Not long ago I posted two articles about our dreams. Indeed, we must possess a dream (or the dream must possess us) if we want to stay in the race. Recently I read a powerful quote from H. Jackson Brown, author of Life’s Little Instruction Book, that illustrates the difficult work of tenacity when trying to hang on to your dream.
Rule #1 Take one more step. Rule #2 When you can’t take one more step, refer to Rule #1. That’s what it takes to achieve a dream: the will to take one more step, even when you’re convinced you can’t.
One more tenacious step often feels extremely impossible. Sometimes you may wake up and desperately ask, "Where do I go from here?" We all do it. Pundits and sages alike call this phenomenon STUCK. And, stuck stinks. It carries the potential of destroying our dreams. Using the letters from the word DREAM as an acronym, I offer some principles to help you develop tenacity.
Do it now, do it now, do it now. Every morning when you get out of bed repeat this powerful phrase to yourself 100 times. After 90 days you will feel more like doing whatever you need to do to fulfill your dream. The 90 day principle has been tried and true.
Repetition of price. The dream does not not necessarily require a huge price. Often it requires the repetition of small price tags.
Eat your dream daily. I know, this sounds utterly ridiculous. If you are a person of faith however, you understand that the ancient Hebrew language defined meditation as "chewing" or "eating." Literally it means going over and over it again until you ingest it and it becomes a part of your being. This crazy eating habit will one day cause the dream to get so amazingly deep within you that you will think the dream was there at the moment of your birth.
Application of these principles. Many of us love to read great books that will help us achieve our dreams. Yet, if we do not put what we learn into action we'll crash and burn. John Maxwell insists that we all have good intentions, but do not live intentionally. Application means intentional living.
Many others must eventually get involved with your dream. It takes a team. Teamwork makes the dream work. My gifts are teaching and speaking. If you put me in charge of administration I will kill your business. Thank God I've had some tremendously gifted administrators to work with. In fact, just yesterday I met my knew administrator. She has tons of experience. Early on in our conversation she assured me she will take care of all my tedious paper work. Already a team is beginning to develop between her and me. Later the team will involve MANY OTHERS.
I pray that this inspires you to tenaciously hold on to your dream with all the energy you can muster up.
Today I travel to Waco to see my family. From Waco to Lubbock takes about 6 boring, hot hours.
This time I decided to take a different route. Although I know Texas roads like I know the lines on the palm of my hands, I had to look at a map to make sure I navigated this thing correctly. It's been awhile.
While I looked carefully over the map I thought about leadership and navigation. Good leaders know how to cast a vision and then navigate the way. I'm weak at navigating because I don't like details. But, leaders must navigate. Therefore using the word NAVIGATE as an acronym I thought of my own map for navigating the visionary path.
Now, do not procrastinate. Now is the time to start the journey
Ask your trusted inside circle their take on the matter. King Solomon once declared, "Refuse good advice and watch your plans fail; take good counsel and watch them succeed." One key point about George Bush during the Iraqi war was that he listened to his commanders on the ground before he announced a navigation strategy.
Vision must come from seeing the big picture. Great leaders observe in their mind's eye the metaphorical picture entitled, WHAT WILL IT LOOK LIKE. Then they chart the course.
Insist on reviewing your plans daily.
Give up so that others may benefit from the vision and gain value.
Always point to successes while on the journey
Talk to yourself daily about victory. No negatives.Self talk can make or break your vision.
My mother died 4 years ago next month. Every birthday she gave us kids including the in-laws, a $50.00 check. On April 16, 4 years ago my mother lay dying in the hospital. When I left the room my mother called my sister over and had her write out a birthday check for me. How could a son ever forget that?
Even in death she thought of me. Isn't that what Jesus did for us? I miss my mother every day. I need her now as my literary critic. Since I started my consulting I'm learning to dot every I and cross every T. She was a real master at making sure we spoke correctly and wrote correctly.
This memory is a compelling birthday present for me-even so much more valuable than a $ 50.00 check.
My coaching mentor Christian Simpson tells us why failure is so important to our growth. He encourages us to embrace it.
That's the funny thing about failure - no-one wants it, we dread it and avoid it like the plague BUT....
.....lasting success never comes without it.
So does failure really exist? Or are there just a series of painful-but-incredibly valuable learns in our lives?
When you give it some serious thought, we only 'fail' when we don't learn from an experience. Experience teaches us nothing unless we reflect and evaluate it.
When I shared my 'big fat business failure' with you, I was also sharing the most valuable lesson of my entrepreneurial life. As much as it hurt (and it hurt a lot), I run my life and my business very differently today because of the awareness it brought me.
One of the greatest entrepreneurial success strategies to master is to learn how to fail as quickly as possible. It sounds counter-intuitive I know, until you start to look at things from the 'other side of the beach ball'....
Take the entrepreneurial TV show 'Dragon's Den'. Have you ever noticed the reaction of the super-successful panel of entrepreneurs when a business owner discloses that he or she has suffered a monumental business failure in the past?
Some might think it would scare potential investors off, when in fact, quite the opposite is true - it's seen as a positive attribute because the entrepreneur concerned 'failed', got back up and went again. As Mary Pickford observed: 'you may have a fresh start any moment you choose, for this thing we call 'failure' is not the falling down, but the staying down'.
Simon Woodroffe, who used to be one of the 'dragons', is case in point. He became a millionaire in his early 40's through his restaurant chain 'Yo-Sushi'. But prior to that, he had several businesses fail miserably (and at best had created 'lifestyle' businesses to keep his head above water).
I was in a meeting with him a few years ago, and he was asked the question: what was the different between the 39 year old with the bankruptcies and the 42-year old millionaire with a highly successful global brand?
Belief. He said his failures had taught him that he needed belief in himself, and because of failure, at 41 he saw himself very differently to how he did at 39.
Now that's an interesting shift in itself, is it not? Failure tends to be the reason why most people choose NOT to believe in themselves.
But it actually makes perfect sense, because you have to learn how not to be successful at what you're doing, so you can learn how to be successful at what you're doing.
We learned to walk, talk, catch a ball, ride a bike, drive a car and achieve just about everything else that way.
Think back to when you've 'failed' in your life. How did that 'failure' serve you? How did it contribute to a bigger and better you? How did it improve your life? If you can't see the pay-off initially - stay in the question.
What other examples can you think of?
What should you be failing at today in order to succeed at it tomorrow?
I've been failing miserably and consistently for a long time. I don't like it, it frustrates the hell out of me at times, but I've learned to see it for the gift it is.
I'm still failing miserably in other projects, such as marketing my powerful strategies effectively to reach the entrepreneurs who need it AND are ready to receive it.
But as much as it annoys this impetuous fool, I understand that failure's at the heart of the process that gets it right.
We've all got something we should be failing at that we're not - because we're avoiding the pain of it. What is that 'something' for you? And what will you do about it?
Failure is your friend, not your enemy. Have the courage to embrace it, because failure is the seed from which your entrepreneurial dream grows.