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A great primer for planing what's next in your amazing life
Go Get It!Your Guide to Finding Purpose, Setting Goals and Maintaining Success
By KARL BIMSHAS
Your Best Year Ever?
Has this been your best year ever? For many people the
answer is sadly, no. Maybe you lost your job, money is
tight, or you unexpectedly lost a loved one. Maybe your
year has been sprinkled with health scares and
economic uncertainty. All of these things are significant
events and a life well lived is full of them. However,
events are neutral. Some may feel terrific, some
horrible and some simply suck. That’s life. It doesn’t
matter, because the only important factor is your
response to those events. You cannot completely
control most events in your life, no matter how hard
you may try. There are too many outside variables. The
only thing within your control is your response to them.
Do you respond or react?
Reaction takes its instinctual cue from forces beyond
your control while responding takes deliberative
thought. Both paths influence your outcome. Wouldn’t
you like to have a say? It’s the difference between
shriveling up and choosing to blame the government,
big business, family and even God, or straightening up,
grabbing a broom, and cleaning up the messes in life.
It’s about taking personal responsibility.
You could wait until next week, next month or next
year. Next year is full of potential. It’s also full of
procrastination. “Next” is a comforting place to be
because you don’t have any of the responsibility of
being “it” but you get to enjoy the feeling of
January 1st is an arbitrary date; you can begin a goal
and regain control of your life at any hour of any day.
Why wait? Aren’t there are things you wanted to
accomplish this year? There’s time to get started. You
simply have to begin. In this guide you’ll reexamine
your purpose, your goals and learn how to maintain
Find, Set, Get and Celebrate
Regardless of the date on the calendar plant the seed
and follow the lifecycle of every great goal.
Find a Great Goal.
Even if you have a laissez-faire attitude, there is a
special joy in discovering some spectacular thing you
want to have, do or be. Fill yourself with that positive
Set a Great Goal
Make it a S.M.A.R.T. Goal (more on that later). It’s
better to come up with three. A set of Short-term, mid-
term and long-term goals keep your momentum, and if
interrelated, can help you achieve each of them all
Get a Great Goal
Meaning, accomplish one. Making your goals a reality is
seldom easy and that’s good. Great goals give our life a
sense of personal purposefulness. Don’t you want to
live your life on purpose? Stick with it.
Get rid of the long bovine or sourpuss expressions. The
good and bad things in your life are tied more to your
attitude than anything else. Want more good things?
Celebrate every positive thing that happens. If you’re
the reserved type, this will feel odd. Why celebrate the
things that are supposed to happen? Because they
worked! We mourn loss. We must celebrate
No matter when you start, have a happy and enriching
year filled with meaningful goals.
First, a story …
Snakebite and Venom
Two friends walked along a path when they happened
across a rattlesnake warming itself in the sun. One of
the men, pompous and careless, severed the snake with
an ax, but not before it bit the foolish man on the wrist.
The man wailed and flailed his arm in pain while his
companion stood immobilized with panic. A third man,
an experienced hiker, witnessed the events from
several yards away.
Which one is you and what do you do next?
Are you like the foolish man, filled with bravado who
acted violently in the face of latent danger and who is
paying a painful price for his folly?
Maybe you are the incapacitated man, made powerless
with indecision and panic, standing about uselessly.
Or perhaps you are the experienced hiker, equipped
with the knowledge that, although painful, snakebites
don’t kill people, it’s their venom. Venom that if not
removed, courses through the veins, accelerated by the
constant movement and shaking of an ignorant and
This scene is repeated in people’s lives nearly everyday.
Everyone has experienced painful situations. You may
have antagonized someone who then lashed out at you,
or you might have come across trouble unexpectedly
and been the victim of a painful blow. The first
inclination is to lash back, to bellow accusations of
unfairness and to blame others. That energy would be
better spent by removing the venom and repairing the
damage. How often have you acted like the experienced
hiker, yet instead choose to keep walking rather than
help those who are angry, confused or hurting? Even
though you have the skills or knowledge that could
solve the problem, bring about calmness, alleviate pain,
or perhaps even save a life, you decide not to get
Leaders get involved.
