In this episode we talk about Executing Your Life Vision as part 2 of the Life Vision process.
If you haven’t listened to Episode 57 of building your Life Vision I’d recommend doing that first. .
There is an old saying,
“Vision without execution is just a dream”.
I’ve got a confession so make this was me. I was a dreamer with all sorts of grand ideas about who or what I’d become. I always had new ideas and goals that all seemed to flow from my creative mind.
I was the line from the poem “George Gray” by Edgar Lee Masters that I read in Ep 57 on building your life vision…“a boat longing for the sea and yet afraid.”
I was stuck in my own sheltered harbour. Not willing to do the hard work break the boundaries, to look inside myself at the things I liked about myself the least or the limiting beliefs I held and grow beyond them.
It was only when I realised that all greatness requires challenge. It will requires a thousand steps one after the other to change my game. One must have a vision and one must execute. I’ve seen too many people with only one part of the pie.
In Life Vision Part 1 we did some dreaming and created your life vision. Now we focus on execution. We take specific planned action towards our goals.
5 Steps to Execute Your Life and Career Vision.
Right now you might be feeling like there is a million things you want to do but don’t know where to start. That’s normal. Let me tell you a story. One of my best mates called me up a little while ago and we were talking about doing an MBA. He had a very young family and a demanding job already. He said he didn’t know how he’d find the time. And so we spoke about chapters in life. Some things are right for certain periods. It wasn’t congruent for him at that point in his life to do an MBA. The stars just weren’t aligned. The problem was he was starting to feel like he wasn’t living up to his potential because he wasn’t doing it NOW. Not sometimes people say you have to hustle. That is true. But never forget the cost and what you’re doing it all for in the first place. The goal here is long term greatness and for that slow is smooth, smooth is fast. So take your vision and break it down to what you’ll do over the next couple of years with what you will do now and what you’ll do in the future. Prioritise yes and prioritise later. Knowing that it’s later relieves you of the stress of not doing it now.
Turn your vision into goals at first by defining exactly what the goals will be like when you’ve achieve it, how you’ll measure it, when you’ll achieve it, the milestones. Use the SMART model as a minimum.
When you’re going on a big road trip the first thing you do is agree the destination. Then you work out all the steps along the way. All the things you’ll need to get there like clothes, money, accommodation etc. It’s the same with your vision and goals. It’s the same with project management. Your project has been approved in concept and now you need to define the plan to get there. What are all the resources you’ll need? Skills, time, money, energy and contacts that’ll help you get there
- Mentors and Models of Excellence
Episode 34 I spoke about learning from the masters. I’ve now run 250km across the Gobi and Atacama deserts. But they were two totally different experiences. The first one I crossed was the Gobi March and I did it in complete isolation. No coach or anything. I just ran with a sense of bloody mindedness that I was going to finish no matter what. It was the most brutal experience ever. I was racked with pain, blisters, sore muscles the entire way and ended up taking far longer to complete that I’d hoped. The second time around I got a coach who held the world record for longest distance ran in 24 hours. He was a guru and thankfully lived near me. I paid him to talk me out on his runs and write my training program. My fitness sky rocketed. And in the Atacama desert I was much faster and it was much easier. It you want to achieve big goals then get close to a coach or a mentor that can guide you. Remember, if you don’t invest in yourself why would anyone else?
You’ll find along the journey that life gets busy. You’ll get distracted, important things or opportunities will come up. This is normal and happens to all of us. Just like a project has steering committees your vision and goals need a regular check in to make sure you stick to the path. This needs to be as a minimun every quarter. It takes around 2 hours to sit down and review what you’ve been doing, reorient yourself to your vision and goals, refine and identify what might be holding you back and put in place new steps to achieve. Every quarter I go away to the mountains near my home and spend the morning doing just this. It keeps me super focused. I always reconnect with my wife on the plan so we are aligned. So open your calendar and put in a quarterly recurring meeting and call it something like Personal Strategic Planning.
When you get used to kicking goals and moving towards your vision you’ll realise you’ve cracked the code. This is a code to success and personal excellence that can be translated to any part of your life. It is a code that all great chiefs know intimately. It is how they’ve built track records and a life that has meaning and impact. Follow the code.
Then and only then you’ll be a true chief.