Clarity of purpose and direction is one of the keys to career and life success that I discuss in several of my books: Straight Talk for Success, Your Success GPS and 42 Rules to Jumpstart Your Professional Success. To develop your personal clarity or purpose you need to do three things. First, define what success means to you. Second, create a vivid mental image of you as a success. Third, clarify your personal values.
Once you define what success means to you personally, I suggest that you develop a clear mental picture of you as a success. This image should be as vivid as you can you make it.
When I was 25, I conjured up an image of myself as a successful motivational speaker, executive coach, management consultant and author. I worked in my home office – where I wrote and developed the programs I delivered at client locations. This office had a floor to ceiling wall of books that I could use for easy reference. It also had a state of the art IBM selectric typewriter and a big, clunky telephone. PCs and the internet were science fiction in 1975.
I also saw myself having one to one discussions with senior leaders in a variety of organizations, conducting training and team building sessions in conference rooms at their locations. Amazingly, many of the people in the sessions were smoking. I had very vivid images of standing in front of large audiences at sales meetings doing talks. I saw myself signing a book I had written at a bookstore. I also saw myself on airplanes, traveling to my speaking, coaching and consulting gigs.
All of these vivid images came true. My office is much as I had imagined it – except it has a two PCs and cell phone, not a selectric typewriter and clunky phone. The wall of books is there – overflowing. I’ve written 11 of the books on the shelf. People don’t smoke in my training and team building sessions anymore and I use PowerPoint instead of handwritten flip charts, but the big stuff is the same as I’ve imagined it. I’ve spoken to audiences all over North America, in Latin America, Europe and Asia. I am a million mile flyer with Continental Air Lines.
I’m living my dream – in large part because I dared to dream it all those years ago.
What’s your dream? Can you create a vivid mental image of it?
I suggest that you take some time for yourself. Ask and answer these three questions:
• Where do I want to be 10, 20 and 30 years from now?
• What will it look like and feel like when I’m there?
• What will my life be like?
Ask and answer any other questions that will help you develop a clear, vivid mental image of your success. This is not day dreaming. It is real work. You are designing your future in your mind.
Keep this mental picture with you as you go about your day to day business. Every once in a while, ask yourself if what you did that day brought you any closer to your mental image of success. In this way, you’ll be keeping your dream alive – and moving toward your goal.
The common sense point here is simple. Successful people define what success means to them. Then they develop a compelling and clear mental image of their success. They use this mental image to help keep their dreams alive and to keep moving forward to what they want in their lives and careers. Creating a vivid mental image of your success is not day dreaming. It’s real work – it’s the work of designing your future, so you can take the steps necessary to create it.
That’s my take on the importance of creating a clear, vivid mental picture of your success. What’s yours? Please take a minute to share your thoughts with us. If you’ve created a clear mental picture of your success and have realized it, tell us about it. As always, thanks for reading.