Leaders act. They do not shrug their shoulders and
sigh, “Oh, well.” They give of themselves, protect
people, remove the venom from the veins of victims,
and teach others to do the same.
When trouble next looms before you, what role will you
This guide is for those who are, or aspire to be the hiker
who gets involved.
Why make things more complicated than they have to
be? Here are four simple steps to make improvements
in virtually anything you pursue.
1. Know your desired outcome.
2. Take action.
3. Notice if it’s working.
4. If it’s not working, try something else.
Stick to it and accomplish things. Fight it and risk
wallowing in mediocrity.
As you get anxious to start a new project, you tend to
neglect the things you have, for things you want. Often
this involves a lot of daydreaming, wishing and
yearning. Sometimes this causes the complete
abandonment of one goal in pursuit of another, and
then another and then another. Reexamine how you are
living your life. You may determine you’re good to go
and wouldn’t change a thing, or you may uncover a clue
to greater success. Either way look, otherwise you may
Reevaluate your current goals, your progress, and
Revisit each of them to make sure that you’re acting
authentically and still believe the things you’re telling
Renegotiate contracts that no longer work for
People’s expectations change over time. There’s nothing
wrong with that, it exemplifies flexibility. So does
collaborating to review the terms of any long standing
agreements you have in place.
Repair things that are broken.
Spend time cleaning up the little annoyances of your
life. Organize an out of control junk drawer, fix the
squeaky door or a leaky faucet. This also applies to
relationships. Even with all the social media tools
available, everyone has a friendship that’s been
neglected. Forgive, forget or apologize and send them a
Rejuvenate your mind.
You may have had a vacation that did the trick or
maybe you feel like you need a vacation from your
vacation. Get to the place that energizes you and just
be there and enjoy it, even if it’s only in your mind for
twenty minutes or so.
Renew your desires.
Decide on the things you want to keep in your life and
physically or metaphorically dust them off. Put them in
a different shelf so they stand out. Make them appear
new so you can appreciate them again.
Did you fail at something recently? Does that mean you
should quit? No. Take a different approach or just show
your grit and try again.
Ask Better Questions
Having a vision of success is only part of the equation of
achievement; unfortunately that’s where too many
people stop. They can see what they want so clearly
that it hurts. Those yearnings are fine because they
move us forward but it’s a different story if the vision
we set for ourselves leads to feelings of regret or
depression because we’re not achieving them fast
Some wonder what they’re doing wrong, and why
things never seem to work out for them. As a result,
these despondent people give up on their vision. Don’t
be one of them. Keep your vision, the wilder the better.
What you should be doing is asking better questions.
If you created your own vision then you already know,
deep within, that you’re able to achieve it. Today,
assume you already have everything you want, and
then figure out how you did it by asking forward
reflective questions like;
“Why am I so successful?”
“How did I earn so much money?”
“Where did I find this wonderful person?”
Be as specific as you can in your reflection.
Do you think if you ask questions like these you’re lying
You might not FEEL successful yet, so how could you
ask such questions? It’s easy, because like
Michelangelo’s David, the person you want to be is
already in there, you just need to get rid of the things
that aren’t serving you anymore. Chip away the
baggage that someone else unloaded on you. You’ve
been carrying it for too long.
The mind is a powerful solution-seeking machine that
likes to find answers. So, if you question why you’re a
failure, you’ll get loads of answers, and you won’t like
any of them. It’s better to question why you are a
success in whatever you choose to pursue. The answers
to those questions may also surprise you, but you’ll like
them better and they will unlock a new way of thinking
that will bring you closer to your vision with greater
Everything in life has features, advantages and benefits.
