Wednesday, June 11, 2008

The Recipes for Chaos & Achievement

A note from for Thursday June 12 2008

Welcome to this Thursday.

Firstly, my thanks to all who shared notes related to yesterday’s “reader”. It warms me always to acknowledge that we have amazingly thoughtful subscribers.

We’ve been focusing a lot recently on wealth, health, happiness and personal responsibility. Today is no different. We call on a good friend and contributor to share yet another great perspective on the issues.

The Recipes for Chaos & Achievement
by Philip Humbert

We all want lives of achievement, health, happiness and some measure of wealth. We want the "good life!" And yet, the vast majority end up leading relatively average, middle-class lives. How can this be? How can so many of the world's most educated people end up working paycheck to paycheck?

I think the answers are pretty simple.

Most of us were never taught HOW to create and live a great life! We don't study this in school. We admire people who have done great things, but no one coaches us, no one shows us the way. And so we stumble. We struggle. We ARE educated, ambitious, educated people and we do the best we can, but without the basic recipe, too often we get only average results.

So, I want to share with you two of the most important "recipes" I know I teach these formulas to my coaching clients and I want to share them with you. My price? Only this: If you find them helpful, I ask that you pass them on to at least two other people. Forward this reader, or print it out and mail it to two friends. I hope you're willing to do that.

Ok, here we go.

The first recipe is what I call the recipe for chaos. It goes like this:
Impulse + Opportunity = Chaos

Every day, we all have impulses to study or to spend, to do our work or to watch television. Impulses are merely ideas that pop into our brains and momentarily catch our attention. The problem is that they are relatively random and too many are based on casual appetites or unhealthy temptations. There's nothing inherently bad or wrong with our impulses, but there is nothing inherently good or trustworthy about them, either.

And, too often our impulses get matched with opportunity for instant gratification. Here's how it works.

Consider the impulse to spend, combined with a credit card in your wallet. Too often, the result is casual debt, and that can be a problem Or how about the impulse to watch television (just one show), combined with a beautiful new TV in the family room? Too often, the result is wasted time. You see the pattern?

Impulses happen. When we surround ourselves with opportunities for instant gratification, the result can be a life lurching out of control .

Now, consider another recipe, the one for achievement. Here it is:
Desire + Discipline = Achievement

"Desire" comes from Latin words that mean "of the father." Our deepest desires represent our true longings, our mission or purpose or values in life. When we are clear about our real DESIRES and combine them with a disciplined life, the results can be astonishing!

Jonas Salk had the DESIRE to prevent polio and the DISCIPLINE to do the research, study his notes and make the discoveries. The results changed the world. Mary Kay Ash (of Mary Kay Cosmetics) had the DESIRE to help single moms like herself, and the DISCIPLINE to find a way. She had no money (she started with $500) and no business experience, but she pressed forward. She changed an industry and helped millions of women in the process.

Random impulses in a world of undisciplined opportunity can lead to chaos, debt, and disaster. Knowing your deepest DESIRES and matching them with even minimal DISCIPLINE, however, is the recipe for achievement. When Stephen Covey talks about "starting with the end in mind," he's talking about being clear about your desires. When we talk about written goals, we're talking about strong desires. When you know what you truly want, and go after it with discipline and determination, the results are astounding.

That's the recipe for achievement!

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