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Flight PlanHOW TO ACHIEVE MORE, FASTER THAN YOU EVER DREAMED POSSIBLE
By BRIAN TRACY
Berrett-Koehler Publishers, Inc.Copyright © 2008 Brian Tracy
All right reserved.
Chapter OneChoose Your Destination
Thoroughness characterizes all successful men. Genius is the art of taking infinite pains. All great achievement has been characterized by extreme care, infinite painstaking, even to the minutest detail. ELBERT HUBBARD
You have the ability, right now, to accomplish more in life than you ever imagined possible. You have more talent than you could use in a hundred lifetimes. There have never been more opportunities and innovations to enable you to achieve higher levels of health, happiness, and financial well-being than exist today. In order for you to realize this unlimited potential, your first and greatest responsibility to yourself is to become absolutely clear about what it is that you really want.
When you are absolutely clear about who you are, what you want, and where you want to go, you will accomplish ten times as much as the average person, and much faster as well.
Virtually all of us have four main goals in common. These are (1) to be fit, be healthy, and live a long life; (2) to do work we enjoy and be well paid for it; (3) to be in happy relationships with people we love and respect and who love and respect us in return; and (4) to achieve financial independence so we never have to worry about money again. When you give yourself a score of one to ten in each of these four areas, you will find that most of your problems and concerns today are in that part of your life where you scored the lowest. The most rapid improvements in your life will come when you make improvements in that specific area.
An Abundant Worldview
In flying toward any of these four destinations, you can have either an attitude of abundance or an attitude of scarcity. If you have an attitude of abundance, you will be confident, optimistic, and positive and continually work confidently in the direction of your dreams.
When you have an attitude of abundance, you will tend to see the world in a benevolent way. You will believe that the world is a good place largely filled with good people. You will feel that this is the best of all possible times to be alive.
This doesn't mean that you are unaware of the problems and difficulties in the world. But you accept that these problems have always existed. With an attitude of abundance, you will be more positive and constructive, more focused on solutions than on problems. You will be more concerned about what can be done to improve matters than who is to blame or what has happened in the past.
If you have an attitude of scarcity, you will be just the opposite. You will believe that success is very much a matter of luck and that those who are successful probably earned their money by cheating or swindling someone else. You will see oppression and unfairness everywhere. You will easily accept the old excuses: "The rich get richer and the poor get poorer," "It's not what you know; it's who you know," "You can't fight city hall."
Whichever attitude you develop takes on a force of its own. Your outer world will conform to your inner world. Because you are reading this book, you obviously have an abundant and benevolent worldview. You have a high sense of control and believe that most of what happens to you is self-determined.
If you are a positive and constructive person, you accept a high degree of responsibility for yourself and for everything that happens to you. You do not blame other people or make excuses. If you are not happy with a situation, you get busy and do something to change it. And if you can't change it, you accept it. But you never complain.
Chart Your Destination
The more time you take to decide upon your destination and your goals, the faster and easier it will be for you to reach them. Your future intent will determine your present actions every day.
Begin with perhaps the most important question of all: What do I really want to do with my life?
When you set goals for yourself in any part of your life, be perfectly selfish. Idealize. Determine exactly the conditions that would make you the happiest and give you the greatest satisfaction if you could attain them.
Imagine that you could wave a magic wand over your life and make it perfect in every way. What would it look like? What would you dare to dream if you knew you could not fail?
When you ask this question, imagine that you have no limitations of any kind. Imagine that you have all the time and all the money, all the knowledge and all the skills, all the friends and all the contacts, and all the education and all the ability that you need to accomplish any goal that you set for yourself. Put another way, imagine that you have a credit card with no limit and you can fly off to any destination.
Your Ideal Career and Income
Begin with your job and career. If your income were ideal, how much would you be earning? If your workplace were perfect, what kind of a company or organization would you work in? What kind of people would you work with? If you could design your job, how would you most enjoy working, and in what ways would you be the most productive? What special talents and abilities do you have that you would like to use at the highest possible level?
Since you are going to have to work at a job for most of your life, one of your chief responsibilities is to be absolutely clear about the perfect job for you. As Napoleon Hill said, "The key to success is to determine what it is that you most enjoy doing, and then find a way to make a good living doing it."
If you could do just one thing all day long and be paid well for doing it, what would it be?
Your Natural Talents and Abilities
Wayne Dyer says that each child comes into the world with secret orders. What are yours? What were you born to do? What are the special talents, abilities, interests, desires, and skills that make you unique—different from all other people? How do you know when you are doing what you are meant to do? How can you tell?
Here are ten indicators that you can use to determine that you are in the right field, doing what you were put on this earth to do:
1. You love your job. It interests you, fascinates you, attracts you.
2. You want to be excellent at your job, to be among the top 10 percent in your field.
3. You admire the top people in your field and want to be like them, to achieve their same level of success.
4. You like to learn about your chosen field—to read about it, attend courses and lectures on it, listen to audio programs about it. You never tire of learning more throughout your life.
5. The right job for you is something that is easy to learn and easy to do. It seems to come naturally to you, while it is difficult for most others.
6. When you are fully engaged in your work, time stands still. You often forget to eat, drink, take breaks, or rest.
7. Success experiences in this field give you your greatest feelings of self-esteem and satisfaction, your peak experiences in life. You can hardly wait to achieve success again.
8. You like to think about your work and talk about it when you aren't doing it. It is interwoven with your whole life.
9. You like to associate with other people in your field and to "talk shop" on every occasion.
10. You plan to do this work all your life, to never retire, because you enjoy it so much.
It has been said, "Do what you love; the money will follow." True success comes from discovering what you love to do and then throwing your whole heart into doing it better and better. Determining your ideal job or career is essential to your choosing your real destination and fulfilling your potential.