Features are sometimes called technical specs. These
are the things the product or service has. A washing
machine with five speeds. The nightclub that provides
only A-list performers, the airline that offers warm
towels to passengers on red eye flights.
Advantages are the things that the product or service
has that others don’t, or they provide exceptionally
better than anyone else. The washing machine that’s
available in four jewel toned colors, the nightclub that
has a frequent guest VIP program, the airline that
doesn’t charge you for the niceties.
Benefits are the things that people consider valuable.
It may not be unique to you, but it’s very personal and
it’s how people make their decisions. What’s the
benefit? You’re a designer and need a stylish red
washing machine, or you collect autographs of top
musicians for your ailing mother or you like to go
straight to work after an overnight flight and want to
feel refreshed and ready to go. It’s easier to make a
decision when you know the benefits.
That’s how it works in business everyday.
What about for you personally? You have to “sell”
yourself everyday to prospective employers, customers,
maître d’s, loan officers, instructors, even your spouse.
So, give it some thought.
What are your Features?
What do you know? What are your core values and
beliefs? What do you stand for?
What are your Advantages?
What do you offer your world that others can’t do
nearly as well as you can? What skills make others
think of you first?
What Benefits do you bring?
What value will the people who are looking for you
gain? This takes some self confidence to figure out. You
need to know yourself well, and you’ll need to discover
what your audience needs.
Lead with your benefits, this is what people base their
decisions on. Shore up your advantages and features,
because if people feel the need to justify their decision
about you, that’s where they will look. If you don’t have
anything there, they will quickly change their mind.
They will look to your advantages and features for
validation, so keep them happy.
How to Confirm Your Purpose
Do you sometimes feel stuck and wonder what you’re
doing with your life? If so, it’s a clue that you are not
fulfilling your purpose. Maybe you think you don’t have
a purpose. That’s a glum outlook, but even if it’s true
you still have a job to do. Let’s start with the
assumption that you have a burning in your stomach.
This exercise will help you better identify that yearning
or confirm the one you’re pursuing is worthy of your
Think about how you most often win others over to your
way of thinking. How do you successfully get your way
most often? It might be through humor, or telling a
story. Maybe you communicate with pictures or through
writing. People have different standards of “worthy”.
This is a matter of influence. How is your influence most
felt in your world?
Where do you find your rewards? For many, this means
money and that’s fine. If profit is the applause you get
for doing good work, where do you get your standing
ovations? Rewards needn’t be money. Yours might be
measured in smiles or hugs or some other way that
makes you feel happiest. For many people, that’s a
check. It feels good when people pay you. For others
it’s intangible. Identify what it is for you.
What group of people do you most enjoy learning from?
In school you probably had a favorite teacher. Think
back as to why? If you’re no longer in school, you’re still
learning things from people. It could be your parents or
your children, your colleagues or members of your
spiritual circle. You might learn something from a
favored author, or the neighborhood grocer. These life
instructors are all around you. Take stock of who they
are and see what they have in common.
This is the amulet you figuratively wear around your
neck. Think about what symbolizes you most. What’s a
tangible object you can look at, and preferably hold,
that epitomizes you. The first few things that entered
your mind were probably most accurate. Some people
feel compelled to combine a bunch of images into a
collage, like a family crest. Go ahead if you have to, it’s
Look at your tool, treasure, teacher and talisman of
choice and you’ll have a good indication of your
purpose. When you do things that combine those
elements, you’re acting on purpose. When you drift
away from that foundation, you’re not.
Three WaysOne Clear Path
People who want to be, do or have something, generally
fall into three groups.
Group One - 85%
There are those who make no plans and set no goals.
It’s not that they don’t have a list of wants in their life
but they tend to be dependent on outside resources
beyond their control; like winning the lottery. 85% of
the people you meet fall into this category. They have
no specific goals that they’re focused on achieving.
They work day by day, maybe weekend to weekend
with little thought of cause and effect or the role their
own action, or inaction plays in their life.
