Sharpen your Vision
I bet you thought “Oh here we go with another formula.” Not really. I was pondering what keeps me going, and how i continue to develop my business skills, market knowledge, and vision for my life. Like you, there are so many factors that work toward that goal. Now i am not talking about external motivators like income, or noteworthy. Not the big flash in the newspaper, or interview in the media… no no no. It is the internal motivators that are at the forefront of my thoughts. Life requires that we think and build strength to take on the daily challenges that come, the barriers that slow us down. What do you draw on to stay sharp, focused? Here is my top 5 list:
- Reading and Education – A day without reading something significant is a tough day. OK, if you have been reading this blog for any length of time you know my theme is “Readers are Leaders” and i honestly believe that. I grew up learning so much from books, quiet times spent with books, learning great and wonderful new things.
- Find someone to mentor you – Someone told me once that it is good practice to find someone who is more knowledgeable than you to teach you what they know, and in turn you find someone and share your knowledge with them. Mentoring does not have to be a formal experience, although that works too. Simply checking in at a regular interval, perhaps over coffee, with the idea of setting goals, learning something, chatting about life, working through problems.
- Involve yourself in the community – Do something to stay tapped into the community you live or work in. Find people that think like you, or have similar goals, and work on something together. This can be a networking experience where you get to know others.
- Journaling – Plan time to sit and write… whether it is personal or in a blog where feedback is given, the motivation to write hones a skill that will help. This blog is an example of my honing the vision because i spend time writing about what I am learning, what we have developed, and other ideas that keep my eyes on the goal. Journaling does not come naturally to everyone. If you are uncomfortable in a public forum, buy a blank book or notebook and hand write. The challenge is spend 10 minutes each day capturing your thoughts. When you look back at the accumulation of your writing you can see how you are evolving, growing, learning, and sharpening.
- Fix your focus – As an amateur camera aficionado I know one thing that is critical to taking a great photo – having the subject in sharp focus. On a camera its a matter of adjusting the focus until everything is super sharp. We are a lot like a camera…. Our lives, businesses, and careers can be highly focused, or casually permitting things to just happen. Focus is the key to success. Honestly there is room for me to improve on this, but we do have a business plan, and when we are tempted to head off in different directions we have to pull out the plan and assess. My suggestion is spent time thinking through what you want, and what it will take to reach your goals. Write them down, revisit them, refine the notes, and formulate a plan. Perhaps it is something simple like saving for a vacation. Speed past the material benefit of a vacation, and think about the social reward – will it give you needed time away with your spouse? Or just needed time to catch up on personal things, or to do nothing at all for that duration? I remember in my young married years we tacked pictures on the refrigerator of our goals…. buying a house was in focus…. and we thought each day as we packed lunch how much we were saving to make that dream come true. (It did, and that plan works for other things too.) Having that literal picture helps to jog the memory, affect behavior, and fix our focus.