Success as the Destination

Mann Residential Report, May 2012

Our Destination suggests purpose; purpose for doing; purpose for achieving. Achievement is a destination. Achievement over time and of quality can enable success. The 6th century Chinese philosopher Lao-tzu counsels us that “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” Often achievement and success can seem like journeys. Journeys defined by our desires, however yet to be realized through our actions. Purpose for achieving is central to realizing success. Our visions, missions, and reasons for wanting and working toward achieving goals fuel our momentum, drive us forward. We may know of success; a state-of-achievement in mind. This state-of-achievement in mind is critical as it enables us to think and act in ways that are conducive to achieving what we want. It serves as a beacon of possibly, guiding us toward goals we want to achieve.

We attribute meaning to achievement and success. This meaningfulness enhances purpose and encourages our envisioning possible futures. However, many times we are not capable of the thought and action necessary to achieve and succeed. We may neither possess the knowledge required to realize our goals nor choose to endure the ambiguity inherent in our journey through the uncharted future. However, equipped with our state-of-achievement in mind, we can work toward creating our visions of an achievement and success enabled future today. Consider the following three ideas for framing your state-of-achievement:Know Thyself, Enable Action, and Model The Way.

Know Thyself Plato reminds us “know thyself.” Self knowledge informs purpose and enables achievement. Knowing the boundaries of our capabilities and competencies promotes informed decision making relative to making progress toward achieving goals. Acquiring self knowledge is a life-long endeavor. In order to “know thyself” we must cultivate an appreciation of our potential and desire to achieve; an appreciation tempered by a clear understanding of our tolerance for sacrifice and willingness to fail. The Irish Poet and Novelist Oscar Wilde offers “The final mystery is oneself.” The “mystery” of self knowledge invites us to explore our individual alchemy. We can come to know our psychological, behavioral, and spiritual profile recognizing our unique amalgam of personal and cultural characteristics franked by environmental forces and forged in the crucible of living. A coach can guide your journey of self discovery toward self knowing.

Enable Action Action is the result of thought. How we think about action guides our behaviors. The German poet Goethe advises us “Thinking is easy, acting is difficult, and to put one’s thoughts into action is the most difficult thing in the world.” Many people think great thoughts that they never realize in action.  While conceiving a new concept or restructuring an old idea may be effortless, realizing it through action may be impossible. We may neither possess the knowledge nor skills necessary to translate thinking into action. As a result, thought is rendered moot, its potential unrealized. Enabling action can be approached as a process. We can institute processes and partner with others in the service of stimulating and habituating action. The French playwright Jean-Baptiste Poquelin, better known as Molière wrote “It is not only what we do, but also what we do not do, for which we are accountable.” Success is fueled through doing and we are accountable of it’s our outcomes. We must translate thought into action in order to realize our visions of success. A coach can help you harness the power and potential inherent in action enabling you to progress toward achieving success as a destination.

Model The Way Throughout our lives we model others behaviors. We’ve modeled how our parents parented us and taken on the mannerisms of those we admire morphing ourselves into possible future selves. We’ve learned about ourselves through modeling how others think and act. Nobel Prize laureate Thomas Mann offered “People’s behavior makes sense if you think about it in terms of their goals, needs, and motives.” In order to achieve our goals, fulfill our needs, and understand our motives we’ve modeled the successful behaviors of others. Our behaviors evidence how we think. When interacting with others we may detect misalignments between what people say and how they behave. This incongruence is a hallmark of lack of self knowledge. Modeling the way embodies congruence between thought and action. We are a model of authenticity, vulnerability, and opportunity. Through modeling our real selves, we model the way toward success for ourselves and others. A coach can provide feedback enabling alignment between thought and behavior.

Success As Destination We can choose and work toward success as our destination, in turn ensuring that success will be our destiny. Coaches can guide thought and action along the journey toward success. Get a coach; earn success.

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