Group Two – 10%
The next group of people are different. They have goals.
The level of specificity may vary from person to person
but ask them what their goal is and they can tell you. It
might sound more like a wish to some, but these people
know what they want. They’re capable of achieving
their goal but they get bouts of insecurity and feelings
of doubt. 10% of the people you meet are in this group.
Group Three – 5%
The final group also have goals and you’ll notice they
are far more specific when they describe them. Even if
they sound far-fetched, there’s something about their
confidence and self-assuredness that tells you it’s not
an idle dream of theirs. It’s a worthwhile great goal and
there’s probably no stopping them. They have a secret
weapon. Not only do they physically write down their
goals, something 95% of the people you know don’t do,
they also make plans toward accomplishing their goals.
A plan needn’t be more elaborate than a series of tasks
and a deadline to meet each of those tasks. People with
great goals achieve the important things they set out to
achieve because they do the work it takes.
You’re probably in Group Two. People in Group One
wouldn’t have read this far into the guide. People from
Group Three reading this are doing so because they are
devoted to continual improvement.
Do the work to move from Group Two to Group Three,
your success depends on it. Start by creating a Great
Culling Your Wishes for a Great Goal Statement
People still confuse a list of wishes with goals. Goals
should give you vision and direction so you can create
an actionable plan toward achieving them. It’s been
said that the number one reason people don't achieve
their goals is because they have so many. It’s more
likely that they have too many competing priorities
clamoring for the A1 slot.
This exercise will help you identify the one motivating
goal that is burning inside of you. Think of it as your
Great Goal Statement. Everyone should have a Great
Goal Statement, one that takes precedence over all
others. If you work on multiple Great Goals Statements
you risk diluting your efforts and weakening your
chance at success. Follow these five steps to help focus
Step 1 - Answer These Questions:
• If I won one million dollars tomorrow, what would I
• If I could change one thing about my body, what
would it be?
• Who do I wish to be and why?
• What skill do I wish I had learned as a child?
• Where do I see my career in three or five years?
Step 2 - Pick One
Choose the one answer from the above questions that
provoked the greatest reaction in you. That’s your
foundational goal. Reflect on it and determine what part
of it you believe you can accomplish in less than a year.
Step 3 - Pick a Time Frame
Determine, how long will it realistically take to
accomplish this goal; one week, one month, six months,
Step 4 - Determine the Cost
What will it cost you to achieve this goal in either time,
talent (effort) or treasure (money)?
Step 5 - Fill in the Blanks
“I resolve to (answer from step 2) in (answer from step
3) by (answer from step 4).
Refine your statement in a way that speaks more clearly
to you. Write it on an index card, fold it over and bring
it with you everywhere you go. Read it as often as you
can; certainly at least twice a day, first thing in the
morning and last thing at night.
Create A Great Goal
How are you going to make sure you achieve your Great
Goal Statement? First, you need to want it, badly. If it’s
not motivating to you, how fun do you think it’s going to
be to achieve? If you’re working on a goal that’s not
fun, you should stop. Life is too short. Look at your
Great Goal Statement. What is it you want to do or
have? Avoid mediocrity. Here’s how to make it a
S – Make it specific. Broad goals decay quickly. Vague
goals get vague results.
M – Make it measurable. You won’t achieve your goal
with one grand action. It will take several little actions.
It’s those little actions that you’ll want to measure. A
little now, leads to a lot over time.
A – Make it attainable. Americans are an optimistic
lot and think that anything they want is attainable.
Because of this mindset, they nearly always get what
they want. Stretch yourself, like a rubber band – but
don’t overextend or you’ll snap.
R – Make it realistic. This has a direct correlation to
your motivation. If you’re not realistic about your
current skills, the resources you have, and what
additional things you’ll need to reach your goal, you’re
destined for some disappointment.
T – Make it timely. Getting squishy with time
commitments will serve no one. Time is the silent
accountability partner. It steadily ticks along, whether
you’re ready or not.
