Do you remember anytime when you sat with your parents or well wishers and didn't end up in a discussion, which eventually converted to an argument on one simple question. DO YOU KNOW YOUR PRIORITIES? Do, you know what you must do and where you are headed to?
Well, this is a question every elder in the house asks the younger ones. Isn't it? At least, this is the regular scene in my house.
However, we being a part of corporate society, well learned people, well read people who went through numerous theories on life, research based guidance in those management books which talk about individual and organizational behavior. Do we really need someone to ask us to make us realize that we must understand what is our priority in life, in workplace and so on?
If I ask 100 people about their priorities which ultimately translate to the goals, whether short or long term, 95 out of 100 won't be able to answer this question convincingly (to self). Don't believe me? Try it out. Write down, your top 5 priorities or Goals and see how confused you are going to be to choose from your own priorities.
Out of everything I ever read, I can connect the most to the Maslow's hierarchy of needs. May be that is why i never forgot this pyramid. To me, all your answers w.r.t sorting out your priorities are built well in to this pyramid. This helps me understand my own position visually and help me sort out my priorities. It guides me to my own course correction, get me to the right direction.
Few key points in the process of identification of priorities which you must bear in your mind while really working on your life goals,
Accept and Acknowledge your real position in the pyramid: At least be truthful to yourself. Start from the bottom of pyramid and ask yourself, have you really taken care of your physiological, safety, love, esteem and other needs? You must be sure of it.
SHORT Term Goal list: Once you know your place in the pyramid you will be able to identify what is missing or needed to climb up to the next step in this ladder. Once you know what is needed for next step, that becomes your short term goal.
LONG Term Goal list: Now life doesn't stop after you planned your short term goal. You will be in same mess, if you do not have a long term vision in your mind. So, for a moment assume, you achieve your short term goal in next 1 or 2 years or so. You must close your eyes and create a vision of your own SUCCESS. You must be able to create a dream, a vision where you see yourself after may be 5 years or 10 years. This must be done from both Professional & Personal Angle, else there will be an imbalance and you will remain in illusion that you achieved what you wanted to, but still won't have the mental peace and satisfaction. As you know your long term vision, you must create your path towards this long term goal.
Give it TIME: One of the biggest and cruelest enemy of mankind is impatience. Everyone needs quick success, quick bucks. The problem we fail to realize is, sustainability of such success. If you are sure, go for it. But, if you aren't you surely don't want to land in the mess again. Therefore, have for your life. I being a middle class man, if I just create a goal that i have to beat Mukesh Ambani, is it realistic? Who am I fooling? Of course, my self. SMART Goals (SPECIFIC, MEASURABLE, ACHIEVABLE, REALISTIC & TIME-BOUND)
ACT & MEASURE: Now, when you know, your priorities, you laid down you plan of action for achieving your short term and long term goals. You must ACT on your plan with 3 C's of success (CONVICTION, COMMITMENT, CONCLUSION). If one of the C's is missing, you are bound to lose the battle. Therefore, you need to audit your action based results periodically. Talk to yourself at least, ask yourself, have you done, what you had to? If you aren't getting the desired results, are you on the right path? If you are convinced that you are on the right path, results will follow, but even if you have an aorta of doubt that may be there is something wrong, then seek feedback from your closest friends, well wishers.
COURSE CORRECTION: This is one of the most important parts which many of us fail to acknowledge and act upon. If you aren't on the right path and not getting the desired results, then I must say, you are heading towards failure and depression. Best way to not get in to this situation is to get your course correction done. Identify alternates, recharge yourself and get on to the right path.
I am 100% sure, if you are able to even realize that above 6 steps are the way to succeed in life, if you have this in back of your mind, NO STOPPING YOU. Once you see value in what you do, spread the word and help people.
I wish everyone great success and clarity of thought.