So in the previous post, I started talking about taking your business or career to the next level. And there’s all kinds of stuff written on this subject all over the place but like I said, my approach is to give this to you in foundational chunks that you can apply to your basic thinking. This keeps it simple and easier to implement.

Now, in the process of getting to the next level, whatever that is for you, I said that the first thing that needs to be present when initiating such a move is Vision. And, while the vision needs to be clear to you, it does not have to be exact in terms of how it will come to fruition. Visions can and usually do change and evolve and you don’t want to be constrained with a narrow view of how things should unfold. In fact, in my opinion, you want the widest possible view of all the options to ensure the best possible result.

So the first step is visualizing what your next level looks and feels like maintaining that image as though it is already happening. It’s a commonly held belief that this crystallizes the path you’re on and helps attract the pieces of the puzzle you’re putting together. I also think it’s helpful to keep regular notes or documentation on the vision so that you can refer to it as needed.

Now let’s talk a bit about implementing the vision. There are some basic components and I’d like to cover a couple of them briefly. And like I said, I’m giving this to you in small chunks so you can build this into your foundational thinking.

So, there are, in my view, a few behavioral characteristics that are important in seeing your vision become a reality. First, there is Attitude. This is so critical. And as obvious as it sounds, it may very well be the most prevalent area of possible dysfunction. I mean, doesn’t everybody think they have the right attitude? Not always the case.

I don’t know about you, but I know a lot of negative people who think they are extremely positive.

So, I’ve said many times that I like sets of three. So, here are three elements to look for in Attitude when trying to move your vision forward.

First, I think of Polarity. Are you positive or negative? Well that’s a big topic in itself and I don’t know about you, but I know a lot of negative people who think they are extremely positive. I guess that’s most likely because it’s just a facade of sorts and underlying that are a lot of negative instincts.

Look, if you can’t approach this with genuine positivity, you’re going to have an uphill climb on the long haul.

The second thing is your View. Are you long-term or short-term? Are you able to see your Vision as an incremental part of your bigger Destination? And again, that does not imply that you have to know all the “how’s” and “why’s” of everything. As I said previously, the decisions you make regarding your Vision should support the path to your Destination. I believe that you’ll make better decisions as a result.

The third thing is, are you doing this for love or money. My sense is that if you choose either one over the other, your vision is at risk. When we’re talking about business or a career, you probably have to choose both. And all I’m saying here, which is consistent with what I’ve been saying, is that you better love what you’re doing and you ought to make sure that you’re adequately compensated or supported in the process. That’s kind of a no-brainer but check those boxes. Your prospects will be greatly enhanced.

The other component I want to mention is Focus. Without it, you may not be able to assemble the pieces of the puzzle. You can easily leave a critical piece out and things may come to a screeching halt. So, again, here are three elements to think about.

First is Clarity. Focus requires clarity. And my view is always that clarity requires simplicity. So, strive for simplicity wherever possible.

Second is Discipline. And I’m not talking about obsessive behavior here. That can throw you off just as easily. This is about order and organization. And I know it’s not easy for some people. But again, if you strive for simplicity, it’s much easier to keep things in order. If you need to add complexity, you can do so without losing sight of the basic order of things. Discipline supports clarity.

And the third element is Routine. Now I know some folks feel that they need routines in all aspects of their professional and personal lives, while others are on the opposite end of the spectrum and prefer a free-form approach to everything.

Here’s how I try to deal with routines. I’m kind of a hybrid character. I suspect I got the creative gene from my Mom and the sales gene from my Dad. So rather than create conflict between those traits, which I did so well in my younger days, I figured out how to create harmony between them and achieve the best of both worlds.

And that’s what I suggest when it comes to establishing routines. Use them as leverage. It’s empowering. If you’re overly dependent on routines, my view is you’ll have to step out of them from time to time in order to grow and create. Get comfortable with stepping out of the comfort zone. But keep it balanced.

The same goes for the free spirit in you. You may resist routine but the good news is that empowerment generally feels good. Adding the appropriate amount of routine supports discipline. And it’s all connected.

Destination: Next Level Part 3 >>

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