Your Past and Present Hold Key to Your Future
by: Andrew Abernathy
Knowing more about who you are will give you the insight for your future goals.
Where are you going?
This isn't about location...It's about focus and achievement in your life. Pretty big stuff, but not so big you can't get your hands around it and get down to the basics so you can achieve your life's goals.
Did you accomplish what you set out to do last month? Or did you even have an idea of what you wanted to accomplish?
If not, did you play the blame game? Was it the economy again? or the competition? or your boss changing the rules again? If these are your reasons (excuses) then you are involved in manipulation. I mean you are being manipulated toward achievement, not self-centered principled achievement.
If you have read anything about goals, principled leadership or even goal setting from an achievement perspective you realize that everyone of us allows something to get in the way. It's part of that negative, sceptical thought pattern engrained inside of us. You just naturally create barriers. But there is good news--Barriers are meant to be jumped over!
Periodically, I set down and review where I have been, what I have been driven to do, where my interests are and what I am 'on fire' about. I've been doing this for about 20 years now and I have to say I have not always been satisfied with what I saw in myself. I'm the kind of person who sees opportunity around every corner and wants to try lots of new things. It can get pretty distracting when trying to accomplish the larger goals in life.
Two years ago I realized that I had to change several things in my life and I began an experiment with the internet. After about six or eight months of reading and study I launched AeAutomation.com. as a marketing newsletter. So far it has been a great success my many of my measurements, but not in all of them. The greatest success was it forced me to write and explore the forces at work in my life that were moving me to accomplish an very long standing life goal. In that perspective AeAutomation has completed the central goal of it's existence.
It spawned the fertile ground that focused my thoughts and completed the framework for over three years of adhoc writing and research I have been doing.
Now I am looking at what kind of objective I want AeAutomation to achieve in the future. The jury is still out but I do know it will continue for a while yet. I suspect AeAutomation will always exist as the marketing and news arm of all my future efforts. After all it is the girl I brought to the dance and you should always take that girl home.
All this is to say you can't understand where you want to go if you dont realize where you have been. Pretty obvious, but not easy to face when you have to acknowledge both failure and success. I like to remember that Thomas Edison often referred to the 10,000 possibilities that failed to make an electric light bulb. Failure is only the teacher for success. When you realize what they are you can move on to more success.
I have a collection of articles from a lot of great columnists, one of them is Jeffrey Gitomer. Several months ago Jeff wrote about this process of getting in focus and he used several steps that make it easy to figure a lot of this hour.
Jeffery used four categories to digest your life stuff.
- Once was.
- As is.
- Can be.
I'll start with the "Once was." History, autobiography, water under the bridge. All that great, terrible, wonderful, unique experience in your life that makes you who you are. If you look back in your life I'll bet you remember those pivotal experiences in life that were surprises not looked for as well as those experiences you wanted to happen and then found not so rewarding as you anticipated. Remember the old saying "Be careful what you ask for, you might get it"? I certainly remember what I got and often it did not make that much difference to me after I got it. I perceived a new perspective afterwards and found out more about what really makes me tick.
You see failure or disappointment are just as important a teacher as success and self-awareness. Any time you find out what gives you a sense of worth and value that experience is worth whatever it costs you. All of this is your "Once was." Pay attention to it , but don't live in it.
"As is" is your today. Is it what you expected? Are you happy, fulfilled and motivated? Or are you blaming someone else for the failures in your life? Do you even know why you don't feel fulfilled, motivated or happy or sad or upset? A lot of us are not even aware what causes these feelings .
As part of my journey to answer what makes me tick better I spent a lot of time working on what makes everyone tick. I wasn't particularly interested in psychology, but I was interested in what psychology was trying to answer. I knew that if I kept looking the right questions would finally appear and then the answers would come from that.
The point is, never quit looking, asking questions, reading and studying. If you quit being curious about what is going around you when you left high school or college then you have missed most of what living is all about. Those two venues were only there to prepare you for a lifetime of discovery and adventure. I have changed careers over three times in my 30 years of working history, and I fully expect to change several more times before I expire. It is never too late to change and learn something new. Your brain grows every time you do, so use it and it gets better and better.
"As is" sets the stage for what "Can be" with lots of diligent thinking, hard work and perserverence. If someone told you it would be easy, they told you a lie. If they told you it would be the greatest thing you ever lived, they told you the truth.
"Can be" is the jar full of dreams, possibility and glory. It is the stuff that drives anyone to achieve anything. I know many of you watched the Summer Olympics last month. So many examples of "can be" showed up on the gym floor, the running track and the swimming pool that they are too numerous to recount. Every one probably has their favorite story of supreme performance, and excellence from the Summer Games. But there is one common thread in every story, the thread of belief in the "can be" inside each athlete.
"Can be" is born out of a lot of practice, study, and focused effort over many years. These all program our minds to recognize those moments of serendipity and discovery for us. All this means having a central point of principle which drives us to measure all our actions in light of our central desires. It often means taking risk for our actions.
If you come to me and say "Andrew, you just don't understand my situation. It just isn't possible right now to..." I do understand. You are afraid to risk what you have now in order to get what you really want in the future. You think it is more important to hold on to what you have now, than to reach for a life-time dream. You haven't really assessed what you really have to have and what you can give up. You haven't determined where your center principles are and how you are going to change your own actions to realize that dream.
Now it's time to combine the "once was", "as is" and "can be" into the "become." I learned a great truth about myself about 15 years ago when I discovered -- I "am", I "become." I just didn't put it down in a recognizable way until about a year or so ago and recently it became PINT. When I combine the past, present and future into the image of what I want to become, I am successful every time, without fail. It's part of how everyone of us is made. It isn't just for a select few or the rich, or famous or brightest. Your brain was made wonderfully to allow you to grow into who you want to become. The sad fact is many of us grew into what someone told us to be and never listened to the still voice inside that said we "will become" the "can be."
Now it's up to you. Educate yourself about your interests, be your best-everytime. Develop an inner discipline and find your central principles that drive you. Then you will have the dream you dreamed so long ago.
Now you have the keys to your success.
It's time to Get Started!
Founder, Put It iN Thought (PINT)
About The Author
© 2004 All rights reserved to Andrew Abernathy and PutItiNThought.com. Your may reproduce this article without permission if the entire article, including this information tag is included. For other articles like this one visit www.aeautomation.com/newsarchives.htm
Mr. Abernathy presents a creative and clear body of work that is based on experience, scientific research and common sense. He created the PINT Web Workshop to train others in the practical use of proven neuroscientific discoveries that reveal how you can change your life. See www.PutItiNThought.com for a ten day introduction to the PINT Web Workshop.