Once you have decided upon your values, vision, mission, purpose, and goals, the next step is for you to analyze your starting point. Exactly where are you today, and how are you doing, in each of the important areas of your life, especially as they relate to your goals?
Jack Welch, CEO of General Electric for many years, once said that the most important quality of leadership is the “reality principle”. He defined this as the ability to see the world as it really is, not as you wish it were.
If you want to be the best you can be and achieve what is truly possible for you, you must be brutally honest with yourself about your point of departure. You must sit down and analyze yourself in detail to decide exactly where you are today in each area.
Whatever your action is to be, it is evident that you must act NOW. You cannot act in the past, and it is essential to the clearness of your mental vision that you dismiss the past from your mind. You cannot act in the future, for the future is not here yet.
If you act in the present with your mind on the future, your present action will be with a divided mind, and will not be effective. Put your whole mind into present action.
Act now. There is never any time but now, and there will never be any time but now. If you are ever to begin to make ready for the reception of what you want, you must begin now. And your action, whatever it is, must most likely be in your present business or employment, and must be upon the persons and things in your present environment.
Do not bother as to whether yesterday’s work was well done or ill done; do today’s work well. Do not try to do tomorrow’s work now; there will be plenty of time to do that when you get to it.
Do not wait for a change of environment, before you act; get a change of environment by action. You can so act upon the environment in which you are now, as to cause yourself to be transferred to a better environment. Hold with faith and purpose the vision of yourself in the better environment, but act upon your present environment with all your heart.
Wallace D. Wattles
POWER may be defined as “organized and intelligently directed KNOWLEDGE”. Power, as the term is here used, refers to ORGANIZED effort, sufficient to enable an individual to transmute DESIRE into its monetary equivalent. ORGANIZED effort is produced through the coordination of effort of two or more people, who work toward a DEFINITE end, in a spirit of harmony.
I spent nearly a week in Mqhekezweni after the funeral and it was a time of retrospection and rediscovery. There is nothing like returning to a place that remains unchanged to find the ways in which you yourself have altered.
In my language there is a saying: “Ndiwelimilambo enamagama” (” I have crossed famous rivers”). It means that one has traveled a great distance, that one has had wide experience and gained some wisdom from it.
Imagine that you’re out at sea on a boat, voyaging to a far-off destination. Your boat springs a leak, which immediately becomes your priority. You jump down and start bailing water to prevent going under, but forget that nobody is left to navigate the ship. One day, after doing nothing but bailing water for who knows how long, you poke your head over the bow and wonder where the heck you are and how you got there. This is the purposeless life. People can become so preoccupied with just staying afloat that they fail to realize that nobody is at the helm.
Unfortunately, clarifying purpose takes time – quiet, uninterrupted time – which is something many of us feel we don’t have. We rush from one obligation to another without a “50,000 foot” view of where we’re going. It may seems self-indulgent to stop and reflect on questions of meaning and purpose, but journey will demand it.
Life is a tennis match between polar opposites. Winning and losing, love and hate, open and closed. It helps to recognize that painful fact early. Then recognize the polar opposites within yourself, and if you can’t embrace them, or reconcile them, at least accept them and move on. The only thing you cannot do is ignore them.
The most surprising feature of business as it was conducted was the large attention given to finance and the small attention to service. That seemed to me to be reversing the natural process which is that the money should come as the result of work and not before the work.
My idea was then and still is that if a man did his work well, the price he would get for that work, the profits and all financial matters, would care for themselves and that a business ought to start small and build itself up and out of its earnings. If there are no earnings then is a signal to the owner that he is wasting his time and does not belong in that business.
Money is not worth a particular amount. As money it is not worth anything, for it will do nothing of itself. The only use of money is to buy tools to work with or the product of tools. Therefore money is worth what it will help you to produce or buy and no more. If a man thinks that his money will urn 5 per cent, or 6 per cent, he ought to place it where h can get that return, but money placed in a business is not a charge on the business – or, rather, should not be. It ceased to be money and become, an engine of production, and it is therefore worth what it produces – and not a fixed sum according to some scale that has no bearing upon the particular business in which the money has been placed. Any return should come after it has produced, not before.
I determined absolutely that never would I join a company in which finance came before the work or in which bankers or financiers had a part. And further that, if there were no way to get started in the kind of business that I thought could be managed in the interest of the public, then I simply would not get started at all. For my own short experience, together with what I saw going on around me, was quite enough proof that business as a mere money-making game was not worth giving much thought to and was distinctly no place for a man who wanted to accomplish anything. Also it did not seem to me to be the way to make money. I have yet to have it demonstrated that it is the way. For the only foundation of real business is service.