Today, I have added a fourth step to the formula "Plan". This is a step that might be assumed, though I think it is significant enough to be specifically mentioned. So, now the formula has 4 steps:
- Goal - Definite, time limited goal that a 5 year old can understand
- Action - Take regular action towards your goal with urgency
- Plan - Look at your goal and actions and make plans to improve
- Persistence - Keep trying. Expect to fail 70% - 80% of the time. Review your goals, take actions and make plans.
We can evaluate each of these steps and think about how good are we at each of them. Yesterday we talked about changing wishes into goals. This is the first step for us to be successful. Learn how to be as clear as possible about what is our target, and what are we aiming towards.
Once we have chosen a goal, we should take some actions, any action. Just do something to get over that terrible thing called procrastination. Even the wrong action is much better than no action. Do anything. We can do a whole other post about how to get over procrastination and do something as this is a common place for us to have difficulty. Maybe it is fear or lack of confidence that stops us from taking action.
Now, after we have taken some action, spend some time, review what we have done and make a plan on how to do better. Are we aiming for the proper target? Can we do better there? Now, what possible actions can we take to achieve this goal? Think small, large, short-term and long-term.
When making plans, it is not so important if we actually end up following this exact plan. The process of planning will help our brain to think about different options and what we might do when things don't go the way we want. Carl von Clausewitz wisely said "No campaign plan survives first contact with the enemy." So, be flexible and roll with the punches.
The final step is to be persistent. In American professional baseball, the highest paid player in 2012 is Alex Rodriguez, making US$30,000,000. His batting average is 0.301, that means that ~70% of the time that he goes up to hit the ball, he fails. Though it is even worse that this, because this does not count how many times he swings at the ball. If on average he swings the bat 3 times per time at bat, then in reality he fails to get a hit 90% of the time that he swings the bat.
Can you really believe this, that someone is paid US$30 million to only be successful 10% of the time. Though, that is the fact. Of course, he has other skills, like fielding the ball, though it still remains that this statistic is true in most major sports, the true professionals fail much more than they succeed, their key is to get up and try, try again.
How are you doing on each of part of the success formula?