How to Achieve Victory in Pursuing Your Dreams

The Three Steps to Accomplish What You Set Your Mind to

Lately I have been reading, among other books, The Wright Brothers by David McCollough. He is my favorite writer, as I have read all four of his presidential biographies on John Adams, Harry Truman, Teddy Roosevelt, and George Washington. The painstaking detail that McCollough employs in fleshing out these historical figures is breathtaking. His book The Wright Brothers retells a story that I thought I knew, but after a few pages I quickly realized I didn’t. And the detail with which he describes the Wright brothers clearly shows that these brothers were not country bumpkins who happened to get lucky. He vividly portrays two young men who had an insatiable curiosity and an indomitable work ethic that helped them gain victory over the sky.

Victory

The process they used to get a flying machine off the ground, and then learn how to perfectly control the craft, belies their simple exterior. Almost all of the people who came into contact with the Wright brothers’ experiments misunderstood them and underestimated them. While looking on their exterior, people could not see the countless hours they had poured over books on flight and the countless hours they had invested in trying to understand how flight worked. All people could see is two young bicycle shop owners who dared to do the impossible.

Their story applies to you as well. People cannot see what is on the inside of you; they can only see what is inside themselves. All people can see is what is on the outside of you—and they project onto you what they believe about themselves. They assume what is on the inside of you conforms to the paradigms they believe about themselves. They don’t know who you can become, and they may try to limit you based on what they perceive about you. Just like the Wright brothers didn’t allow others to limit them—in fact, they seemed delightfully oblivious of what others thought of them—you should not allow others to tell you what you can do.

Based on Proverbs 21:31 (MSG), here are three things you can do—like the Wright brothers—to achieve victory over anything.

Start Over by Being Brutally Honest with Yourself

Understand What Happened and Try It Again

At the beginning of the year, I did an analysis of my year. I looked at how the past year stacked up. I reviewed my goals for the year and determined how I did. Not all were wins or losses: some goals changed during the course of the year. Based on my analysis, I had one win, four losses, and two changes mid-course. That wasn’t what I wanted to see. But I had to be brutally honest with myself. And figure out how to start over for the new year.

brutally honest

I didn’t like not making all my goals. But I had to be willing to admit that I didn’t make all of them. But that required that I be brutally honest with myself. I couldn’t just throw some darts against the wall and then draw the target around the darts. I had to acknowledge that I didn’t hit the target.

It’s never easy to deal with disappointment—or even outright failure. It’s tempting to brood about it. Or to ignore it. Or to deny it ever happened. I have lost count of the number of times that I have had to process what went wrong. And I know it’s no fun to have to admit that things didn’t work out. But disappointment and failure can be great teachers. If you are willing to be taught by them.

Based on my own experience, here’s how you can be brutally honest with yourself and figure out how to start over.

How Will You Change You in 2019?

You Will Be the Same Person in Ten Years — Unless You Change Three Things

As you think through what you want to do differently in the coming year, it’s important to think through how you will change you in 2019. You can’t change your circumstances until you change yourself first.

2019 new year change

Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results is insanity. Do not do that to yourself. If you want to have different results, you must change you first.

You will be the same person in ten years that you are right now—unless you change these three things.

You Become in the Doing

You Don’t Have to Have It All Together to Begin

People usually think that you have to have everything all mapped out before you can pursue your dreams, goals, and visions. Many people think that you have to anticipate every situation before you can begin. But if you do it that way, you will never start. Because you can never be prepared for everything. You just have to be ready to begin. You will become who you need to be in the doing.

become

While it’s important to have an idea of where you’re going to go, nothing ever happens according to plan. As Dwight D. Eisenhower said, “plans are useless, but planning is indispensable.” So don’t be wedded to your plans. But be willing to step out and begin.

You will never know all that you need to know to be successful when you start. You will find that out along the way. The key is to be willing to move forward even if you don’t have it all together. You will learn what you need to know as you progress.

Here are three things that will try to trip you up before you can even begin. So be on your guard against these three success killers.

Do Not Worry About the Next Step

Just Be Willing to Walk Out in Faith

Many people want to move forward, but they are worried about making the next step. They are concerned that they will make a mistake. Or look foolish. Or both. But the only way to move forward is to be willing to walk out in faith and take that next step.

Next Step

In professional life, there is always the chasm between where you are and where you want to go. And there is so much uncertainty between the start and the finish. But the only way you can get to where you want to go is to risk making a mistake. Or looking foolish. Or both.

Here is the process to implement if you are to embrace uncertainty and become comfortable with taking the next step.

Success May Not Be What You Think It Is

A Three-Step Process to Find True Success

Success is not what people always think it is. As a result, success can be an elusive target to hit. Many people want to be successful, but they aren’t willing to do what it requires.

success

Success is not a one and done thing. It takes a combination of things working together over time to produce the desired result.

Here is a process for what will get you to achieve your goal of success.

Six Keys to a Thoughtful Strategic Plan

co-written with Ben Case, Case Consulting Services Inc.

Whatever business you are in, I believe it is mandatory for every company to have a thoughtful strategic plan. When your day-to-day work becomes overwhelming, you need to have a plan that will keep you focused on where you want to go as a company over the long haul.

thoughtful strategic plan

A thoughtful strategic plan gives everyone a clear sense of the organization’s direction. Leadership commits to it in writing. Staff puts the plan into action.

Before I started Transformational Impact LLC, I worked with my friend Ben Case at Case Consulting Services, Inc. Ben is reputedly one of the best major gift fundraisers in the world, having helped nonprofits raise more than $4.3 billion in his 40 years of fundraising.

In 2016, Ben Case and I wrote a series on Six Keys to Thoughtful Strategic Planning. Here’s a summary of those six keys.

How Will You Change You in 2018?

You Will Be the Same Person in Ten Years—Unless You Change Three Things

As you think through what you want to do differently in the coming year, it’s important to think through how you will change you in 2018. You can’t change your circumstances until you change yourself first.

Change You

Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results is insanity. Do not do that to yourself. If you want to have different results, you must change you first.

You will be the same person in ten years that you are right now—unless you change these three things.

How to Have Staying Power for Long-Term Goals

When you have long-term goals, you need something to prevent you from quitting. That’s why it is important to have staying power. But how do you develop it?

staying power for long-term goals

Your staying power is your ability to keep doing something for a long time despite fatigue or difficulty. In effect, it is your physical or mental stamina.

Here’s how you can develop your staying power so you can reach your long-term goals.

How to Make Sure You Don’t Quit

Have you ever started something that you didn’t finish? Did you wish later that you had kept at it? You have the ability to take on new things and finish them. You just need to make sure that you don’t quit.

don't quit

I know that sounds easier said than done. But you can develop the ability to see things through. You can achieve things you never thought possible. But it requires staying power. And it requires that you don’t quit.

Here’s a three step process to help make sure you finish what you start and not quit.