Have you ever been driving to some important event, running a little late, and then you get lost? You think you know where to go, but you are not quite sure, so you go faster and faster, trying to get there on time, but still getting more lost? You think you are heading in the right direction, but not quite sure, so you go even faster. You could stop to check the map on your phone, but you are so close, you know your destination is probably just around the corner. So you speed up a little more.
This is what we do in our lives. We think we are on the right course, but something doesn’t feel right so we just keep speeding up. We keep getting busier and taking on more commitments because success and happiness are just around the next turn. One more big project, one more raise, one more promotion, and we will arrive at happiness and success. We think we are on the right path, but partially formed thoughts in the back of our heads keep nagging at us. Unfortunately, we are too close to stop and re-evaluate. We are too busy to take a few minutes and examine what we are doing or to admit we might have taken a wrong turn somewhere. We might have something in our plans that is moving us farther from happiness and success rather than closer, but we are going too fast to stop and find out.
Is it time to stop and check the map?
- Stop and take 15 minutes to write down your definition of success. What is success for you? How will you know when get there? What are the markers in your life that tell you when you have arrived? Do they include your family, your health, and your relationships? Does your definition of success include being happier? Is there more in your definition of success than just your career or the amount of money you will accumulate?
- Now write the top 3 milestones you have to work toward each day to reach that definition of success. What are the 3 things in your life, that when reached, you will be confident in saying that you have met your definition of success?
- Check your to-do list for today. Is working on each of your 3 milestones a top priority, or are other less important but more urgent matters pushing them down or even off the list? Slow down and focus on your definition of success and your top 3 milestones. Get those done first and you will know you are on the right path.
Write your definition of success and identify the 3 milestones you need to work towards each day, and you won’t have to keep speeding up. But you will get there faster!