I have a lot of fun working with people eager to work hard to make their dreams a reality -- people who've gone from just talking about success to actually creating it.
In helping these “doers," much of my time is spent talking with them about their expectations of how quickly they can accomplish their goals. In the success coaching process, it’s not always the most enjoyable part of what I do as a coach, but it is a very important one. After all, it’s one thing to have big goals to work towards, but it’s another to have realistic expectations about those dreams and goals.
Today everything seems to be about speed: getting more done and faster than ever before.
Hey, that's not necessarily bad, but that push for speed spills over into all aspects of our lives...
Everywhere we look in our instant-everything environment we see examples of this: fast-food restaurants, one-hour photo stores, 10-minute oil change shops, do-it-yourself express-lane checkout, etc.
We continue to move faster and faster… and we grow incredibly impatient, especially when it comes to people enjoying the fruit of our own efforts.
Getting all we ever wanted just isn't enough, unless in can happen instantly.... overnight... right away... right now!
Success, however, rarely (if ever) occurs instantaneously.
It comes to you on its own schedule -- the result of consistent, persistent action.
Rather than stressing yourself out trying to make everything happen right this moment, take things easy… take your time… stop expecting instant results.
Do what needs doing and let life take its own course. This way, you can focus on working smarter and more efficiently while enjoying the process of what you’re doing.
Sure, there will be times when you get immediate results and achieve success quickly, but most of the time you’ll need to be patient…
Just because you're not getting instant results doesn't mean you won't get any.
--If you keep working towards your goals, maintaining a sustained, consistent effort, readjusting your plans as necessary along the way, you will create the success you’re looking for.
Consider this analogy: You build a large, thousand-mile-long pipeline, from Alaska to California. You drill for oil and start pumping it into the pipeline…
Now, do you have oil coming out of the other end immediately?
Of course not!
You have to be patient. You have to wait a while.
Eventually, the oil will start to flow at the other end, but only if you keep on drilling and filling up the pipe.
It's the same way your own efforts.
You have to be patient while your work creates the success you desire. By not forcing the timetable and pushing for immediate results, you actually improve your chances of achieving your goals.
How can get a more realistic expectation of your goals? Easy...
First, make a plan before you mark your calendar.
That’s right, sit down and figure out exactly how you’re going to achieve your goal. Figure out all the steps. Determine what resources you already have and which ones you need… Then write it all down, along with your estimate of how long it will take to accomplish each individual step! Chances are your time estimates for individual steps will be more accurate than a single estimate for the entire project since you will be looking at smaller action items.
Second, with your firm-but-flexible plan in hand, make a list of potential obstacles, big and small, that could get in your way.
I don’t think so… It’s really an extension of planning that can actually save you time.
Thinking about what may slow you down helps prepare you for overcoming those obstacles, thus speeding you back up. Figure out the average time delay an obstacle presents and factor that into your time estimates.
Third, and finally, look around for examples of people who have accomplished the same (or a similar) goal.
Ask them how long it took them to achieve success (versus what they thought it would take)? What obstacles did they face? What surprises did they encounter along the way?
Talking with others who have done what you want to do is a great way to estimate how long it might take you. Plus, you get the added benefit of learning from other people’s experience (which, again, could save you a lot of time)!
Three very simple steps, but they can help you focus your mind on the real work necessary to make your dreams a reality.
With a more realistic sense of what can be accomplished, the more you’ll enjoy every step in the process of creating success in your life. And when you do reach your goals, you’ll see that the success you achieve is more than worth the wait.
While you're "taking your time," why not stay motivated with fresh ideas to keep you going? Subscribe to my blog updates -- absolutely free! You can also subscribe to my free ezine, THE BIG IDEA to get ideas in your email each week. Subscribe here.