1. Know what you want
2. Know the price you need to pay to get it
3. Pay the price
“Thanks Dave! Now I figured out life. Thanks to those three steps.” Right? Not!
The steps to greatness pose simple, yet complicated realities.
They present themselves as profound and direct orders. They are inspiring and have the potential to set you on your way with a mindfulness and clarity unprecedented in your life. And then you realize that it is one of the most challenging and complicated exercises in existence. It becomes a lifelong pursuit.
Stop now! It gets really difficult from here. It is much easier to keep doing what you are doing and not take the steps needed to truly become great. But then again, if it were easy, everyone would be doing it. Everyone would have achieved greatness and there would be nothing to discuss. Are you going to join me on the path?
One thing is for sure. I do not speak from the pulpit of greatness. I am not even close to that destination. I am absolutely, positively not great. I am, like you, on the journey. I am taking steps every day. Sometimes I fall backward, sometimes I move forward, sometimes it is hard to move. But I always move. That mindfulness has allowed me to get things done, which I do. It has allowed me to analyze, to self reflect and to make decisions to move forward once again. My strengths must continue to grow. I have tons of work to do on my weaknesses. But like you, if you got to this point in the blog, you are willing to work on those same things. So am I. The question is…How hard?
The most difficult step towards greatness is step #1, “Know what you want.”
At first glance, it may seem simple. “I want that!” It rolls off of your tongue like water over a stone. But then you begin to think.
• Is ‘that’ the thing I want the most in life?
• Is ‘that’ a good-to-have but not a must-have?
• Do I have room in my life to want more than ‘that?’
• By getting ‘that,’ is it going to serve me and those I love well?
• Do I want ‘that’ for me or for someone else?
• Am I willing to give up other things in order to get ‘that?’
Do you ever notice the things you profess to want? Do you really mean it? Do you really want those things?
Sometimes, the things you want must encompass your entire existence.
For example, if you want to become the world’s best ______________, you have to give up just about everything else in your life. There are some individual things, in order to achieve, you have to commit 100% of your time, energy and focus on that one thing. So if you truly want that, you need to prepare yourself for steps 2 and 3. Your list would be very short indeed.
So now we need to think about the list.
Take the time to make it complete and determine if each item is truly worth the price you need to pay to get it. Then, it’s time to look at your decisions, all day long, and see if they are intentional and pointed towards your goals of achieving greatness, in all the things that matter to you, all the things you want, all the time. Yes, it seems overwhelming because it is. You can only do one thing at a time. So choose wisely. Intentional behavior is a muscle. We need to build it, stretch it and develop its strength.
There are only 60 seconds in a minute, 60 minutes in an hour, 24 hours in a day, seven days in a week, 52 weeks in a year and an unknown number of all of those left in your life.
Let us not waste time. Join me on the path towards greatness. Join me on the path for as long as possible, to achieve the things we truly want.
*The Three Steps To Greatness was first presented to me by Kevin Knebl, a friend and presented at a Vistage International Meeting held at PFP in Orange, Connecticut seven years ago. I have been thinking about them every since.
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