Several months ago I was called to create a sales training program for a local company. One of the sections in this program focused on necessary factors required for success, in this case, in the sales process. As I was putting this program together, I noticed two interesting things. First, that almost all the key words started with a P. Second, this process is almost universal and can be applied to other aspects of my own personal life as well. I would like to share these with you. I hope that you will find them useful.
In order to succeed in any goal, be it personal or professional, the following P’s are absolutely necessary:
1. The Power of Purpose
Why do you want to do this? What is the motivation behind it? The stronger, more personal and more meaningful the answers to these questions are, the more likely it will be to that you will reach your goal. If you lack a strong purpose behind your goal you will stop or be discouraged as soon as the going gets tough. Purpose is your fuel and energy behind your efforts. The higher your energy, the stronger your effort. “I want to lose 20 lbs so I can look good and fit into my new jeans for the summer party,” is much less powerful than “I have to lose 20 lbs to be an example for my family, who have suffered alongside me as I’ve been unhealthy, lethargic and disappointed in myself. They look up to me and count on me to be healthy, happy, energetic and confident. So, I commit to do everything I possibly can and overcome any obstacles to achieve my goal by this summer.” Turn your goal into a powerful, precise (two more P’s) and emotionally charged purpose and watch yourself break through any obstacle that gets in your way.
2. The Process of Planning
How are you going to accomplish this? What is the best way for you to do this? Without a solid plan you will lose focus and waste your time and energy. You cannot hope for things to fall in place magically and for difficulties to work out by themselves. You have take control of your own effort and create a plan that is personal and fits your situation best. The more detailed and personal the plan is the less likely it will be for you to lose focus and motivation. “I plan to lose those 20 lbs by eating less and exercising more whenever I get the chance” is not as good as “I will cook healthy meals with the help of my family at home every Monday and Wednesday instead of our usual family pizza parties. I will make it fun. I will go on 30 minute walks with my friend every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday in order to prepare for the 5k run/walk for cancer support in two months. I will switch to water from soda at work and salad instead of fatty fast food on Sunday outings. I will get my family and friends involved and ask them to fully support me during this process.”The more precise and personal (two more P’s) your plan is the easier it will be to keep moving forward and enjoy the process (one more).
3. The Potential of Perseverance
How will you keep going? How will you stay on track? How will you overcome obstacles? Perseverance is not something you either have or you don’t. It is something you learn and develop along the way. It is something that continues to grow and get stronger. It’s like a muscle; it can be exercised and made stronger. When you persevere through the smaller, easier challenges, it builds your self confidence and focus for the bigger and tougher challenges. You can remember the times when you pushed through and kept going. Most likely it was something that was important and meaningful to you. Perseverance comes more naturally to you when you are passionate about your goal. Otherwise it will feel forced and tiring. If you have done well on the two steps mentioned above you will be well prepared to persevere through your challenges, since you’ve made this goal meaningful and personally important.
So, whether you are planning a small trivial goal or a long-term life goal, make sure to get your three P’s straight. And if you want to get there faster, make sure to add more P’s like passion, power and precision.
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