Whether you’re seeking success in your career or personal life, it all starts with a Dream, the first of the 4 D’s of deliberate success. Learn the other three in this book excerpt.
Deliberate Success: Realize Your Vision with Purpose, Passion and Performance
by Eric Allenbaugh, Denis Waitley
Deliberate Success, in business and in life, starts with a Dream. You cannot experience the reality of a dream without having first dreamed the dream! Nothing is more powerful than a compelling vision that ignites your spirit, touches your soul, and sharpens your competitive edge. Dr. Martin Luther King engaged the spirit of millions with his “I have a dream” speech. Notice that he did not say “I have a strategic plan!”
Next, you need to Decide that this dream is important enough to pursue. Most of what you want in life is just a decision away. You need to say “Yes!” to your dream, or it will never happen. At the same time, you need to say “No!” to those other activities that detract from your dream. Pay attention to what you say “Yes” to and what you say “No” to in business and in life. The answers reveal your values, your priorities — and eventually determine your outcomes.
After deciding to move ahead with your dream, your next step is to Develop the action plans that will get you from where you are now to where you want to be. In this phase, imagine that you are already where you want to be: what does that desired state look like, sound like, and feel like? Allowing yourself to fully experience the desired state provides greater clarity in determining what action steps will be required to achieve your results. You will benefit from first identifying major themes or strategies to get from your current to your desired state. Each strategy can then be broken down into specific action steps which clearly identify who is going to do what by when.
The final step, Deliver, requires that you have the courage to act on your plan. Those who achieve Deliberate Success punch trough barrier after barrier. Second string people, on the other hand, seem to seek security at the key choice points and merely retreat to that which is familiar to them. They ultimately repeat the same patterns of behavior that keep them in a perpetual “Stuck State Cycle.” You, however, recognize that commitment to a dream, coupled with the courage to act, results in Deliberate Success. You become a “Personal Delivery System” to manifest your dream.
“The future does not get better by hope — it gets better by plan.”
I applied the “4D’s” to a personal career change more than two decades ago — and have further developed that dream after these many years. While I enjoyed my then career in hospital administration, I had a dream to start my own consulting business. As my dream continued to grow, it eventually captured my spirit. So what was that compelling dream? “By assisting individuals and organizations to create and sustain their best and by giving more to life than I receive, I will experience a high degree of personal and professional fulfillment while achieving financial independence.” At one point, I needed to decide to act on my dream. A dream cannot be fulfilled without a conscious, committed decision to turn it into reality.
To achieve the results I sought, I needed to develop a plan to facilitate transition from my former career in hospital administration to a high level of performance in the leadership consulting field. My plan included 1) a clear and compelling vision, 2) three major strategies to pursue in getting to where I wanted to be, and 3) specific action items within each strategy to catapult me forward. And, finally, I needed the courage to deliver — to put my plan into action in spite of the many obstacles that I needed to punch through. That decision set into motion what ultimately became a new and even more fulfilling career. I left my hospital position on a Friday and started my doctoral program and consulting practice on the following Monday. Scary, yet exciting stuff!
“The path to success is to take massive, determined action.”
These strategies and action items launched me on a new career journey more than twenty years ago that accomplished my dream and continues to contribute to my own personal and professional fulfillment. It started with a Dream — which resulted in a Decision — which served as a catalyst to Develop a plan — which provided me with the tools to Deliver. The result? My Dream became a reality. And so can yours.
“The best way to predict your future is to create it.”