..On The Path Of Winners
BY BAYO OGUNMUPE
Activate Courage To Pursue Your Goals
MOST people give up trying to achieve their goals even before the first day. And the reason why they give up is because of the obstacles that appear as soon as they decide to do something they have never done before. But as of fact, great people fail more often than mediocre. You should expect to fail several times before you attain your goals. Failure and temporary defeat are part of the price you pay on your road to financial freedom. Failure is an opportunity to achieve a grand triumph.
When you decide upon your goal, identifying all the obstacles that stand on your way. Write them down in detail. Then, think in terms of solutions. Great people have the solution mindset. They brood about solutions most of the time. Activate the solution orientation in your life. Solution oriented people are always looking for solutions to their problems. Problem oriented people always whine over their problems. Always, there are problems between you and your goals, which is why success is often defined as the ability to solve problems. And leadership is the ability to solve problems. So is effectiveness. Thus, champions are people who have developed the ability to solve the problems that stand between them and their goals.
Problem solving is a skill that you must acquire. A skill is like riding a bicycle or typing with a typewriter or keyboard, which you can learn. The more you focus on solutions, the more and better solutions come to you. The better you get at solving problems, the faster you get at gaining your goals. The faster you are solving problems, the more you solve problems that can have significant financial impact for you and others. This is how the world works. You can win because you have all the intelligence and ability you will ever need to overcome any obstacle on the path of your purpose. Celebrate your journey, not your destination. Always feel good about where you are now, and confident about where you will be tomorrow.
Incidentally, there have been important breakthroughs in decision-making. This was described by Eliyahu Goldratt in his book, The Goal, as ‘‘the theory of constraints.” This theory says that between you and anything you want to achieve, - there is a constraint or limiting factor. That determines how fast you get to where you want to be. For example, if you are driving down a freeway and traffic construction is narrowing the vehicles into a single lane. This bottleneck becomes the constraint that determines how fast you will get to your destination. The speed at which you pass through this bottleneck largely determines the speed of your entire journey.
In achieving your goal, your ability to remove this bottleneck will help you move ahead faster than any other step you can take. Yet, there is another rule of constraint. This rule says eighty per cent of your constraints are within you. Only twenty per cent of your constraints are outside of yourself, contained in other people, and situations. Put another way, it is you personally who is the roadblock that is setting the speed at which you achieve your goal.
For most people, it is hard to accept that you are your own enemy. But great people are more concerned with what is right rather than who is right. Champions are more concerned with the truth of the situation and the solution to the problem than they are with protecting their ego. Ask what is in you that is holding you back. Is it hate? Hate is like acid, it damages the container in which it is stored and destroys the vessel on which it is poured. To be safe, hate no one!
Identify the key constraints in your personality, skills, ability, habits, education and experience that might be holding you back from financial freedom. Be completely honest with yourself. Here in Nigeria, we fail more often because of jealousy, hatred, greed and cowardice. We trust nebulous and superstitious beliefs such as luck, destiny, fate and various other myths. In a nation that has commercialized education, religion and politics, working creatively is the safest road to prosperity.
The first obstacle to success is the fear of failure. It is why the average man tries to achieve a new goal only once. Fears overwhelm him, which extinguish his desire for success completely. The second mental obstacle closely aligned to fear is self doubt. He doubts his own abilities. He compares himself unfavourably to others, thinking others are better than himself. But happily, negative emotions can be unlearned. You can unlearn through practice and repetition. The antidotes to fear and doubt are courage and confidence. The higher the level of your courage and confidence, the lower your levels of fear and doubt.
The keys to courage and confidence are knowledge and skill. Fear and doubt arise from ignorance and inadequate skill in matters relating to your subject. The more you acquire what you need to achieve your goals, the less you fear and doubt. The third mental obstacle you need to overcome is the comfort zone. You are in your comfort zone when you become complacent with your present status. You become so comfortable in your job or relationship such that you become reluctant to make any changes at all, even for the better. This comfort zone is a major obstacle to ambition, desire, determination and accomplishment. People who are stuck in a comfort zone can be helpless. Don’t let this happen to you.
The way to evade obstacles is to list them in writing. To remove any obstacle, first define it in several ways before you solve it. Accurate diagnosis is half the cure. By accurate definition, you solve the problem. There is always a solution to any problem somewhere. Find the solution. Our champion this week is William Tecumseh Sherman, American civil war general and the architect of modern warfare. He led the union forces in crushing campaigns in 1864-5.
Named Tecumseh in honour of the renowned American Indian chieftain, Sherman was born in February 1820, in Lancaster, Ohio. He was one of eight children of Judge Charles Sherman who died when the boy was nine. Thomas Ewing, a family friend and a Stalwart Whig politician adopted Tecumseh and his foster mother added William to his name.
At 16, Ewing obtained an appointment to West Point Military Academy for him. Sherman graduated on top of his class in 1840. Thereafter, he was sent to fight Seminole Indians in Florida. In 1850, he married Ellen Ewing, daughter of his adoptive father. Ewing was then serving as the secretary of the Interior in Washington D.C. The new family settled in St. Louis. He resigned from the army to join a bank at its branch in California. The panic of 1857 interrupted his promising career in business and later friends found him employment in January 1860 as superintendent of a newly established military academy in Louisiana.
When Louisiana seceded from the union in 1861, Sherman resigned his appointment. Then he obtained an appointment in the U.S. Army as a colonel. He was soon assigned to command a brigade in General Irvin McDowell’s army, fighting in the Battle of Bull Run. Later he was promoted Brigadier.
President Abraham Lincoln thereafter sent him to Kentucky as second in command to General Robert Anderson. Later he became a divisional commander under General Ulysses Grant where Sherman distinguished himself at the Battle of Shiloh in 1862 – winning promotion to major general. Together with Grant they won victories in Vicksburg and Fort Hindman.
When Grant assumed supreme command in the west, Sherman commanded the armies of Mississippi. Then Sherman presented Savannah to Lincoln as Christmas gift in 1864. By February 1865, he was approaching Virginia where General Robert Lee surrendered to Grant in the closing battles of the civil war. Sherman succeeded Grant as the head of the army. When Grant became President in 1869, he made Sherman commanding General of the Army, a post he held until 1884. He declined all entreaties to run for office. Sherman was one of the ablest union generals in the civil war. His march to the sea is regarded as the first example of total war in modern warfare. He died in 1891 a week after his 71st birthday.