A goal is a desire that sends us on a journey using decisions to transport us to an unknown destination. Very often, this destination is vague because we encounter opportunities/experiences that change our thinking which changes our direction. One thing is certain; the destination will be exhilarating or discouraging. On this journey, we set priorities and make decisions, which will prevent or create problems.
Journeys of unknown destinations require experiments. Every reasonable idea must be tried and tested. Testing ideas, results in gaining experience, which increases our knowledge. Very often, decisions give us an uncomfortable gut feeling long before we know the results. Gut feelings are intuitive forces that are signaling us to consider other options. If our lives were not filled with so many emotions, gut feeling would be a reliable alert-flag that would prevent problems or lead us to opportunity.
Some decisions may help for a short while, and then they become wrong. A needed service or information was acquired that will be needed in the future. It is discouraging that something seems right, and then turns wrong, but this is normal. As we gain experience, quality choices become obvious.
In reality, every decision is a success. The results may not be what we had in mind, but we gain valuable experience, that will influence future decision-making. Anyhow, we know what works and does not work.
In our imaginary journey the path winds around an imaginary lake named Lake Success. On the other side, we see potential customers waving money around and we want to get over there fast. The path around Lake Success requires that we acquire many skills. The only way we can safely arrive is to stay on the path and learn what it takes to make every step right. At the end, we will have quality information to make quality decisions. With this information, we can control the results.
But there is a distraction. On the other side of the lake, we see customers waving money. Easy money is extremely tempting. We are tempted to take a short cut, swim over and grab it. We may be dragging a heavy debt load and new money would relieve this burden. There are a hundred valid reasons to take shortcuts so we will try.
While swimming across the lake we focus on the money and off the service that first motivated us. We make costly unwise decisions that created many costly problems. If the debt load does not drown us into total failure, we will be forced back to shore and on the path, poorer but wiser. There are no rewards until we learn to complete tasks right. We must stay focused on what we want to accomplish, not the money. Money, power, and influence are rewards only, not goals. Only winners reap the rewards, because winners focus on doing jobs right.
Some people will succeed in crossing the lake, taking shortcuts, but they never learn how to do jobs’ right. People who had some success with shortcuts will always use shortcuts. If it worked once, it will work again, so they reason. For them, rewards will be limited and growth will not be possible because a shortcut is a loser.
Learning to Make Quality Decisions
- We need to find the correct path. With each step, we will learn how to complete small projects. At the end, we will collect all the small accomplishments and combine them into a successful achievement.
- Knowing what path we are on, we can make quality decisions that will guide us to our goal. Others can help if they know what our goal is.
- We need to learn how to prevent problems. Problems are caused by a lack of knowledge, not bad luck. Problems destroy dreams, not money.
- As leaders, we need to know how to bring the best out of people. No one knows what their true potential until opportunity presents itself.
The rewards of success are money, power, and influence.