On The Path Of Winners
BY BAYO OGUNMUPE
Determine Where You Wish To Excel
IN more than three thousand studies of leaders, there is a special quality that stands them out, the one great quality leaders have in common is vision. Leaders have vision, non-leaders don’t. also, I have said before that one of the greatest discoveries about human nature is that you become what you think about most of the time. Which is why leaders have been found to think about the future, where they are going and how to get there.
Thus, when you begin to think about your future, you begin to think like a leader. And soon you get the same results as leaders get. Researchers Edward Banfield of Harvard concluded after fifty years of research that ‘‘long-time perspective” was the most important determining factor for financial and personal success in life. Banfield defined long-time perspective as ‘‘the ability to think years into the future while making decisions in the present.” This enables you make good decisions since the further you think into the future, the better decisions you will make in the present to assure that your vision of the future becomes a reality.
In personal strategic planning, you begin with a long-term view of your life. First, you write your own obituary as you would want to be described at death. Then you begin practicing idealization in your everyday life. With idealization in focus, you create a thirty year fantasy plan and begin implementing such a plan. However, the only obstacle to achieving your goal are yourself limiting beliefs. Such beliefs include believing yourself to be inadequate or inferior in areas such as intelligence, talent, personality or creativity. Thus, you sell yourself short. Thereby you set for yourself, low goals that are far below what you are truly capable of accomplishing.
But by combining idealization with optimism, you neutralize your self-limitation orientation. In Charles Garfield’s study of peak performers, he made interesting discoveries. He analysed men and women who had achieved average results for many years, but who suddenly exploded into great success and accomplishment. Garfield found that at the take-off-point everyone of them began engaging in what he called ‘‘blue-sky thinking.” In blue-sky thinking, you imagine that all things are possible for you, just like looking up into a clear blue sky with no limits. You project a perfect life of yourself forward into the future. You will then stand back and create that perfect future through a self-fulfilling prophecy. When you practice idealization, you make no compromises with your dreams and visions for yourself and your future. Instead, you dream big dreams and project forward mentally as if you had concluded with Jehovah’s approval. Imagine your success is inevitable.
When you fantasize your perfect future, the only question left is how do I actualize this? You then work to find ways to turn your vision to reality.
The primary difference between achievers and mediocre is the action orientation. Men and women of accomplishment are intensely action oriented. They are always on the move. They are always busy. If they have new ideas, they quickly try them out. Proverbs 29:18 says, ‘‘Where there is no vision, the people perish.” What this means is that if you lack an exciting vision for your future, you will perish inside mediocrity.
I dare you to remember that ‘‘Happiness is the progressive realization of a worthy goal.” When you have a clear, exciting goal, you will feel happier about yourself and your world. Resolve to think about your ideal future most of the time. Remember that the best days of your life lie ahead. However, the clearer you can be on your long-term future, the more rapidly you will attract people and circumstances into your life to help make that future a reality. The greater clarity you have about who you are and what you want, the more you will achieve and the faster you will achieve it in every area of your life.
Our champion this week is Alan Bartlett Shepard, the first American astronaut to travel in space. On May 5, 1961, he made a 15-minute suborbital flight in Freedom 7 which reached an altitude of 115 miles. The flight came 23 days after Major Yury Gagarin of the Soviet Union became the first man to orbit the Earth.
Born in New Haven, in 1923, but died in California in 1998, Shepard graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis in 1944 and served in the Pacific during World War II. He became a Naval test pilot and in 1958 graduated from the Naval War College, Newport. In 1959, he became one of the original seven U.S. Mercury programme astronauts.
Shepard commanded the Apollo 14 flight (January 31 to February 9, 1971) with Stuart Roosa and Edgar Mitchell, which involved the first landing in the lunar highlands. In 1971, he was appointed to an administrative post that he held until 1975, when he retired from the Navy, and the space programme to undertake a career in private business in Texas. He died a successful businessman in 1998.