Your Perfect Personal Life
Wave a magic wand over your family, relationships, and personal life. If your family life were perfect, what would it look like? What kind of lifestyle would you enjoy? Where would you live? What kind of a home would you have? How would you spend your time with the members of your family, day in and day out?
If you are not married, describe the perfect relationship for you. Imagine your dream person. Write down every single quality and characteristic that the perfect person for you would have. You'll be absolutely amazed at how quickly you will meet the right person for you once you are clear about what the right person looks like.
If your personal life were perfect in every way, how would you spend your time and your life? What kind of car would you drive? What kinds of vacations would you take? What sorts of destinations would you want to visit? Create your ideal calendar—day to day, week to week, month to month, and year to year. Knowing what you want is the first step to getting it.
Imagine No Limitations
If your health were perfect, how would it be different from your health today? How much would you weigh? How fit would you be? What kinds of foods would you eat? What kinds of physical exercise would you do each day and each week? Imagine that you could sculpt and shape your perfect body. What would you look like?
Finally, if your financial life were perfect in every way, how much would you be worth? How much money would you have in the bank? How much money would you have invested and working for you? What would be your net worth? How much would you be earning as passive income each month and each year? Especially, what do you want your net worth to be?
The greater clarity you have regarding your answers to these questions, the easier it will be for you to plan your destination and determine your flight plan.
Here is a simple exercise: Determine how much it would cost you per month to live comfortably even if you had no income at all. Include all your costs of housing, food, travel, medical expenses, vacations, and entertainment. Multiply that number by 12 (the number of months in a year), and then multiply that result by 20 (the number of years you will probably live after you retire). The total represents your retirement goal. This is how much you will have to accumulate to be financially independent for life.
Then determine your net worth. Calculate on paper exactly how much you are worth today. Imagine that you were going to sell everything that you own and move to a foreign country. Be honest. How much would you have in total if you liquidated all of your assets today? This is the kind of analysis that a bank requires when you apply for a loan. A lender wants to know how much you have, how much you owe, and how much liquid cash you have available.
You now have a financial starting point, your current net worth, and a financial destination, the number that you want to reach in the years ahead. You are ready to take action.
In determining your ultimate destination in any area of your life, practice "long-time perspective." This technique, used by the most successful people in every area, requires that you project forward several years and determine where you want to be at the end of that period.
You then practice "back-from-the-future" thinking. From the vantage point of the future, in your imagination, you look back to where you are at the present moment. You then think about the steps that you could take, starting today, to get from where you are to where you want to be in the future.
This long-time perspective enables you to see yourself and your life with greater clarity. It reveals what you need to do, and what you need to stop doing, if you truly want to reach your destination.
When you are completely clear about your destination, you'll find it much easier to make decisions regarding your actions, day by day and hour by hour. The secret is simply to make sure that everything you do today, every decision you make, is moving you toward the destination you have chosen.
Four Powerful Techniques
In determining your destination, you can use four special techniques to accelerate your progress and increase the likelihood that you will achieve your goals on schedule. These are verbalization, visualization, emotionalization, and rationalization. Let us take them in order:
1. Verbalization: With verbalization you write down a clear, specific, and measurable goal. You can't hit a target that you can't see. You cannot achieve a goal that you cannot express clearly in words. The more time you take to be precise and accurate in your description of the goal that you wish to attain, the easier it will be for you to make sure that every step you take is in the right direction.
2. Visualization: All improvements in your outer life begin with an improvement in your mental pictures of yourself and your desired future. You visualize by creating a clear, detailed mental picture of your perfect goal or destination.
Your ability to visualize is one of the most incredible powers that you possess. Each time you replay the picture of your perfect goal as if it were already realized, you imprint this message deeper and deeper into your subconscious mind. The more clearly you can see your goal in your mind, the faster it will appear in your reality.
3. Emotionalization: When you emotionalize the goal that you have verbalized and visualized, you actually create within yourself the feelings that you would experience if you had already attained the goal. The more intense your desire to achieve this goal, the more power and energy you will put behind it, and the faster you will move toward it.
When you imagine the feelings of joy, happiness, pride, and pleasure that will accompany the attainment of your goal, you multiply your mental powers for goal attainment.
4. Rationalization: You rationalize your goal by writing down all the reasons why you want to reach this goal and all the benefits that you will enjoy when you attain it. Make a list of all the ways that the attainment of this goal will improve your life. As Nietzsche wrote, "He who has a strong enough why can bear almost any how."
Reasons are the fuel in the furnace of achievement. The more reasons you have for wanting to attain a goal, the more motivated and determined you will become. The more reasons you have, the more you will persist in the face of any adversity. The more reasons you have, the more creative you will become in overcoming difficulties and removing obstacles. The more reasons you have, the more likely it is that you will become unstoppable in your movement toward your destination.
Make It Believable
One important point: make sure your goals are both believable and realistic. As Napoleon Hill said, "Whatever the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve."
When you decide on an exciting future destination, your goal must be realistic. It must be something that you can get your mind around. It must be something that makes you stretch but that you feel confident you can achieve.
This is the reason for making your goals believable: if you set a goal that is too far beyond anything you have ever accomplished, it actually demotivates you rather than motivating you. When you set your goals too high, a "circuit-breaker" mechanism in your subconscious mind actually shuts off your motivation.
If you cannot quite believe in your conscious mind that you can attain a goal, none of your mental powers will click into action to help you attain it. Instead, you may be motivated and excited for a while, but as soon as you face the inevitable adversity and disappointment that accompany goal attainment, you will lose heart and give up.
Excerpted from Flight Plan by BRIAN TRACY Copyright © 2008 by Brian Tracy. Excerpted by permission of Berrett-Koehler Publishers, Inc.. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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