“Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not: nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not: the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.” – Calvin Coolidge
When I was in school I took one spring break to do disaster relief work down in New Orleans. One area we worked on was cleaning up some public land. There was a task to clear out an area that was overgrown with weeds and even had a small tree growing in the way of a path through. With the enthusiasm of a 20-year-old I volunteered for this task excited to swing an axe for the first time. After the weeds were cleared my friend Tommy and I started hacking away at this tree; swinging as hard and as fast as we could muster like a wiffle-ball bat. I mean, we were gym rats with something to prove. We switched off every minute or so as we gassed ourselves out. Then, one of the supervisors, a burly middle-aged woman from rural Michigan, took the axe and gave a dozen smooth swings. She intentionally handled the axe and seemed to make more progress in those swings than we had in an hour. Tommy and I modeled our technique after hers and eventually that tree fell.
Chopping away at that tree represents a lot for me. We can work our tails off, and eventually the tree will fall. However, greatness leaves clues, and we can model our behavior to have smooth deliberate strokes, and eventually, STILL after much hard work, your tree will fall. Hard work will always be a common thread, but pair that with intentional, planned hard work and you are on your Path and now have a compass.
One year ago I wrote about Goal Setting as we approached the last three months of the year. I am still taking the same approach, but intend to pair it with my own mission statement for extra clarity. Each goal can be considered a swing of the axe, and I want to be deliberate about them.
“The most effective way I know to begin with the end in mind is to develop a personal mission statement or philosophy or creed. It focuses on what you want to be (character) and to do (contributions and achievements) and on the values or principles upon which being and doing are based.” – 7 Habits For Highly Effective People
- We are going to create a mission/vision that is Personal, Positive, Present tense, Visual, Emotional through combining our answers to the below 3 questions.
- Answer each of the questions below (from Playing with Fire) and combine them into your personal mission statement:
- How would you like to spend the next 5 years?
- What would you do if you had 6 months to live?
- What are your most important life goals?
Do this, then move onto quarterly goal setting to have clarity moving into the last 3 months of 2019. Finally, pick your most important goal and run it through the Ziglar Goal Setting Worksheet. With all this, we will be well on our way to falling our next tree.
Tree by Edward Boatman from the Noun Project