Preparation or Wishful Thinking? Our apporach to life, work, success, and resolutions….
As I am an avid reader, a friend and colleague just recommended a book to me – Dare to Prepare by Ron Shapiro. Interesting title, so I checked it out on-line and found numerous 5-star ratings…which prompted me to pick up the phone, call him back, and enter into a conversation about the topic of “preparation”…. Now we didn’t solve the world’s problems, but it did get me thinking about resolutions.
My first question to you is: How is your New Year’s Resolution going? We are 2 weeks into the year, and based on my very informal poll, 60% of the good intentions have already crashed and burned. Are you in the 40, or the 60%? Is this a pattern?
My second question: When you sat down at your desk this morning, did you think “what are the 2-3 things I need to do today to consider it a successful day?” or did you “find something that needed to be done – to occupy you?” Do your days feel reactive or proactive?
My third (and last!) question: Does your life resemble the board game “Life” where the dice determines your fate…you move yourself forward without considering options or strategies…making decisions as the need arises? Or do you create “the board” on which your life plays out?
In my coaching practice, I often hear people enter into “wishful thinking”. They believe if they wish hard enough, it will happen. “I really want my boss to see me differently, I really wish he would get to know me” – yet if there is a suggestion to modify current behavior or take action to make it happen, there are 101 excuses why that won’t work, not to mention some finger-pointing.
What is interesting is the surprise and disappointment people feel when nothing has shifted. Is this an issue of wishful thinking vs. preparing for success, or is this an issue of powerlessness? Or an issue of just not knowing how to make it happen? I’m not sure….but I do know there is an expectation for wishful thinking to “work”.
Let’s go go back to “resolutions”. Step One, you’ve set your resolution. Great. Step Two…now what? Hello…Step Two. The truth of the matter is most of us think if we wish it, or declare it, we’re good. You’ll have to do more than that…you’ll have to prepare. Studies show the most successful dieters (c’mon, admit it, this has probably been on your list of resolutions at least once), are successful because they prepare. They prepare their menus and meals in advance, they prepare by acknowledging and deciding what to do in certain pitfall situations, they prepare for the day…..they prepare for success.
Achieve all the things you are capable of and/or want in life, not by wishful thinking, but by preparation – take control of your success and prepare.
Please let me know how you have prepared for success, I would love to hear your response!