What is the Key to a Successful Life?
By Abi Motala
An ideal is not the dream that can never be realised, that certain weak-willed individuals like to imagine, if only to provide themselves with an excuse for moaning about life. Nor is it a vague and flimsy speculation in which shallow people want to indulge.
Here I am using the term 'ideal' to incorporate mission, vision, and purpose. I believe that it is indispensable for you to have an ideal, since it is the key to:
A more contented life.
A less stressful life.
A compelling future.
Putting first things first.
Focusing on what most matters in your life.
Preventing you from living in the past.
Allowing you to realise your future vision.
Giving you the reason for doing and being.
Your ideal is:
The overall vision, mission, and purpose for your life.
Very specific and understandable.
Always bigger than you.
Never completely achieved as it usually lasts your lifetime.
The power that determines your goals.
The continuous impulse towards a desire, which, because of gradual progress, gives you the courage to persevere.
The constant effort towards the whole, the partial realisation of which provides you with satisfaction and with encouragement.
Relatively constant even though your goals and values may change.
Not a definite goal as it exists at a much higher level.
Not an abstract, vague, hazy, or fanciful aspiration.
Therefore, an ideal is a dominant aspiration which all your efforts strive to achieve. I like to compare the ideal to a chain, of which every link, complete in itself, is added to the one before it to form a durable and constantly lengthening bond.
When you have a purpose your life has more meaning, and your ideal directs your life by becoming your helm, anchor, atlas, compass and inner core.
There is no situation in life, however modest, in which it is not advantageous to have an ideal. The shop-assistant will have thought of becoming the owner of the shop, and he will direct every aspect of his labour to that one end. Of course, an ideal once attained does not cease to exist, but merely changes. Once proprietor of the shop, our shop-assistant"'s ideal will be to make himself distinguished among those who are in the same line of business.
And this same aspiration towards better things, while all the time progressing towards a single goal, can find satisfaction in successive victories, each of which is but a step in the right direction towards your goal. Without actually becoming a fantasy, an ideal can approach the realm of fancy as far as the perfection that you wish to reach is concerned. For certain artists this will be a flawless work of art which they continually progress towards, with each successive creation.
As an example, I am listing the various components of my ideal in the hope that it will help you to develop yours. They are as follows:
1. To strive for a better life and value my freedom to live my life as I choose, and without interfering with the freedom of others.
2. To respect and value the difference between individuals, irrespective of age, race, religion, or gender.
3. To become a positive influence and role model for others' perseverance.
4. To serve as an inspiration and role model for my family, colleagues, and staff by always supporting and encouraging their growth.
5. To remain loyal and dedicated to myself, my wife, my children and grandchildren, my siblings, my friends and my staff.
6. To make every effort to achieve financial independence.
7. To conduct all my commercial transactions with honesty and integrity.
Having established your ideal, you will have a challenging future ahead of you. The next thing that you need to do is the crucial step of goal setting.
Goal setting is about making choices. It is about knowing where you are going and why you are going there. When you define your goals you need to ensure that every goal is:
Specific - to the extent that you know clearly what you are trying to achieve and why.
Measurable - to ensure that you can gauge and quantify your progress.
Achievable - to make sure that you have the production capability to complete it.
Realistic - to make certain that you have reasonable expectations.
Time-based - to guarantee that you complete it within a predefined time constraint.
If you do not apply due diligence and perform goal setting, then you will not realise your dreams because you will have no clue about:
Where you are going.
Why you are going there.
When you should get there.
How you are going to get there.
Copyright 2005 Abi Motala
About The Author
This article is written by Abi Motala, CEO of Vista Information Publishing Ltd and author of "How to Unleash the Power of PERSEVERANCE". Articles written by Abi have been published in both business and IT magazines.
Abi has extensive business management experience at senior levels within large companies, both in the UK and Western Europe.
Having spent 30 years in business, he has personally enjoyed many triumphs as well as endured many traumas. During his business life he has built a significant network of high achievers in many fields, and has witnessed the impact of both success and failure on his business associates and friends.