Staying On the Path

The only true way to stay on your path is to remain motivated by a particular desire. The desire that will keep you the most motivated is the desire that you feel will make you the happiest in the long run. Happiness can be defined as contentment, fulfillment, satisfaction, enjoyment and pleasure.

What makes you happiest is living your own dream. You will never achieve your full motivation if you are living someone else’s dream for you. You must find your own dream. Your own dream comes from your innermost core. In Eastern philosophy your core is defined as your chi. Chi is your life force – life energy – where your power is derived. Western philosophy defines your core as your soul. When you are “living who you are” or “your innermost self” you will be your most motivated.

Your dream can also be defined as your “higher purpose.” To know your higher purpose, simply think about what you would like to leave as a legacy. What would you like to leave the world when you are gone? What would you most like to have others say about you when you are gone? What words do you want to have defined your life? How do you want to be remembered?

The PPPP Principle

The “PPPP” principle is a powerful tool to assist you in determining what you really want and staying on your path. It stands for prophesy, passion, power, and propulsion. The first part is prophesy, which is essentially your “vision” of the dream you would like to create in your life. Visualization involves picturing certain things in one’s mind. Try to visualize yourself actually doing your goal, living your goal, succeeding in your goal. Describe exactly what that looks like, from beginning to end. This could take you an hour, or even longer. Do not be tempted to skip this exercise. If you cannot visualize yourself actually achieving your goal, this will be a major obstacle to your success! On the other hand, if you can visualize yourself actually achieving the goal, this will provide the passion you need to continue to do the work involved. Passion then creates power, which propels you into full action.

----Nothing happens unless first a dream. ----Carl Sandburg

The Power of Commitment

For change to be lasting there needs to be a strong level of commitment. Commitment is what transforms a promise, hope, dream or goal into reality. If you are serious about achieving your goals, dreams and desires, you must commit to them one hundred percent. How do you develop this kind of total commitment or “definiteness of purpose,” as Napoleon Hill calls it? You need to make achievement of your goals a must. It MUST be a MUST. You must move past wishful thinking such as, “it would be nice if…” and “I would love it if…” and “my life would be great if…” You must move on to “mustful” thinking. If you cannot “muster” up a “must” attitude about your goal, it probably isn’t a very passionate one. If there’s no passion, what’s the point? Keep it as a wish or fantasy if you’d like, but just be aware that it is just a wish and not a goal.

According to Napoleon Hill in his timeless book, Think and Grow Rich (written over 50 years ago), there are 6 steps to turning desires into fruition.

First: Fix in your mind the exact thing you desire. Be definite and specific.

Second: Determine exactly what you will give and/or give up for your desire (there is no such reality as “something for nothing”).

Third: Establish a definite date you want to have your desire.

Fourth: Create a definite plan for carrying out your desire, and begin at once, whether you are ready or not, to put this plan into action.

Fifth: Write out a clear, concise statement of what you intend to acquire, name the time limit for its acquisition, state what you intend to give in return for it, and describe clearly the plan through which you intend to achieve it.

Sixth: Read your written statement aloud, twice daily, once just before retiring at night, and once after arising in the morning. As you read, see and feel and believe yourself already in possession of your desire.

Organized Planning

Create Your Road Map that Gets You Where You Want to Go

Goals are born from vision. Denis Waitley, author of The New Dynamics of Goal Setting, believes so strongly that people cannot succeed without goals that he makes the bold statement, “Every successful person defines their goals in writing.” Research shows that less than 10% of the population actually put their goals in writing, but of those who do, 85% achieve them.

Developing goals is predominantly a matter of structure and organization. A poster on the wall of a gym states, “A goal is a dream with a deadline.” You might alternately say “A goal without a timeline is just a dream.” Sub-goals strengthen motivation because they make an activity manageable and accessible. Sometimes, it is more profitable to block out the daunting, long-range picture of your goals in order to focus more completely on the immediate step that needs to be undertaken. When a larger goal is divided into sub-goals, it becomes a series of incremental tasks rather than one overwhelming project. This idea has been expressed in many slogans that you can repeat to yourself to increase and sustain the motivation to stick with your goals:

· By the inch it’s a cinch, by the yard it’s hard.

· One day at a time (From Alcoholics Anonymous).

· Just put one foot in front of the other.

· Baby steps.

· Nothin’ to it but to do it!

Finding time to work on your goals (or anything else for that matter) is simply a matter of organization and planning. You can “work smarter” by spending 15 to 30 minutes in the morning to plan your day. You will need to discipline yourself to stick to your plan. Allow time in between for interruptions that may be necessary to deal with, but do the best you can at sticking to your plan. In his book, Simple Steps to Impossible Dreams, Steven Scott refers to the process of achieving your “dream” as the "Dream Conversion Process." He divides it into the following steps:

1) Define your dream in writing;

2) Convert your dream into specific goals;

3) Convert each goal into specific steps;

4) Convert each step into specific tasks;

5) Assign a projected time or date to complete each task.

------If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.

----Henry David Thoreau

Resources

Burka, J. and Yuen, L. (2008) Procrastination: Why you do it and what to do about it now.

Caliandro, A. and Lensen, B. (2002) Simple steps: 10 things you can do to create an exceptional life.

Dixit, A. and Nalebuff, B. (2010) The art of strategy: A game theorist’s guide to success in business and in life.

Dyer, Wayne. (1980) The sky's the limit. New York: Pocket Books.

Hill, Napolean, (1960) Think and grow rich.

McGraw, P. (2006) Life strategies: Doing what works, doing what matters.

Robbins, Anthony. (1991) Unlimited power.

Scott, Steven K. (1998) Simple steps to impossible dreams.

Sterner, T. (2006) The practicing mind: Bringing discipline and focus into your life.

Tracy, Brian. (1997) Secrets of success.

Waitley, Denis. (1997) The new dynamics of goal setting.