Make your goal positive in nature and phrase it in a way
that causes the creation of something. Think about it; a
goal to lose ten pounds sounds silly. Who makes it a
goal to lose something? A goal is about scoring points.
Get enough successful goals and you have a winning
streak. It’d be better to be specific about the realistic
and attainable weight you want to be on the date you
think you can achieve that weight. Soon you’ll be
creating a brand new you!
Another Bonus Tip:
Having a goal to stop doing something will be less
successful than a goal of starting to do something that
is more important to you. Eventually the more
important goal will replace the less important one.
How Much and By When?
Achieving goals is not necessarily easy. In fact, it’s often
easier not to achieve them. That’s why so many don’t.
It’s easy to stay with the status quo. Sometimes, it’s
even easier to go back to the way things were. That’s
Aren’t you tired of being stymied after a long meeting
that didn’t produce any actions? Have you ever
received instructions from your manager or even a
customer that weren’t clear? There are two questions
that will help. How Much? By When? There are other
elements to effective goal setting, however these two
questions cut through much of the clutter.
This is your volume measurement. It can be anything;
dollars, units, customers, votes, legislation.
This gives you a timeframe; a day, week, month, or
Put the two question together and you have the
immediate basis for accountably. It’s hard for some
people to answer those questions. They want wiggle
room. They don’t want the accountability.
Few like accountability yet most thrive when it’s there.
You’re at your best when you’re accountable to yourself,
your family, customer or constituents, and ultimately a
higher calling. Accountability creates movement. How
much and by when is a catalyst to get things moving.
Get in the habit of asking those questions and providing
the answers to projects that are important to you.
It’s hard to predict the future, so sometimes your
answers will be off. Maybe your, ‘how much’, was too
much or too little. Your, ‘by when’, too near or too far.
It’s okay. Revise your answer and keep going. If you
can hold yourself accountable to those two progress
inducing questions you can achieve more.
As an exercise, listen when your favorite or least
favorite politician speaks and see how often they offer
answers to those questions. It will give you insight to
the breadth of their vision. If they have no vision, they
don’t know where they’re taking you. Don’t follow them.
Ask, How Much and By When at least once a day for a
Your Goal Planner
You can set goals anytime you want. If you’ve already
established your goals for the year, good on you. Let’s
turbo charge what you have so far.
On the top of your plan include your purpose or
personal mission statement and your top values.
Many people spend their energy trying to balance their
life. Don’t. Strive for harmony instead. Create one or
two complementary goals for each dimension of your
life and you’ll find your chances of achieving more
Eight Common Dimensionsand Definitions
1. Financial - Financially independent and free from
financial stress. Satisfied with your current level of
2. Career - A fulfilling and nourishing career. On a
positive career path.
3. Health - In great shape. Receiving effective
healthcare. Exercising regularly and eating for
sustenance and pleasure not emotional comfort.
4. Relationships - Pleased and content with current
relationships. Loved by the people who mean the most
5. Recreation - Spend leisure time enjoying your
interests. Relaxation, refreshment and pleasure.
6. Contribution - Giving of yourself to others.
7. Personal - Evolving, not just improving, because
you continually experiment.
8. Education - Engaged in creative and stimulating
mental activities. Use resources available to expand
Follow these steps to create a thorough plan.
Step One - Decide on the specific things that you want
to do, have or be during the year. Create a S.M.A.R.T.
Goal for each dimension of your life. Phrase it as a
question beginning with Why?
Step Two - Determine the purpose of each goal.
Describe why you want to achieve each goal and how
you imagine you’d feel once you did.
Step Three - Do the actions that need to be done.
Create a basic task list of things to be done to help
achieve the goal. Include the financial and personal
resources you need to achieve each goal.
Step Four - Deadline when the goal will be done. Stack
rank your 1, 3, 5 or 10 year goals. Include a specific
date in which you plan to achieve each goal by.
