Proper preparation begins with proper planning. Before going out, do you wait to bathe, dress, and get ready until the last possible moment? That’s an invitation to disaster. If getting ready is the last thing you do before leaving the house, rest assured you will leave late as often as not. If it normally takes you about forty minutes to get ready from start to finish, the logical tendency is to leave a time slot of – you guessed it – about forty minutes. During those forty minutes one or more interruptions or surprises are bound to occur that will add a minimum of five to ten minutes to the total time required. Count on it. Don’t fight it, plan on it!
Your strategy is to plan a non-priority event or activity in between getting ready and the time you intend to leave the house. Plan time to do some paperwork or make a phone call. Then, if you get into a time squeeze, the time lost can be made up by skipping that non-priority activity, and you still leave on time. Those who are habitually late are generally still getting ready when it’s time to leave.
Ever lose your car keys? What a question! Couldn’t remember what pants or pocketbook you left them in? Common sense would ask how many times car keys have to be lost before it becomes obvious that a systems approach is needed for keeping track of those elusive little rascals. Although systems approaches may be a part of your everyday business or career life, few people have employed the power of systems, even simple ones, to their personal lives.
Let’s say that you’re leaving home for an important appointment. You’ve misplaced your car keys again and it takes twenty minutes to find them. What happens to your attitude? You get angry at yourself or whoever misplaced the keys, and suddenly you’re operating under stress. After you finally find your keys and race to the car, you continue experiencing finding yourself slowed down by heavier than usual traffic that causes you to hit every red light. Now your whole day is rolling downhill and out of control. By noon you’re saying to everybody, “It’s just one of those days.” And it all began with one minor, easily preventable event – misplaced car keys. Without a systems approach to that problem, the same scenario is destined to repeat itself over and over no matter how vehemently you swear that it will never happen again.
Become Successful By Expecting Success
When you plan and prepare carefully, you can rightfully anticipate having success in your efforts. When you recognize and develop the winning qualities that you were born with, the winner you were born to be emerges. Although not all your expectations are going to come to pass, you give yourself an infinitely better chance of succeeding by taking the proper steps. Regardless of your goal – losing weight, making more money, etc. – you can expect to achieve your goal if you plan and prepare for it.
You also need to understand that the path from where you are to where you want to be is not always smooth and straight. The reason for the twists and bumps is simple, and it has nothing to do with you. It has more to do with the fact that not everyone is as interested in your success as you are. Some people may accidentally hinder your efforts; others who are in competition with you and have little or no integrity may try to sabotage your efforts.
Keep in mind, though, that when you hit those roadblocks or even reversals, your character, commitment, and attitude are the determining factors in your success. You need to carefully review your plan of action, seek wise counsel, and be particularly careful to feed your mind good information. An optimistic, positive mind is far more likely to come up with creative solutions than a mind that dwells on setbacks and difficulties.