The prerequisite of achievement

“Gentlemen, I am going to fly.” – Wilbur Wright, LeMans, France, 8/8/1908

The prerequisite of all achievement is intention.

The Wright brothers had already proven that manned flight was possible.  A few years later, Wilbur went to France to prove to a skeptical world that flight could be predictable and commercially feasible.

Like Wilbur Wright, you must intend to achieve, you must declare to yourself – and others too – that you have every expectation of reaching what you set out to accomplish.  You must let your intention then drive you to do the practice and preparation necessary to achieve your goal.

Wilbur’s flight on August 8th lasted only one minute 45 seconds, but his ability to effortlessly make banking turns and fly a circle stunned onlookers. The world has never been the same since.

The power of your intention can also change your world.

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Get focused on those who matter

“The inhabitants of planet Kardashian are okay without you.” – Jeff Haden

There are people who don’t make a difference in your life.  Be nice, be positive, but resist their distracting presence.

Focus on family, friends, and colleagues – the people who matter.   Those who support, enable, and give to your life.  And stay receptive to people around the edges.  There are wonderful people surrounding you; people you should meet, or reconnect with in a new way.  Seek them out.  Give them your time and attention.

Life’s too short.  You have higher priorities and a lot to get done.  Get focused on those who matter.

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Why stick with just what you know?

“Embrace what you don’t know.” –  Sara Blakely

Because when you stick with just what you know, you go nowhere.

You have to find out what you don’t know, find out if your ignorance is holding you back.  Then you have to grab hold, dig in, and discover out the why, the how, the why not?  You have to nurture your curiosity and be ready – no, eager – to explore possibility.  You can’t do that if you if stick with just the stuff you know.

Find out your gaps, embrace them, and then move on to deepen your understanding, widen your abilities.  Get ready for opportunity when it shows up, because it will show up.

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Only milestones…

“The journey is sometimes better than the destination.”  – Robert Pirsig

There is no final destination while you walk the earth –  only milestones.  You are a nomad. We are all nomads.  After reaching the objective it’s time to start planning and preparing for the next journey, the next challenge.  The point of arrival becomes the point of departure.

Unless, of course, you wish to stand down, to stay static, and begin to decay.   The next journey need not be limited to geography and location.  For example, cosmologist Stephen Hawking cannot move his body, due to ALS, yet his mind travels constantly – to amazing and wondrous worlds.

You’re either moving ahead or you’re falling behind.  What’s on your roadmap?

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Show them what’s in your heart

“Sing in your own voice.”

Because when you try to be anything but you, you’re not genuine.  There’s a phony sheen that people detect, that you already know.

Picasso was a so-so colorist.  That didn’t stop him, it didn’t matter.  His work in black and white, in charcoal and pencil spoke in far greater volume.

I’m still not sure if Bob Dylan can really sing.  It doesn’t matter.  He engages from his heart, from his convictions, from his soul.  His concerts sell out anyway.

What’s in your heart is what people want.   So get real, or don’t play.  Show them what’s in your heart.  Sing in your own voice.

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No shortcuts…

“If you can accept the pain, it cannot hurt you.” – Hugh MacLeod

There are no shortcuts.  You must make the sacrifices, embrace the difficulties, learn from criticisms, and persist despite disdain, or worse – ambivalence.

You take on your craft, your calling, you expressions of creativity for you.  No one else.  You do what you do with the knowledge that you may not be rewarded or recognized.

If you can pull it off, it’s worth it.  If you can’t, it’s worth it too.   You stepped up and engaged life while most were content to sit on the sidelines.  You learned, you grew, you developed the personal satisfaction of becoming stronger and more capable than you ever imagined.

You’re now ready for the next round.  Go for it!

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Reduce all that friction in your head

“Cultivate a spirit of healthy skepticism toward people and  institutions that are taken too seriously by everyone.”

It’s good to just lighten up.  Unless you’re truly dealing with a life or death situation,  it’s healthy to step back, take a closer look, and rethink why you’re so wrapped around the axle about the actions and pronouncements of others.  Step back and rethink why you’re holding on so tight, why you’re taking people and institutions so darn seriously.

Life gets better when you reduce all that friction in your head, so let go of  the drama.  Learn to see life from new vantage points.  Exhale, see the longer view, and do something because it defines you, not because you’re reacting to someone pushing your buttons.

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Meeting the winds of change and challenge

“No bird soars in a calm.” – Wilbur Wright

What set the Wright brothers apart from other would-be inventors of their day was that they figured out the science of lift.  They studied birds in flight, and saw how large birds of prey could soar for hours barely flapping their wings.  They saw how the birds, by adjusting  the angle and leading edge of their wings, would meet air currents to gain lift and the necessary elevation to soar.   But birds don’t soar in dead air.

Nor do you.   Your burning desire to rise above adversity motivates you to meet the winds of change and challenge.

You act.  You make adjustments and meet difficulty head on.  You know you’ll never soar staying stuck in the calm comfort of complacency.

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Don’t let your past push you around

“You are not nailed to the cross of your past.”

There are only two reasons to stay stuck in the past:  Feeble timidity and self-imposed punishment.

Let go of the desire to castigate yourself for mistakes of the past.  Let go of situational shame – particularly situations you didn’t create or could not prevent.  Indelibly note the lessons learned, and set your sights forward.  Cultivate a healthy dose of self-esteem, and know you are worthy.

Study the art of becoming bold.  Get ballsy.  Dare to be bad-assed.  Don’t let your past push you around.

If you need help there are plenty of books and websites, plenty of smarty-pants gurus and mentors – all available to provide guidance.    Find them.

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For the rest of your life…

“The work you do while you procrastinate is the work you should be doing for the rest of your life.” – Jessica Hische

It’s okay to wander, to lose yourself in things that create a sense of awe, of timeless flow, of delight in discovery.  That kind of deliberate wandering leads you to new realms, to places beyond your imagination, to engagement in work that becomes so perfectly aligned and on target with the desired trajectory of your life.

Take the time for purposeful procrastination.  Explore new paths.  Pay attention to how you feel,  to how you respond on the journey.  See if the new path fulfills previously unmet desires. See if it enables you to better create and perform.  See if it leads you to what you should be doing for the rest of your life.

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We've been working on a new website! Whenever we read these posts, we're inspired to write our own private thoughts. Now you can write your own private thoughts at 130words.com. It's easy. It's private. It's free. Try it! Let us know what you think!

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