If all this seems like too much work, boohoo. It’s very
rare for a goal to show up on your doorstep neatly
wrapped with a bow.
Goals are messy business. They involve thinking and
effort and negotiation and commitment.
If you want to work on wishes, save your coins and
spend a day or two at your local wishing well.
If you want to work on your goals and by definition,
your life, get started.
A Calendar, a Clock andYour Head
Maintaining your purpose and your goals take effort.
There are three things you should begin to use in at
least a cursory fashion that will help you: a calendar, a
clock and your head.
A calendar gives you a better perspective on what’s
coming up. You know that Christmas is on December
25th, that taxes are due on April 15th and you know the
date of important appointments. It might be a day in
advance, or a month, a year, ten years, it doesn’t
matter. The point is you know what’s coming.
A clock serves the same function as the calendar but
with greater immediacy. It’s a real time planning tool.
Just like you know things are coming at a particular
date, you know some things are coming at a specific
time. Airplane departures, hotel check-outs, last call at
the bar or what time Macy’s opens on Black Friday are a
few examples. You can also use your clock to make note
of the duration of things for future planning. Perpetually
late? That’s a clue that you need to spend more time on
Your head is the third thing you should use. With it,
you have the ability to deduce and decide. Things come
up out of the blue ruining well laid plans. Don’t become
a victim of life’s whims. Incorporate them into your
plans. Think a little, don’t simply react. Instead, process
information for a second longer and respond to
situations, based on your values and purpose rather
than something fickle, like your current mood.
If you consider yourself a free-spirit this all sounds like
a horrible constrictive burden. It’s not, so, get over it.
Becoming aware of what’s on the calendar, what time it
is and your capacity to solve a problem can change your
life. Want to change it dramatically? Invest more time
into your planning and what you’ll do in the event your
plans fall through.
The Find What’s Right Day
It’s easy to find things that are not going well. Alarms
go off too early, cars don’t start, busses are missed,
toast is burned, lines are too long, reports are missed,
on and on.
You get what you look for thanks in part to the brain’s
gatekeeper, the Reticular Activating System (RAS), the
part of the brain that filters out noise and stimuli so you
can function. It’s why you notice things in the world
that are important to you. The parent who hears a baby
gurgle in the next room, how you hear your name in a
crowded room, or see your dream car on the highway.
Spend the day testing your RAS and be on the lookout
for everything that’s going right in your world. From
green lights, to unexpected checks in the mail, finding a
good deal on a new suit, or accepting gracious
compliments on your hair. Instead of being convinced
you’ll be a victim of Murphy’s Law, “Anything that can
go wrong will go wrong“, be determined to be a
recipient of its opposite, “Anything that can go right will
Challenge yourself to find everything right in yourself
and others. This may be odd at first, because you may
not be used to looking at things that way. Tomorrow, do
it all day long. Within a few hours you will notice things
you never noticed before and it will lift your spirits and
Now … Make It A Perfect Day
What does your perfect day look like?
Perfection can be hard to achieve, particularly if the
judges are harsh critics. If you consider yourself a high
achiever there’s probably nobody harsher than you.
Luckily you’re the one who gets to determine if your
day is going to be a great one and you’re the one who
does the assessing at the end of the day.
Showing gratitude gets you out of yourself. Have you
ever appreciated the elegant simplicity and crucial role
of a stop sign? You can moan about how much you’re
paying in taxes, but instead, choose to be grateful for
the array of humane and unique services you’re helping
fund. When was the last time you sincerely thanked a
person for making your day run smoother, either
because of their contagious laugh and beaming smile,
or their attention to detail on an important project, or
even getting your drink just right? Do it and you’ll
improve the day of at least two people.
Your brain is an incredible problem-solving machine.
Calling things challenges just because it sounds better
is silly. Call things what they are, problems or
dysfunction. Problems shouldn’t have a negative
connotation, but they do. Begin to change that
perception. They are a puzzle that needs to be unlocked
and you’ve been blessed with the key deep within the
recesses of your brain. It just takes time to access it.
