As an educator, I constantly remind students that it does not matter where you are coming from; all that matters is where you are going. To know where you are going it is imperative to understand that your future will be based on your actions of today. If you plan your current actions based on where you want to be in 1 year, 3 years or even 5 years from now, you are indeed beginning with the end in mind.
In Japanese this concept is described as “Mokuteki o Motte Hajimeru” and the kanji translates as – see, target, hold it, and begin; or in other words to see the target, hold it in the mind and then begin your journey. This very powerful concept of seeing the future you want in the mind, and then living your life as if it was already a reality is one of the real keys of success in anything you want to achieve in life.
The true warrior knows his skills, weaknesses and values. He prioritizes his actions based on achieving his goals. Before you can be successful, you must identify what it is you really want, create an action plan to achieve these goals, and constantly work to that end.
In goal setting, first identify your true values. Do long range planning and work backwards to quarterly, monthly, weekly and daily goals. Know what you want, know what it is going to cost and be willing to pay the price.
Earl Nightingale once said, “Happiness is the progressive realization of a worthy ideal.” You will only feel happy when you are moving, step-by-step, toward the accomplishment of a clearly defined goal. In order to achieve goals, it is important to constantly evaluate your own strengths and weaknesses.
Here are 7 steps towards successful future planning.
1. Dream big dreams
If you could be, do or have anything in life and were guaranteed you would not fail, what would you do? Go for it. Don’t hold back. Visualize yourself 5 years in the future and everything worked out just right. What would it look like? What would make you happy?
2. Identify your unique talents and abilities
What makes you special? What do you find easy to do, but others think is hard? Sometimes, ask others what they think you should do. Many times, they will see unique talents that you have overlooked.
3. Resolve to do, what you love to do, and commit to be excellent at it
It is only when you are growing in something that is important to you that you feel alive and in touch with your world. Remember that excellence is not a destination, but a lifelong journey.
4. Accept 100% responsibility for who and where you are in life
You are where you are because that is what you have chosen. You are what you are and where you are because of your past behaviors. If you want to change the future, then you need to change the behaviors you are doing today. True maturity begins when you realize that no one is coming to the rescue, but that you are totally responsible.
5. Be honest with yourself
Refuse to engage in the idea that the laws of cause and effect will ignore you. You know that everything that you get will be the result of something that you have put in. The biggest mistake is to expect something for nothing. Success only comes from paying in full, in advance.
6. Set clear specific goals
Less than 3% of all people have written goals and everyone else works for them. Only serious goals are written down. The more you write down your goals, the clearer they become in your mind and the more you believe they are attainable. The more they become attainable in your mind, the more you are willing to overcome the obstacles that will stand in the way.
7. Resolve to persist until you succeed
Be willing to endure the problems that you are going to face. Persistence is self-discipline in action. Your persistence is your belief in yourself and your ability to succeed. The more you believe in yourself, the higher your self-esteem. Soon you will develop an unstoppable attitude.
If action without thought is the cause of most failures, then action based on proper strategic planning is the foundation of all successes and the foundation of martial arts mastery.