The year is coming to a close. Another round of retrospection will color the stories, the accomplishments, the milestones, and the misses to establish their rightful place in the history books.
As you reflect on them, you get to decide if these are the tales you want repeated. Do they reflect the legacy you want to leave behind? Has it paved the road for the success you want to experience?
These are big questions to answer. Your answer is very telling. While you have yet another opportunity to make new promises, set new goals, dream new dreams, you have to realize that you had this same opportunity a year ago. You’ll have the same opportunity next year.
So, what’s different now?
I’ve promised myself to do a lot of things over the years only to see much of it vanish like a puff of smoke. But just because it vanishes, doesn’t mean it disappears. The truth is, if you have something in you that wants to rise up, do better, become more, you know it. I believe it’s part of our nature. That part of you doesn’t change. I’m not sure it ever gets satisfied. There always seems to be a next level. And with each new level, a greater version of you gets revealed. If you allow it.
As a Success Alignment® Expert, I coach people ready to allow that next level of success in their lives. We typically work together for a minimum of 6 months, but I prefer to be with them for a full year. Why? Not so that I have a guaranteed client. In fact, having a client for a year limits me to working with only a handful of clients at a time. I coach this way because it takes that kind of commitment of doing the hard work that makes the difference to develop yourself and make the shift to being an Expert, Influencer or Thought Leader.
Can you write a book in a weekend? Sure, but not a good one. Typically, those books are sales letters in disguise. You’re not really fooling anyone.
Writing a book that delivers value takes time to develop. There’s real work involved in writing a book. There’s research, creativity, and thought leadership to name but a few activities needed to produce the quality that makes an impact. People talk about things that make an impact. That takes time to develop.
Look, it takes a human baby 9 months (not to mention the time the parents invested to get there) for a human baby to develop. We consider it a miracle. No one tries to rush a pregnancy. We want to give that baby every chance of being healthy.
It takes humans 50, 70, 100 years to master living. Many waste their opportunity and don’t get to the level of mastery of their own lives. Some are fooled into thinking they have mastered what they need but find themselves blinded by their own arrogance.
It takes a diamond between 1 billion and 3.3 billion years to form. That’s why it’s so valuable when it becomes available. You can’t rush the process.
So, while you can’t have everything you want in a year, you can make a significant impact toward getting there. Every year counts. Every year builds on the last one.
While I think it’s important to have a long-view guiding Vision for your life, I like the idea of knowing what you want for the coming year. A year is a long time to do something of significance, yet short enough that you can experience a viable result. And we humans are encouraged by our own progress.
Just look at this list of significant things that can be achieved in a year. This list includes items that if you do them will forever change your life. These are ‘next-level’ achievements that will transform your very being.
Make a baby
Learn piano basics
Write and publish a book
Make a full-length feature film
Take a gap year to go find your Self
Build a house
Establish a business
What’s on your list?
We all go through a similar journey, yet each one is dotted with its own stories, its own depth of wisdom, its own path to becoming who you are meant to be.
When you start out, it’s all about making and establishing a living. No one can argue that. You need to make enough money to live without concern for it. At least to have enough that you don’t feel like you’re drowning in debt. This includes having a place to live that feels safe, having enough food to never go hungry and have good friends to share your time with. It’s only when you have this that you are able to even consider the next phase.
In the early stages of growth, you move on to wanting to achieve something. You want to be well compensated. You want to be recognized (whether you’ve earned it or not). You want to feel like you have what it takes to reach the top. You want your name to be known. You want to level up your living conditions and gain access to more privileges – better vehicles, vacations, clothes, entertainment and perhaps living in a different neighborhood.
Later on, you want to be accomplished. Your status doesn’t matter as much as what you’ve been able to do. Where you’ve made a difference or left a mark. This is the beginning of legacy work. It becomes more about making a difference than making an impact but making an impact matters here too.
You’ll understand the next level phases if you’ve had a sense of stability in your life, where you have been able to support yourself and those that matter to you. Until you have this stability, it’s nearly impossible to move to the next level. When you don’t have the stability, it can either drag you down, making you bitter or worse, feel defeated. Or it can act as the catalyst to get you to the next level.
It’s the early growth stage that is the most curious for me. It’s where the majority of people live. It comes with a lot of stress often peppered with a sense of missing something or feeling unfulfilled, wrapped in a veil of compromise. It appears like you have everything, yet something is still off. You’ve reached milestones worthy of bragging about, but it’s not the thing you want to be bragging about. Secretly, you wish things were different.
The accomplished stage is where you get a second wind, a second chance for some, if you will. Now wiser, with experience under your belt, you’re beginning to think of success in ways that are meaningful to you. You’re thinking of things that matter to you. And you want to apply yourself and your efforts elevating to new levels of accomplishment. Success looks different now.
Do you recognize the stage you’re in?
Not everyone moves through these stages. Not everyone wants to. Not everyone understands that this is an option. Some reach a level and settle there. Others end up in a level and feel like they’ve ‘made it’ never realizing that there is more available to them. They feel exhausted, proud of their accomplishments but don’t want to go through growth again. It took a lot of work just to get here and they feel like they’re done.
And then there are some who are destined for greatness. They’re willing to know what stepping into the life they were meant for is like. While already accomplished, they feel the hunger.
They know there is more available to them. They know there is something more for them to do. It may not be easy to find. It’s going to be difficult to describe. They can’t see it. They just know there’s something in them, something greater than what they have done up until now. And they want it.
The reality is, that ‘something more’ is available to anyone. It doesn’t always look the same. It may be difficult to define and the path will be different for everyone who seeks it. But know that it is available to you, to me, and to everyone you know.
In our lives, we have been given the gift of Free Will. You don’t have the Free Will to become anyone you want. I believe you were created to be someone of specific significance. You have the Free Will to step into your greatness or dismiss it.
While the path to success may seem elusive or difficult to find or even hard to define, there are certain truths that show up for everyone that has been through the journey. These truths are evident in all success journeys. While they look different, they are common. While they are common, they are not obvious. When they seem obvious, they are difficult to manifest. What seems easy or obvious in this regard is never as easy or obvious as you may anticipate.
The Truths of Success
Below is an outline of what it takes to succeed. Each item builds on the other. And like a recipe, without any one ingredient mixed in just the right way in the right proportions, you end up with something else.
These are the Truths of Success,
You’ve got to want it.
If you want it, you have to go get it.
If you’re going to go get it, you have to be in the right condition to endure it.
If you’re in the right condition, you need the right environment to help you see it through.
When you’re in the right condition, supported by the right environment, you need the right game plan to make the right moves.
And finally, you have to make the moves.
All of it matters.
Over the years, I have been privileged to coach many high-caliber people. You’ve shared your dreams. You’ve shared your heartbreaks. You’ve shared your fears. And you’ve shared your joys.
When you stepped up to coaching, together we’ve accomplished many great things. Through our coaching sessions, I’ve witnessed you transform into your next level of success. I applaud each of you for continuing to show up, especially when it wasn’t easy.
The work of success is not an easy path. It’s why so many settle when there is more available to them (whether they recognize it or not). It all must start with the desire to have it.
No matter the size of your dreams, they are important if they are important to you.
Don’t let them vanish. They never disappear. Those dreams are your greatness calling to you to be released. That’s the work of the Expert, Influencer and Thought Leader. You have to go there to get to where you want to be.
As this next phase of your life unfolds, be the one doing the unfolding. Take control of that power. It’s already yours.
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