Power Habit #4: Planning, Preparation & Perseverance – It’s Easier to Commit to Your Dreams When You Have Clarity
Devoting 100% Commitment to Your Dreams–I Can
The next component of developing the Power Habit of Planning, Preparation & Perseverance and building the Power Element of Commitment is to devote 100% to your dreams.
If we consider commitment as nothing more than the act that your intentions will be realised, once you have set your personal compass and consolidated your opportunities, the next step is to go all in and keep going until your dreams have been realised.
How you devote 100% to your dreams is by aligning your Attitude with your Imagination. In regard to commitment, this means to never give up on your dreams, to keep persevering toward your True North star.
This is best achieved through desire and dedication to your ultimate goal.
Your 100% Devotion—I Can (*From The Power of You: How to Manifest the Life You Want)
Your desire and commitment toward your goals fuel your perseverance.
Successful people know that you don’t get something for nothing.
They make full use of the Law of Cause and Effect, knowing that to get the effect they want they need to be the cause, and that usually entails hard work and effort . And for that, you need commitment.
You can’t always control what’s going on outside of you, but can always control what’s going on inside your mind, like your attitude and your commitment, but you can’t always control what’s going on outside of yourself.
So successful people work on what’s going inside them as much or even more than what’s going on outside them.
They work on what they can control, not what they can’t control.
Clarity & Dedication
There is a school of thought that states there are no obstacles in life, only the lack of clarity of the path ahead. The only obstacles you face, therefore, are self-created.
Your failure to see clearly, in other words. Your failure to focus. Your failure to remain undistracted.
As within, so without. A vague and cloudy idea of who you are, what you want, and how to get there is mirrored in your external world.
The feeling that you’re stuck in a rut, or you’re going around and around in circles, is often the direct consequence of the lack of clear vision.
Your thoughts are the ideas and concepts you want to see materialise and made real in the outside world. These are usually ideas and concepts of who you want to be, what you want to do, and how you are going to do it.
If they are hazy and vague, the effect will be a direct reflection of those unclear thoughts and uncertain ideas.
Let’s use the Diamond Triangle formula of success to explain how this works:
- Identity (Define who you are)—I’m unsure; actually, I don’t know.
- Purpose (Define what you want to have, be and do)—well, I know what I don’t want, but I’m not sure exactly what I do want.
- Conviction (Design how to achieve it)—achieve what? I don’t even know what I want to do.
By 2015, even though I had achieved a moderate amount of success, I reached a point where I felt as though I was going around and around in circles.
I was doing a lot, but not getting the results I wanted in business and in my own writing. The ‘hamster on the wheel’ is a good analogy of my working day back then—running fast but not actually getting anywhere.
My day was busy, very busy, usually starting with getting my daughters up for school, making their breakfast and lunch, driving them to school, then off to meetings, checking emails, and getting bogged in administration and paperwork for my business, DoctorZed Publishing. And that was just by 11am.
Then it was writing my own books, developing workshops, creating online courses, blogging, tweeting, Facebooking, Instagramming, and any other social media platform I could find to promote my content.
Then it was editing manuscripts for clients and authors, creating covers and interior layout design for books, converting books to ebooks, then distributing those books and ebooks to online platforms such as Amazon, Kobo, iTunes, Google Play, and hundreds of other retailers.
Then it was time to pick up the kids from school, take them to piano lessons, netball practice, netball games, singing, dancing, roller skating, swimming lessons, basketball practice, softball games, ice skating, and any other extracurricular activities they wanted to do.
Then it was rushing back home to cook dinner, wash the dishes, wash the clothes, dry the clothes, iron the clothes, put the garbage out, clean the gutters, mow the lawns, chop the firewood, water the garden, poison the weeds, help the kids with their homework, fix the trampoline, read bedtime stories, and prepare for the next day.
And that was just Monday!
I was like a human hamster 7 days a week, 52 weeks a year. I did a lot but wasn’t achieving a lot, especially with my personal goals, which I seemed to have pushed down the list of importance after family and business. I felt like a jigsaw puzzle scattered across the table, with lots of pieces to put together but no definite picture to work from.
I realised I needed to get a clearer picture of who I wanted to be, what I wanted to do, and how I was going to do it. I knew I wanted to be a writer, but I was struggling to find a common link connecting everything I was doing and to help me put all the pieces of the jigsaw together.
It was about this time that I realised where the problem was—with myself. Or more precisely, with my focus. I had inadvertently created obstacles on my path by focussing on the wrong thing.
As a writer and storyteller at heart, my focus was obsessively on books. Books, books, books, books, books!
I lived and breathed books. I thought constantly about books. Writing books was my first thought when I woke up in the morning, and my last thought when I went to bed at night.
I wanted to be a bestselling author, I wanted to make a living from writing, and so books dominated my waking thoughts and my nighttime dreams.
But my obsessive focus on books had blinded me to the bigger picture. I thought books were the big picture, but they were only one piece of the puzzle.
So, in effect, I had been trying in vain to complete the jigsaw picture using only one or two pieces of the puzzle.
As such, it was difficult to commit 100% to a grand vision because I wasn’t really sure what I was committing myself to.
In a moment of despair, I threw my hands in the air and grumbled to myself, “I don’t know what to do anymore. Nothing I do seems to be working.”
Then I remembered something a business coach once said to me in a workshop: “Think content, Scott. Content!”
Suddenly, as if the jigsaw box had been shaken and all the pieces tipped out and laid into a completed picture, I saw how everything fitted together.
Everything I was doing—books, ebooks, audiobooks, workshops, webinars, courses, online courses, coaching, mentoring, email marketing, newsletters, messaging, social media, video, podcasts, blogging—all slotted into place.
It was content I should be focussing on, not books. It was the underlying message of my content that was the glue that held all the pieces together. The books, ebooks, workshops, and all the other formats were just platforms for delivering my message.
I had been focussing too much on the delivery method, not the content I wanted to be delivered. I had obsessed too much on the platform, not the message.
You see, there are readers who will never read my book, but they’ll read my ebook. There are clients who will never do my online courses, but they’ll gladly attend a workshop.
There are followers who will never listen to my podcasts, but they’ll happily read my blog.
Same message, different platform.
I finally understood that it was the message that’s important, not how the message was packaged, and my message is simply this:
You already have what you’re looking for.
Probably more so, you already are what you’re looking for, which is Life. You already are where you want to be, which is here and now in the present moment.
Clarity Precedes Success
Yet, for long periods of my life, I had thought of myself first and foremost as a writer where, in fact, I’ve always been a messenger.
I saw myself as a storyteller, whereas storytelling was just my preferred platform for delivering my message.
It could have been singing, or painting, or dancing, or acting, or any number of alternative platforms, but I had always been attracted to writing and storytelling as the means by which I wanted to get my message to the world.
My message is transformational. I am a transformational messenger delivering that message through writing and storytelling. I’m delivering that message now to you through this article.
To clarify this important point, here’s how everything I do fits together using the formula of The Diamond Triangle:
- Identity—I am a transformational messenger.
- Purpose—to help 50,000,000+ aspirational people who want to transform their lives for the better (see “How I Help”).
- Conviction—to deliver my message through multiple platforms, such as books, ebooks, audiobooks, workshops, courses, coaching, mentoring, blogs, videos, podcasts, social media, and so forth.
Now I just have to roll up my sleeves and do it.
But here’s the important point:
Having the clarity of who I am, what I want to achieve, and how I can go about doing it lifts the mind fog and makes the path ahead so much clearer and more well-defined.
When you have clarity, you can focus your thoughts and minimise distractions, thus removing many obstacles on your path to your chosen future.
Having clarity also has another benefit: it makes it easier for you to commit to your path, and commitment helps you to keep moving forward and persevere.
You might be able to see clearly ahead, but if you don’t commit to your path you might give up when the going gets tough and stop before you cross the finish line.