The Journey – Part 2
David Freund, Chief Leadership Officer
Last week I introduced you to the idea of our lives being journeys. We looked into finding joy in the journey and how many times the joy is found in the challenges we overcome as we step our way through meaningful opportunities. I mentioned last week that the most important step is the first step, which gets us moving. And interestingly, we don’t always know (or even need to know) what the next step along our lifelong journey is. We simply need to be ready to step when the step becomes clear. So how do we make sure we are ready? Legendary coach John Wooden said, “When opportunity comes, it’s too late to prepare.” The key is to prepare for the steps of life before they become clear. I have chosen six tools we can use to prepare for our steps in life. They are, Believe in Yourself, Embrace Practice, Live Life with Perseverance, Be Courageous, Remain Teachable, and Accept Help. Let’s start by taking a look at a few of these.
- Believe in Yourself – This first preparation point is critical. In his book Success is a Choice, John Maxwell states, “The first and greatest obstacle to success for most people is their belief in themselves.” Your belief in yourself determines your expectations. If you don’t believe you can, you won’t. I have heard it called the “sure enough” syndrome. If you expect to fail, sure enough, you will. If you expect to succeed, sure enough, you will. If we expect to have a change for the better, we need to change our beliefs. Since beliefs are habits of the mind, the more we practice healthy thinking, the stronger our beliefs will be. If we continually think like a victim or like someone who isn’t able to rise above a challenge, our thoughts become a self-fulfilling prophecy.
- Embrace Practice – The simple truth is that we are never good at anything the first time we do it. When I think of the many firsts in my life, it is downright scary. With time and practice, I got better. In order to be ready for the steps on our road of life, we must set aside time to practice things that fall in our giftedness. Far too often, people settle. They are good at something, and sadly they settle for that level of expertise. It’s sad because they will never know how good they could have been.
- Live Life with Perseverance – Green Bay Packers coach Vince Lombardi said, “The difference between a successful person and others is not lack of strength, not lack of knowledge, but rather a lack of determination.” Persistent people keep moving. They cultivate a bias for action and build relationships with high achieving people so that perseverance becomes the expected response to a challenge. Perseverance allows us to find sweetness in adversity. We persevere to find the opportunity that is buried in the center of the difficulty.
Preparing for the steps along our journey is easier than we think. Keeping these tools sharp and ready to use daily is the key. If you would like to hear more about these three tools and the other three I mentioned, please join Marisa Norcross and me for Episode 176 of The Next Page podcast as we take a deeper dive into the six tools of preparation.