A few years ago I tasked myself with re-doing my office and rebuilding it from scratch. I’m talking stripping it down to bare walls and floors as part of a massive do-over.
I needed an office that allows for a workspace, a video recording studio, a podcasting station, a webcast locale, a brainstorming wall, and yet still have room for hundreds of books. Oh, and I pace like a wild man when I’m on the phone, so I needed the space to move.
It was a daunting process that required many steps and a good number of experts to handle the layout, design, acoustics, lighting, etc.
Where to start? Well, if I wanted to do this correctly there was only one appropriate place to start: at the end.
This is true for any project or any goal, and it is the reason for the high failure rates of just about any endeavor.
There is one overriding key to success in a goal or a project, and if you miss this you are dead before you get started.
The key to success: Goal Clarity.
When I am crystal clear on the outcome; when I have a strong vision of the end product, the steps begin to appear in front of me.
When I lack goal clarity; when I am fuzzy on the end result, the steps are confusing. Moreover, any obstacle will throw me off (and might just bring everything to a screeching halt).
But there is something deeper here. It’s not just about what you see as you visualize your goal. It’s also what you feel.
When we make decisions about our future we have a tendency to simulate the end result. We create a mental picture of the desired end state.
But that desired end state is not what compels us. It is how we feel in that desired end state that makes the difference.
Our visualization always carries an emotional aspect. We are not driven by the future; we are driven by what we feel about the future.
So in your goal-setting, do two things.
- Visualize with incredible clarity. Gain a vision complete with every detail. Spend the time to define every aspect of the end state.
- Having done that, be conscious of how you feel. If you are not excited and energized, something is amiss and you’ll probably need to rethink your plan. You might even consider whether the goal or project is worthwhile in the first place.
That’s it – the dynamic duo. Goal clarity and emotional awareness.
Get those two things right and you’re on your way to success.