What Do You Really Want? Before you go any further in the planning to win process, it’s a good idea to do a desire inspection on yourself. Why? Because if you don’t have a real desire to do something, your heart won’t be in it. The question we need to ask ourselves is, “Why do I want to do or accomplish this?”
If you are unable to answer the “why you want something” question in one simple sentence, it probably isn’t a true desire of yours, so you can let go of that idea. Weight loss is the simplest example that I can give you of how this process works. For instance, if you want to lose weight, your reasons why might be that weight loss will make you healthier, and you’ll feel and look better, too. If you are clear about your vision and you really want to achieve it, you will know what you want and why you want it. When you know what you desire, you can enthusiastically create an action plan to achieve it, and you will be genuinely motivated to follow through.
You don’t have to be great to get started, but you do have to start to be great.
This means you have to be before you can do, and do before you can have. That probably sounds simple enough, but there is a lot more involved in that statement than you might think. That statement really captures the core issues that are connected to being successful. When you understand what these three little words (be, do, have) mean, you will view success in an entirely new way—and ultimately change the world!
There are six characteristics that comprise the foundation stones of your life and your success. The six characteristics are honesty, character, faith, integrity, love, and loyalty.
The Foundation Stones
You need to make sure honesty is a priority in your life!
Sometimes all it takes is a word, a phrase, or a thought planted in someone’s mind to change his or her whole life. It truly pays to watch closely what and how you think. Our thinking really does drive our character. Frank Outlaw expressed the power of our thoughts this way:
- Watch your thoughts; they become words.
- Watch your words; they become actions.
- Watch your actions; they become habits.
- Watch your habits; they become character.
- Watch your character; for it becomes your destiny!
The point is that your character truly does become your destiny, because your character determines your future. And your character is largely formed by how you see yourself in relationship to God and other people.
To me, the issue of faith and living by spiritual principles is just a matter of good common sense.
I don’t know what you think or believe about spirituality, faith, the Bible, Christianity, or anything else. All I know is that you need to know for yourself what you believe about these issues if you really want to have the kind of success in Born to Win.
Our integrity is a fruit of who and what we are, and we can no more stop our integrity, or lack of it, than an apple tree can stop producing apples and start producing peaches. If you want to know what the status of your own integrity is, just do some serious soul-searching, and that begins by taking a look at your heart, your motives, and the reasons you do everything you do.
We know we genuinely love when thinking about the needs of others is more fun than thinking about ourselves. There is another thing about love you need to understand. Faking love is impossible.
Love is like the other fruits that we produce in life, it results from who we are. The Bible has the best definition of love you will ever find, and here it is:
Love is patient,
Love is kind.
Love is not jealous,
Love does not brag,
Love is not arrogant.
Love does not act unbecomingly or seek its own;
Love is not provoked and does not take into account a wrong suffered.
—1 Corinthians 13:4-5
The final foundation stone is loyalty, and unfortunately it is in short supply these days. Loyalty is one of the characteristics of great leaders, and the reason we have a short supply of inspiring leaders is because we have a short supply of people who have learned how to be loyal. People who are loyal are loyal to the commitments they make, and they keep their promises. They are loyal to the principles they embrace, and they are loyal to the people who fill their lives. A person who is loyal does not talk behind the backs of those he follows, and a loyal person sincerely wishes the best for others. In one sense, loyalty is an expression of love, because it requires some selflessness.
Values & Purpose
Part of planning to win is developing the fuel that will drive you to take the daily actions that will move you in the direction of your dreams. When you skimp on planning, the results you get in the end will be reduced.
Understanding the power of value and purpose and how to use it for lasting motivation is essential to maintaining your intensity level so you will consistently do what you need to do to gain and maintain a winning edge. The Born to Win process is about being the best you can be, and to be the best you can be, you must commit yourself to taking the necessary daily actions required to make that happen. This means understanding the reasons behind the vision. Why do you want this plan? If you win, what will it accomplish, who will it help? How will you feel? How will this vision and plan value others? How will it add value to your life? When you understand those principles and the work you need to do to build your plan around those principles, the result will be contentment, happiness, and a mental perspective that will enable you to approach life in a more enthusiastic and effective way. The fact that you have created a vision and understand the true value and purpose of that vision will energize you and give you the personal motivation you need to finish well—and achieve exceptional results.
Fear & Playing It Safe
One of the main reasons people fail to reach their full potential is because they are unwilling to risk anything. They are fearful of losing, failing, or getting hurt and just want to do the things they believe will keep them safe. They simply want to maintain their status quo and avoid anything that might upset the mediocre expectations they have for their lives.
To discover your purpose and act on it, you will have to take risks. What does it mean to take a risk, and how can you overcome the fear of taking risks? First, let’s consider how you might have become fearful of taking risks in the first place. Most people become fearful because they have been hurt by taking risks in the past. That is why our experience contributes to possibly limiting what we think we can do or are willing to do. The way to correct this thinking is to realize that the mistakes we made in our past are actually assets that we can use for our benefit today. It is not that we should stop taking risks. It is that we should not repeat things we have done in the past that did not work. There is a big difference between the two!
Playing it safe by refusing to take risks may seem to be a prudent choice. However, let me point out that it would be safer for ships to stay in the harbor and for airplanes to stay on the ground. By not going to sea or taking to the air, they would be able to avoid the challenges of bad weather and unexpected conditions. But idle ships grow barnacles faster, and idle planes quickly begin to rust. Yes, there is danger in setting goals, but the risk is infinitely greater when you don’t set goals. The reason is simple. Just as ships are built to sail the seas and planes to fly the heavens, so is man created for a purpose. That purpose is to get everything out of you that is humanly possible so you can make your contributions to mankind.
Worry is the result of thinking and imagining what might happen in the future. I want to stress the word “imagine.” The only reality people have is what is going on in their lives today. It is in the events of the day that life transpires, and anything based on tomorrow is pure speculation.
If you take care of your health through a good diet coupled with exercise, you can reasonably expect good health in the future. If you save and invest your financial resources, you can reasonably expect to have financial security in the future. If you live by principles of love and service to others, you can reasonably expect to have good personal relationships in the future.
Good action today will produce good living tomorrow. Reasonably good expectations for tomorrow are based on positive thinking and prudent action today. Try this: instead of imagining all the bad things that might happen to you in the future based on your fear, start imagining things working out. There’s a song titled, “What If It All Goes Right?” by Melissa Lawson. The second line of the chorus is, “What if it all works out, what if the stars all line up . . . ” You have to develop a what if it does go right and work out expectancy if you want to be the winner you were born to be.
Finally, remember that if you have planned and prepared yourself to win, there is no need to worry about the results. Like the bowler who has released the ball down the alley, you must learn there is nothing your worrying can do to change anything. If you have planned well and set good goals, you can have confidence that you know where you want and need to go. If you have done what you need to do to prepare yourself to win, you do not have to worry. You will have no justification to worry about failure. You can expect to win!