When you brainstorm the potential solutions to a
problem that would improve your current condition you
get closer to that key. Eventually and unexpectedly you
will trip over it.
Beginning tonight, think about your main purpose or
goal for tomorrow and the week ahead and jot it down.
List ten things you need to do that will bring you
closer to that goal.
Before you go to bed tonight, or first thing in the
morning, brainstorm ten ideas to improve a
problem you’re facing. Remember in brainstorming
there are no rules; write out anything even if it seems
ridiculous. It’s the ideas that come out after the
ridiculous ones that will be truly creative. That’s why it’s
important to come up with at least ten. If you’re lucky,
two of them might be pretty good.
During the course of the day strive to be more pleasant.
Make it a goal to give ten compliments to other
people. It could be for a job well done or shoes well
shined. People want to hear from you.
At the close of the day, list ten things you’re grateful
for. Fall asleep in that state of gratitude.
Do this for a week.
Bonus Tip: Your Gratitude List
Thinking about your age can sometimes pull you into a
funk if you dwell on the things that aren’t what you
wish they were. It’s better to do something active,
rather than wallow in the passage of time and poorly
set goals not yet achieved. Your age is revealed not by
a number, but by an attitude. How old would you be if
you didn’t know your age?
Here’s an exercise that forces you to take stock and
practice gratitude. Use the number that is your age and
list, in no particular order, that number of things you
are grateful for. Once you create a comprehensive list,
you’ll have something to refer to often that will lift your
Your Inspiration Likes Attention
When did you last feel inspired? Did you do anything
with that feeling? Inspiration often feels elusive,
particularly to those who pursue creative fields. People
call it their muse and often go off in search of it like it
were a mythical creature. The word inspiration literally
means, “breathed upon” which has a divine quality to it.
It’s when you hear your inner voice, or the universe or
even God whispering a hint to you. When you give
inspiration that kind of weight it seems wrong to waste
Inspiration, like most of us, enjoys attention and
doesn’t appreciate being ignored. Have you noticed that
those who find inspiration easily also find it often?
That’s because they honor their inspiration. When it
shows up they pay attention and take action. That’s not
to say that every piece of inspiration leads you down
the path of success, but many times it does. The
problem is, you’re ignoring those moments far too
Inspiration doesn’t usually come on your schedule. It
arrives at inconvenient times, like in the shower, or in
the middle of the night, or when you’re waiting in line
and don’t have a pen. Your heart races, your eyes
widen and you are struck in a flash by what seems like
the best idea you’ve ever had. It might be. But just as
quickly as it comes to you, it disappears. Inspirations
are ethereal things. Your job is to make them concrete
and to take action. Any action.
There are limitless conduits for inspiration. A good
book, a fascinating lecture or seminar; maybe for you
it’s surfing or taking a hike in nature. For others it’s
stimulating conversation with friends, or in some cases,
adversaries. Inspiration is all around and it is flowing
constantly, like a river. Regardless of your belief system,
every moment of the day you are “breathed upon” by
forces greater than yourself.
Make time today and everyday to catch some of that
inspiration and then act upon it’s message. Sometimes
you will stumble, but no worse than if you ignored it
outright. Take immediate action, even if it’s simply
making note of the aha within. Don’t wait for inspiration
to move you, but always be moved by inspiration.
Get Your Ships Together!
Dreams, aspirations and goals stimulate your
imagination, but they aren’t enough if you’re used to
achieving more. Sailing through life rudderless isn’t an
option. It’s time to get your ships together. Here are
eight key ships you ought to evaluate for
Many times, there are wide variables between your
interactions with your significant other, your family
members, friends, and colleagues. Are you being
authentic in all your relationships? Are all of your
relationships where you want them to be or are there
some that you could improve? Are there people you
sometimes want to throw overboard? Examine your
relationships and surround yourself with the best crew
Everyone has the capacity to be a leader, be it of a
household, a company, or even a little league team. Any
organization of people needs a leader. Someone to set a
vision, inspire movement and encourage people along
the way. There is something in your life that you’re
leading whether you know it or not. It would be better
to know it. The helm is yours, captain.
