By John Assaraf
All the written plans in the world, all the inscribed
goals, dreams and desires won't even make good wallpaper if
the first action isn't taken.
Instead of putting off doing what you know you must,
dedicate each day to working your plan to get better and to
move closer to your goals. Some time ago, I started calling
this kind of focus *oxygen-thinking only,* which means that
you do only what's absolutely required to get the result.
Think Apollo 13, where the astronauts were running out of
oxygen and there was no time to waste. All you have is one
second to do something to move yourself closer to home. In
business, that's exactly how I operate: oxygen-thinking
only. Whatever must be done next gets done, and anything
else is just a distraction that gets put off to another
day. In this way, you can actually make procrastination
work for instead of against you.
GET IN THE GAME
There are so many brilliant people out there who analyze
and plan and never get to first base because they don't get
out and *do.* Have you ever been so afraid of making
mistakes that you were paralyzed into observation instead
of action? Don't let this stop you ever again. The worst
thing that could happen is being wrong. Big deal! You'll
try something different. Once a plan has been researched
and thought through, it's time to get in the game.
You'll have the most fun when you're actually on the
playing field. Every professional sports team starts the
year focusing on winning the championship. They practice
every day with winning in mind. Some days are better than
others. They never allow one bad practice or one bad day to
deter them from the end result.
I suggest you apply this kind of focus and commitment. If
your goal is to get in better shape, for example, then if
you miss a planned workout or eat a few cookies, don't let
that derail you. Or if you are building a business and you
have a sales dip for a day or even a week, don't let that
deflate your discipline for the rest of the month. Don't
give up, thinking one misstep means the whole plan is out
the window. Success is the accumulation of many small steps
in the right direction; just one out of line does not need
to take you entirely off course. Recognize the deviation
and get yourself back on route to your dreams.
Keeping your eye on the mark is the only way to hit it. You
cannot hit a target you aren't focused on except by
accident. Don't trust your success to accidents. Trust your
success to yourself and your actions.
YOU CAN BE DIFFERENT
Of course, action is pointless without planning and
purpose. Yet most people just don't want to give planning
the time it deserves. Choose a destination before you head
out to sea; otherwise, you'll find yourself in the middle
of the ocean with your sails being battered around, and
you'll be going nowhere. If you take a look at why
businesses fail, or why a certain area in a person's life
isn't working, it's usually because they haven't put much
thought into it. They haven't taken the time to simply ask,
*Where do I want to go? What am I trying to do? What are my
You can be different. You can take the time to plan so
you're laser-focused on your outcome. Then you're poised
for oxygen-thinking only-you're poised to take action on
creating the life of your dreams.
TIPS FOR GETTING STREET SMART
ARE YOU PLANNING FOR SUCCESS?
A great design for your life is more than just a list of
New Year's resolutions. It requires serious reflection and
assessment. You can start today with an exercise I call
*True North*--which is detailed in my book, *The Street
Kid's Guide to Having It All*--then proceed to create a
vision for your life and specific goals, breaking them down
into long-range, one-year, and ninety-day objectives. Out
of that, you can make a daily plan of action. Future issues
of this e-zine will walk you through all of these steps.
For now, start by asking . . .
WHAT ARE MY ACCOMPLISHMENTS?
First, list all your wonderful accomplishments in life so
far. Some examples: