Tuesday, February 26, 2008

The Art of Precision-Living

Have you ever walked the streets of a busy city and noticed that everyone is busy going somewhere? Have you ever asked yourself where they were actually going?

I have come to learn that life is full of activity some of which is productive and progressive while some is unproductive. Some people are usually busy going nowhere yet they like the feelings that mere activity brings-a sense of achievement and meaning perhaps. However, such feelings are futile if the activity lacks direction and vision. Living is an art and must be approached with a plan and picture of a preferred future. I call this "Precision-Living".

Precision-living is the art of ordering your life to fall in line with the vision that you have; its about planning your life and living the plan. As a leader one of the things that people will first look at is how well you are directing your own life. This observation is critical because it will determine the level to which they allow you to influence them. People want to follow a leader who has a clear understanding of the course his life has to take. I usually tell people that the first level of leadership is self leadership. If you cannot lead yourself how will you lead others? Therefore, effective leaders practice the art of precision living.

Precision is really easy to achieve in your personal life. The first thing you have to do is know where you are going. We call this vision. Where do you see yourself in the next five, ten or fifteen years? Write it down for this is the beginning of your plan.

Secondly, how do you hope to achieve this vision? Set some SMART goals (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Transferable Goals-more on that later). Set some objectives. A specific but realistic time frame in which to fulfill these goals. Write these goals and objectives as well. Its just as easy to come up with an idea as it is to forget it but a paper has a very long memory.

Thirdly, Work your plan. Wake up every morning with one goal in mind-to live according to plan. Many people lose sight of their dream because they never build a habit of living according to plan. This is the reason why new year's resolutions fail. You must have an extreme commitment to the attainment of your vision that you dedicate your whole life and time to fulfilling that. Let your actions be guided by your plan and dream. Successful people really live predictable lives. Yes, they do not imprison their creativity but they allow themselves to be creative within the confines of their dream.They are creatures of habit and systematic approaches to life. Tony Robbins says you too can be successful if you model these successful people (From his book Unlimited power-my own paraphrase). In other words you can reproduce their success by simply doing what they do but this is only possible because they are predictable and know the power of habit. So work your plan and develop your own systems of doing things in the most effective and successful ways.

Fourthly, Precision-living is about the organization of priorities. To be an effective leader you must know your priorities even as you lead yourself. Some things you treat as emergencies can really be dealt with lastly but you get lost in the maze of activity and cannot clearly discern what things should come first. Understand though that it is extremely difficult to have priorities if you first do not have a clear vision. Vision makes prioritizing easier. So prioritize.

These are just a few thoughts on Precision-Living but there are so many other aspects I can talk about including developing the right mental attitudes for success. But we will deal with that at some other time. In the meantime remember that NOW is your moment of greatness.
T your Success!

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