This post is part of our series on Extraordinary Success and is the second of four installments involving Intentionality.
In Intentionality pt 1, we introduced the four-step process for intentionally setting and living out your core values and discussed defining your preferred future. Now we will move to the second step.
Define your preferred future
The process of assessing one’s current reality is vital to the process and yet is overlooked quite often, and it’s easy to see why. No one who is focused on improvement and possibility wants to dwell on current realities that may not match the preferred future that they have defined. You may be thinking that people who are focused on current circumstance are typically those who lack awareness and aren’t improving…. and you would be right. However, it is a serious mistake to skip over this step.
To understand why step #2 is so important, consider how a GPS unit works. You plug in the desired destination and the GPS unit calculates a path to that destination. If your current location couldn’t be determined, it would be impossible to calculate a route forward! If you woke up in a strange city and had no idea where you were, vivid mental pictures of home won’t help you get there. You would absolutely need to first determine where exactly you were.
In the same way, the clearly defined core values that will create the desired culture in your home or business is the destination. Before you can design a path toward that destination, it is vital to know where you are now. How do we do that? By Assessing our current reality.
Assessing reality may seem pretty straightforward, but we often lack objectivity when it comes to our own reality. For example, I recently asked my wife Amanda how well I was connecting with her emotionally on a scale from 1-10. She replied that I rated about a three! I asked that specific question because connecting emotionally is an area that I struggle with but one that I thought had improved a good deal. My perception of progress isn’t nearly as important as objective feedback from the person with whom I am hoping to connect with. You will also need objective feedback in order to accurately assess your reality.
Jeff Henderson suggests finding 3-5 people you trust and ask the question, “what is it like to be on the other side of me?”. This in itself will require intentionality. You will need to find people who will tell you the truth even if it isn’t pleasant. No echo chambers or asking your Mom. On the other hand, you’ll also want to avoid Negative Nacy’s or people who may be jealous of your desire to improve.
Once you find the few people that you trust to give you feedback, it is important to simply listen. Resist the urge to be defensive or explain yourself. Just listen.
Once you have collected the necessary feedback you can begin to assess reality. It may not be fun. It may look worse than you had imagined. Remember though, it is absolutely vital to know where you are in order to get to where you want to be! Doing this step will put you ahead of the many who will not have the discipline to objectively assess their reality.it is absolutely vital to know where you are in order to get to where you want to be! Click To Tweet
Now that we know exactly where we want to go, and we know exactly where we are, we can plot a course that is sure to take us to our destination. This is literally where the rubber meets the road and we’ll talk about the specifics of this next step in our next post, where we will talk about one of my favorite subjects: taking action!