How committed are you to your personal growth? This part of this installment will test your mettle. If you want to break out of your rut and take your life to the next level, do this—I dare you.

I want you to ask three friends to answer a few tender questions, essentially asking them how you “show up” in the world. We all think we know ourselves and how we appear to others, but our perceptions might be one of our greatest constraints and limitations to doing better.

One year, a while back, I asked several people in my life how I was “showing up” to them.I was flabbergasted by what they told me. Wow, I had no idea I was “doing that!” I thought I was behaving one way, but I was being perceived completely different than I imagined. At first I was hurt; then I grew defensive. After receiving the same response more than once, I knew I was busted. I then realized why I was having difficulty advancing in certain areas of my life.

This could be happening to you… without you even knowing it. While it might be a scary and possibly painful process, it might also help you break through barriers that could be holding you back from your greater potential. It is well worth it.

Download and complete the S.W.O.T. ANALYSIS Questions and Worksheet. The 360˚ VIEW questions and tips are included on that document. (NOTE: The link to the download is sent via the e-mail feed. If you are just registering now, it will go out again with the next feed. E-mail feeds typically go out the same evening following the published post.)

This process will help you assess your internal and external advantages, as well as hindrances you might encounter so you can more effectively build your plan. Thursday I will guide you through the process of totaling your life’s current balance sheet. Where are you really in all the areas important to becoming a whole-life success? I think you might be surprised by the result.

Why You Exist — Finding and Defining Your Major Purpose

This is one of the most important installments of the process.

Here, we will delve into some of the great This is one of the most important installments of the process.

Here, we will delve into some of the great questions of our humanity and individual lives: Why are you here? What is your life’s purpose? What difference will you make? How will you be remembered? Who are you? What do you stand for? What values do you represent, protect and fight for? What are you willing to die for and live for?

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For the worksheet, klick here: