setting your personal compass

Power Habit #4: Planning, Preparation & Perseverance – Setting Your Personal Compass

In your intention to become the person you want to be and do the things you really want to do, planning, preparation, and perseverance will be required.

As such, there are three main conditions that you will need to be mindful of and seek to develop:

      1. Your destination and aims in life.
      2. Your attitude toward opportunity.
      3. Your desire and commitment toward your goals.

Developing and maintaining your skills in these areas is essential if your intent is to be more successful and impactful.

Which is why developing your skills of Planning, Preparation, and Perseverance is the fourth Power Habit of Success, and this you do by:

      • #1: Setting Your Personal Compass—your ‘I Am’
      • #2: Consolidating Your Opportunity—your ‘I Will’
      • #3: Devoting 100% Commitment to Your Dreams—your ‘I Can’

Business coaches tell us the Number One reason 50-80% of small businesses fail in the first five years of operation is not cashflow, not production issues, not staffing, but commitment.

The same is true for the dreams you have for the future and the goals you set. Your success depends on how committed you are, and only 100% commitment will do the job.

Not 50% commitment, not 75% commitment, not even 98% commitment.

Only 100% commitment to your dreams and goals will make the difference between failing and disappointment, or the successful accomplishment and enjoying the fruits of your work.


Power element - commitment

Power Element—Commitment (*From The Power of You: How to Manifest the Life You Want)


Setting Your Personal Compass–I Am

Your destination and aims in life are like a personal compass you need to set for yourself.

In a sense, they are like your True North—they determine the direction you will follow throughout much of the course of your life.

Without setting your direction, which way will you go? Without an internal compass to guide you, how will you know which path to take?

You won’t know, so you’ll end up drifting through life and risk missing out on opportunities because you haven’t planned or prepared for them.

Worse, like Derek the Dragonfly, you risk being omitted from the pages of your own history because you failed to make yourself ‘necessary to the story’.


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Setting your personal compass means knowing exactly what you want. It means knowing what boxes in life you want to tick before you see your last sunset.

You plan and you prepare. You use your Imagination to plan who you want to be and plan what you want to do. You use your Intention to prepare yourself for the journey.

So the first step of committing yourself to your journey is to set your personal compass and orientate yourself with your True North.

But before you do, there’s a little bit more you need to get right first.


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One Milestone at a Time

Setting your personal compass and orientating yourself with your True North is an essential step toward achieving success, but it isn’t all that’s required.

Along the way to your intended destination, there are milestones you need to reach, goals you need to accomplish, targets you need to hit. These are the visible markers of your invisible destination.

Just like the 750-mile drive from Denver to Las Vegas. The highway we were on was marked with signposts indicating how far my friend and I had left to go—600 miles, 550 miles, 500 miles—until we finally reached the outskirts of the desert city.

They were visible markers of a destination that was a long way over the horizon and out of sight, giving us confidence that we were heading in the right direction and were keeping on track.

Knowing how far we still had to drive meant we could also pace ourselves and take appropriate rest breaks. We could even estimate the time we’d arrive at our destination, assuming we maintained consistent speed and weren’t delayed by any roadworks or breakdowns, or had to detour for any reason.

Not only did each signpost indicate how far we had left to drive, but also, through inference, how far we had come. They were, literally, milestones along our journey.

They were goals we needed to reach, targets we need to hit, to reach our destination.

Unfortunately for a lot of us, however, we try to leap forward to our destination and skip all the annoying milestones. We just want to get there. Quickly. Now!

But that’s not how success works. You can’t just beam over and teleport to your destination like Captain Kirk.

You can only arrive at your destination one milestone at a time, one goal at a time, in order and in sequence.

Remember, as Earl Nightingale put it, success is a progressive realisation of a worthy ideal.

The word ‘progressive’ means you have to move forward, you have to make progress. You have to pass each milestone, reach each goal, hit every target.


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Your True North

In a way, the realisation of your worthy goal is systematic. It’s procedural.

But before you set off on your journey, you first need to orientate yourself with your destination, your True North.

I’ve just mentioned Captain Kirk, so let’s use him as an example of how to use your personal compass to orientate yourself. We’ll do this by having an imaginary interview with the legendary character. Here we go:

Q: Who are you?

Kirk: I’m a hero.

Q: What do you do?

Kirk: I save humans (and aliens) from disaster.

Q: Why do you do it?

Kirk: To make the universe a safer place.

Q: How do you do it?

Kirk: I boldly go where no-one has gone before.

So let’s analyse these answers and see how Captain Kirk can help you set your personal compass and achieve out-of-this-world success.

Who Are You?

Defining who you are is the first step.

To the question of ‘Who are you?’, Kirk’s answer is not, “I’m the captain of the starship Enterprise.” Which would have been technically correct, but that’s not how he feels about himself.

When he looks in the mirror, he sees a hero. He feels he is a hero. There’s passion and emotion and enthusiasm to being Captain Kirk, the hero.

What Do You Do?

The next step is to determine what you want to do.

For Captain Kirk, besides all the other duties captains of spaceships have to do, he sees his main role and duty as saving humans and aliens from disaster.

Which fits perfectly with his vision of himself as a galactic hero.

Why Do You Do It?

The third question relates to purpose and motivation: Why does Kirk do what he does?

Well, it’s to make the universe a safer place, that’s why. It’s his reason for living.

It’s what gets him out of his captain’s quarters and onto the bridge of the USS Enterprise every day. It’s his purpose for being. His raison d’etre.

This is his Why? and it helps shape the image he has of himself and it energises and motivates him to do what he wants to do.

This is also the reason your Why? is so vital—your purpose—because it helps clarify your first two steps of setting your personal compass and aligning with your True North:

      1. Defining who you are (your image and vision of what you want to grow into), and
      2. Determining exactly what it is you want to do and achieve.

Your ‘Who, What, Why’ reinforce and support each other like three sides of a triangle: without one, the triangle collapses.

How Do You Do It?

The final question establishes how you want to go about your day-to-day life.

For Captain Kirk, it’s to boldly go where no-one has gone before. He strides forward into the unknown, breaching the horizon at warp speed.

Because that’s how heroes do what they need to do.


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How To Set Your Personal Compass

So the aim of setting your personal compass is to clarify your Who, What, Why, and How so that you can maximise your chances of living the life you want, the way you want, how you want.

Here’s how I’ve personally answered those very same questions:

Q: Who am I?

A: I am a transformational writer and coach.

Q: What do I do?

A: I help seekers awaken to the truth of themselves.

Q: Why do I do it?

A: So you can know life and have it abundantly.

Q: How do I do it?

A: By serving the advancement and development of all humanity.

Now, how would you answer those questions and set your personal compass?

Q: Who am I?

A:                                                                        

Q: What do I do?

A:                                                                        

Q: Why do I do it?

A:                                                                        

Q: How do I do it?

A:                                                                        


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Dr. Scott Zarcinas | Doctor, Author, SpeakerABOUT DOCTORZED

Dr. Scott Zarcinas (aka DoctorZed) is a doctor, author, and transformologist. He helps pro-active people to be more decisive, confident, and effective by developing a growth mindset so that they can maximize their full potential and become the person they are capable of being. DoctorZed gives regular workshops, seminars, presentations, and courses to support those who want to make a positive difference through positive action and live the life they want, the way they want, how they want.

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