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When you are committed to going for it
January 26, 2015 | By Neil Ducoff | 6 Comments
It starts as a “what if” vision of the possibilities awaiting you … if you commit to go for it. What is “it”? “It” could be your career, your company or an accomplishment that is profoundly personal and meaningful to you. The “what if” vision may take years to achieve, or it can live in your mind’s eye only for as long as you can remember, but the big question remains the same: when will you decide to go for it? When will you flip the switch from “I want to” to “I’m going to”? The “I want to” setting doesn’t get you anywhere. It holds your vision captive, untested and always out of reach. The “I’m going for it” setting, on the other hand, is all about taking action to step into the unknown and transform your vision into reality.
“Going for it” is a quest with both known and unknown obstacles and challenges. It is a quest that tests your tenacity and courage to lead through adversity. By design, the quest to pursue your vision is supposed to be tough – it’s supposed to test your limits. Simply put, the quest tries its best to beat you down and get you to quit. But when your vision becomes a reality … when you finally achieve what you set out to do … there is no greater feeling of accomplishment. But it is only a moment in time. I’ll explain this in a bit.
Here are my No-Compromise Leadership insights on what happens when you finally commit to “go for it”:
- Getting out of the starting gate: The decision to flip the switch and truly “go for it” is the first challenge to overcome. When you’re young and just starting out, there can be fewer obstacles standing in your way, and going for it means making a personal decision to build a career, excel at a sport, start a company … to just chase your vision in general. Family, relationships, money, time, physical abilities and all of the other stuff that accumulates throughout life can make the decision to go for it difficult. Most often, something has to change or be sacrificed in order to pursue your vision. Education will take time. Developing and refining a skill will take time. Working out and training will take time. Building a career and/or a company will take time. The fundamental question we all must answer is what do we want to accomplish during our life’s timeline? “I don’t have time” is lamest excuse of all. There is always a way to find the time. Life is short … do it now. Flip the switch. Chase your vision. For me, the last thing I want to discover at the end of my life is a sense of regret for all that I could have done.
- The first 15%: Once you flip the switch, there is a period of urgency, energy, discovery and innovation that must be captured. It’s called “the first 15%” because the first 15% of going for it is the strategy and planning phase that will deliver the remaining 85% of the quest. The more thought, detail and structure you put into the first 15%, the more prepared you will be for the arduous challenges that await you. You know exactly what I’m talking about. Think about all those situations you got yourself and/or your company into because you didn’t prepare sufficiently. The commitment to go for it doesn’t mean leaping blindly into the abyss with nothing but hope. Give that first 15% all you’ve got.
- Shit happens: Deal with it. Expect it. Adapt to it. Remember, reality will try everything it can to disrupt and wreck your plan. There will be setbacks. There will be losses. You might even have to completely start over because your first 15% assumptions were flawed. Discouragement is nothing but a state of mind that lasts as long as you allow it to. Get over it. Regroup. Plot another course now that you know the previous one was a dead end. You’ve already committed to “go for it”, so you might as well follow through. Over the years, I’ve met many leaders and business owners that are all too prepared to “throw in the towel” when the going gets tough. Being committed to something you want more than anything means being committed to going the distance. No-Compromise leaders know if they fail within sight of their goal, they gave it their best. There is always a sense of pride and accomplishment in giving something your all, even if you come up short. Shit happens. No regrets.
- Visions are perpetual: Winning is relative. Achieving a goal is relative. Achieving a vision is relative. As you move toward your vision, you learn and acquire essential abilities, knowledge and experience that you didn’t have at the outset. This means that your wins, goals and visions are relative to that very moment in time and will change, adapt and become more defined as you progress. I’m not attempting to get all “cosmic” on you here … I’m reminding you that your current reality is just that – current. It exists in the moment and morphs into a more refined vision of what is possible in the future. Your vision today will always become your new and improved vision of tomorrow.
I can ride my bike faster and longer today because I made a commitment to train differently by working with a coach. Today my cycling goals are different than a year ago. The same goes for my company. The same applies to you, your career, your company and what you want out of life. It all begins with a commitment to chase your dreams … to “go for it.”
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