Many changes in my life recently have forced me to evaluate where I stand. It hasn't been easy nor has it been pretty. But, I figure if I keep doing what I always did, I will continue to receive much of the same results as the past 20 years.
One word stood out as a weakness, more so than any other word. Engagement is a strong word that demands attention. CHECK the article on ENGAGEMENT here!
As a consequence, I have had to evaluate my life under the "engagement" microscope. This has yielded very painful but very accurate feedback. It's hard to look at your life and take ownerships of the mess. It is hard to look at the quality of your own life and say - hey! I am responsible. However, that is exactly what I did.
The change has been radical. I made it radical, because I don't like slow adjustments (I feel they don't last or aren't carried out). So, speeding up the change and expecting awesome results has paid off for me. Is my life perfect now? No. Am I happy with the change? It has been effort, but yes, I am happy with the results. Engagement is powerful, as it directly connects your potential to your efforts.
Effective engagement in igniting your potential and getting the success you want is an process with five steps:
Step 1 - Evaluate: Take a honest look at your efforts and expectations you have for life and for your personal achievements as a foundation from which to work. The key here is an honest look at your efforts, an honest look at your expectations and an honest evaluation on how effective the combination has been. For me, this was the eye opener. It was the "x" on the ground that marks the starting spot.
I evaluated each role that I play in my life, assessed the skills and abilities and had a long hard look at each one's expectations. This individual assessment of each area of my life gave me an overall average of my engagement and personal participation in achieving my own success. The results were just as I suspected - I was an observer of my own life, not a participant.
Step 2 - Enlist: Just as I evaluated each role in my life, I looked at each role and asked the question - How can this role take me to the success I want? I "recruited" different roles and areas in my life to participate in the achievement of my personal success. It was like doing a job interview with each one. I had assessed who I was, and I wanted to know how committed I was to achieving greatness.
Does it sound silly to enlist your own roles in your own life? Once you evaluate how effective each role has been, you will realise that you cannot leave the role development to chance, but will have to actively participate in its growth and improvement. Success doesn't happen by accident. It happens by concerted and focused effort.
Step 3 - Equip: Preparation is the foundation of success. You may have to learn a new skill, you may have to learn a few new skills. You may have to practice certain behaviour for it to happen smoothly and unconsciously. You may even fail a few times. Do you know what? That is allowed. You are allowed to make mistakes while you learn. You are allowed to fail in order to gain experience. Ask yourself: what is the difference between a master and an amateur? A mater has failed more times than an amateur has attempted!
Making a mistake should not be your concern - giving up should be! Don't give up. Learn, study and grow, gathering as much information and as many skills as it will take in order for you to reach your desired destination. This is not always to do. I understand that work and family responsibilities limit the time and energy that we have for learning and studying. Having the knowledge and ability will greatly add to your confidence when setting out to achieve anything. Thus, it becomes an inconvenient yet essential step.
Step 4 - Enthuse: Excitement is essential in getting out of the rut and going after your desired rewards. This is the primary reason for me making my changes quickly. I have a short attention span and my mood changes quick. I wanted to set myself up for success in a manner that would display results early, thus motivating me to continue.
I used vision. I designed my world and what it would look like when I achieved my planned success. I made it look as attractive and as seductive as possible in order to lift my level of excitement. I wanted to be enthusiastic and as energetic as possible when I started pursuit of my dreams. I envisioned my goals and desired outcomes in such an attractive manner - I actually drooled at the prospects of achieving it! Now, you may not slobber at the prospects of fulfilling your dream, but you should enthuse yourself in such a manner, that your energy and excitement will be able to carry you through the tough times.
Step 5 - Effort: Oh yes! It is work! If success happened without effort, more people would be enjoying its benefits. You are not going to make your dreams a reality by sitting on the side line and watch the game pass by. You will have to take the energy you generated and apply it to your potential. Apply your effort to worthwhile activities that take you closer to getting what you want.
This active step brings "engagement" to life. Don't shun it. Don't be afraid of it. The rewards of your effort are the very things you dream of achieving. When do you stop "doing"? You stop doing when your vision becomes a reality. You stop doing when the figment of your imagination is the tangible result under your touch.
Engagement demands active participation and involvement in your life and in your desires. Being a spectator in your life will not produce the outcomes you seek. Active involvement and participation brings great satisfaction and fantastic rewards. Engagement is ignited in the five easy steps of evaluate, enlist, equip, enthuse and effort.