Although material possessions really don’t matter much
in the big picture, when you scrape and save for some
tangible thing you want, like a camera, new shoes,
special watch, car or house, the basic pride in
ownership is the same. You take care of the things you
own. You clean it, shine it, and show it off because it’s a
symbol of your success. Are you taking enough pride in
ownership? Polish the brass.
It is a sense of patriotism. Many look at what a country
owes them instead of what a country full of liberty
provides, like security, tranquility, justice, and the
ability to pursue happiness. Everyone says their taxes
are too high, but if you think about the value you get
for that contribution, it’s probably a pretty good deal. To
function properly a country needs good citizens. A
population that educates itself, votes, serves as jury to
justice and contributes in ways big and small. Raise the
flags, show your colors and salute.
Nothing lasts forever, but there are times when things
fall under your watch. Leading a team, babysitting a
child, living on the planet. No one wants something bad
to happen on their watch. Stewardship is treating
something that’s not yours as though it were and then
leaving it with grace and in a little better condition than
you found it. What can you make better?
Everyone does something well. Something that requires
their head, heart and hands. It may be your hobby or
your vocation, but it calls you and your work speaks to
others. It’s funny how people tend to be the most
skilled craftsmen around the things they are most
humble about. Devote time to your craft. Practice,
hone, improve, excel. Make the engines purr.
Start something. You often see a need, a way to be of
service that others haven’t thought about before, but
too often ignore your great idea. How faithfully you go
about filling that need is your entrepreneurial spirit. It
may be risky. It’s okay. Go for it anyway.
People often overestimate the leader and underestimate
the follower. Without the follower, the leader fails;
without a leader, followers perish. You must know when
to lead and when to follow. Know when to offer new
ideas and solutions and when to support and respect
existing ones. Respect your crew mates and the
Navigating these eight ships comes with a fleet of
emotions. Pay attention to them. Take care of them.
Inspect the hull and scrape the barnacles off from time
to time. Send them out to explore uncharted waters.
Spend time with them and just enjoy what they uncover
alone and working in harmony with each other.
Help Others Who Are Lost
Let’s pretend you’re running late and suddenly realize
you’re lost in a strange city and the street signs don't
make sense to you. You’ve got your mobile device and
your Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare friends are only a
few keystrokes away, but your satellite connection is
spotty. You approach a passerby and ask them how to
get where you’re going. There are a multitude of
• I’m sorry, I don't understand you.
• They ignore you and keep walking.
• They give you colorful but convoluted directions.
• They offer to sell you a map.
• They walk with you and safely get you to where you
want to go.
Which would you prefer? Which do you provide to your
coworkers, customers or family? Change and
uncertainty can be exhilarating or scary or both. The
answer you prefer is not all that important. If the stakes
are high, you might be willing to shell out some money
for information. You might not feel secure walking with
a stranger. Depending on the circumstances that might
be exactly what you want.
The point is people you care about are thrust into
situations similar to this metaphor everyday, sometimes
multiple times a day. As a leader and an artist, take
note of the people around you. Some of them are lost
and could use your help. If they ask you for it, don't
ignore them. If you don't understand them, try harder
because they’re at a bigger disadvantage than you. Be
on the lookout for those who are lost and be the
friendly face that helps them reach their goal.
About the Author
Karl Bimshas is the author of several business and inspirational books and programs designed for people who are serious about finding, setting and getting their great goals.
He owns an independent consultancy for personal, professional and executive
development. As a valued strategic accountability partner he helps his clients discover the aha within.
He is also publishing a growing number of titles in fiction. For more information, visit KarlBimshas.com
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