Have you ever flown a kite? Do you remember what it was like the first time you flew a kite? I was an excited child when I received my first kite from my mom and dad on an Easter weekend decades ago. The April winds were clipping and spring temperatures were climbing with the bright sun blazing. Getting that kite ready to fly was exhilarating. Now it’s launch time. Hold the string that is a few feet from the kite and run into the wind with kite being pulled behind you by the wind. Release more string so that the kite can rise higher and higher. Maybe you can release dozens of feet of string and be amazed at how high and how far away that kite has gone. Then there is the hazards that we didn’t think about; the power lines, the tree, the wind gusts, the string’s strength etc. Flying a kite can often lead to disappointment because the weak string broke and that kite just blew away. For too many of us, ideas become like flying a kite. We are excited about the great heights we want to attain but we let time blow our ideas away.
You might have a great idea for your life but it is still just an idea. It’s critical to make your idea a reality. Please remember that it is only an idea that floats around in the air with a weak string and gets lost in the wind. Life is full of power lines, trees, strong winds and weak string that distract your great idea. Recently, I was in a coffee meeting with a very successful and very dedicated business owner. During our conversation he mentioned to me that three years ago he had this great idea about what he could do with his business but had yet to take action on it and hoped to soon. I asked him how old he was and he told me he was 48. I asked him if we should schedule another coffee meeting when he was 51 so that we could discuss the great idea that he had six years ago but hadn’t taken action. The leader’s eyes opened wide and he quickly took action to begin making his idea tangible by being proactive.
We all know that ideas can too often be like a kite. We need to make our ideas something way better than a kite that flies away in the wind. It is very important to make things more tangible than the distractions of the power lines, the trees and the weak string that allow ideas to fly away. Recently, I met with another small business owner and asked him what his plan looks like for the next three years. He stated that he has some ideas but really doesn’t have a plan yet. If you don’t have a plan, how are you going to find your destination? Make your ideas real.
The hardest work with new idea is thinking and planning. Are you ready to plan or are you flying a kite? Here’s a video from Growth Coach Sioux Falls client Dr. Nathan Unruh about how the Growth Coach helped him make things tangible:
“You alone have the responsibility to shape your life. Once you understand this, nothing and no one can deny you success. There’s no one to stop you but yourself.” –Unknown
You are 100% responsible. The good, bad and ugly of your business and your life is what it is and how it is because of you. For your business and life to change and improve, you must change and improve. You must change beliefs to change your behavior. You must re-engineer your mindset and escape old habits. You must create and/or change your strategies and actions.
It is a stunning fact that most business leaders have not defined the true results that they want to achieve in life both professionally and personally. Most don’t know where they’re going, let alone where they currently are. We need to provide ourselves some clarity in life. Where are you going? Where are you starting from? How are you going to get there? What’s your vision for each of your vital areas in life.
The most common theme that I hear from my Growth Coach clients is “I don’t feel like I have balance in my life at all and I often feel incomplete.” Former Coca Cola CEO, Brian Dyson once said the following: “Imagine life as a game in which you are juggling some five balls in the air. You name them – work, family, health, friends, and spirit – and you’re keeping all of these in the air. You will soon understand that work is a rubber ball. If you drop it, it will bounce back.
But the other four balls – family, health, friends, and spirit are made of glass. If you drop one of these, they will be irrevocably scuffed, marked, nicked, damaged or even shattered. They will never be the same.
You must understand that and strive for balance in your life.
Pace: Don’t run through life so fast that you forget where you are and where you’re going.
Discipline: Force yourself to take time; ask family and mentors etc. to help you to clearly define the results that you must accomplish for each part of your life.
Plan: Look at each of your vital balls and pick all the things that you will do to make a positive impact in each ball each week. Then pick from the weekly list to plan each day.
Courage: If you don’t try hard to separate yourself from the crowd, you simply are the crowd.
Respect: Appreciation is one of our greatest emotional needs. Share it every day.
Fun: You need to allow yourself to have fun so you can gain even more clarity.
Loyalty: To your Faith, Family, Friends, Health and everything else.
No one can stop you but yourself.
Note what Growth Coach client Paul Ten Haken shared about balance, accountability and goals.
Begin with the end in mind. This is a great phrase that I was first introduced to by the late, great Stephen Covey. The end can be defined as the outcome that you want to achieve in specific areas of your life, your Vision. Do you have a vision/s for your life and in the end what you would like to accomplish? Have you written them down to make them tangible?
Do you have visions for the following:
• Your faith • Your family • Your career • Your health • Your finances
I believe that everyone is a visionary and that the only things that hold us back from defining the specific results we want are limiting beliefs, lack of discipline, and busyness. We owe it to ourselves to make time to truly define what we want to accomplish in each of the above areas in the end.
Determine your Vision for area and it has a cascading effect on these:
How much more focused would your life be if before every action you take, you asked yourself this question; If I make this my next action, will this action continue to move me closer to my Vision? If the answer is yes then you do it, if it’s no, you don’t.
Do you begin each day knowing where you are going in the long-term? We must quit worrying about today and tomorrow and begin being excited about the future that we behold! Will you make the time to develop the visions for the vital things in your life? Your visions should tug your heart and your emotions should drive you. How would your life be if you were obsessed with your visions in every critical area? Developing a Strategic Mindset is the pathway to begin with the end in mind. Make the commitment!