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Focus On Ends Rather Than Means

Aug 17, 2007
Develop a razor-sharp picture of where you want to land at the end of your quantum leap. Make your goal specific. Pay careful attention to the details.

Focus on this goal constantly in your thoughts and imagination. Carry in your mind a picture of you achieving the objective. Adults rarely make quantum leaps, but small children make them all of the time. Little ones focus on ends, rather than means. Kids have no hang-up about technique. Being so young and inexperienced, they are often practically devoid of methodology. But they are open-minded, goal-focused, and true believers in experimentation. They lock in mentally on their objective, and seem quite willing to let the goal determine the methodology. In fact, they proceed such that the goal often creates the methodology. The child does something for the first time ever, it works, and inherent potential is discovered. The necessary technique, the means, just sort of evolves in the process.

Grown ups get it all backward. Adults cannot seem to choose a goal without simultaneously evaluating their resources and personal repertoire of skills to see if they have what it takes to reach the objective. The adults command of technique methodology, or resources then becomes the screening device used to select the appropriate goal. The choice of goals (the ends) depends too heavily on what the individual perceives as his or her obvious, available methodologies (the means).

Start by working on defining your goal, not by worrying about everything that will be involved in getting from here to there.

Technique, methodology, the process you will need to follow...this will come to you. Just make sure your aim is good, open yourself to the unexpected, and proceed. You do not have to know how you are going to get there, but you must know where you want to go.

Think of problems, mistakes, and failure as growing pains. When you stop running into problems that is when you have a real problem. Somewhere in the process of growing up, we got the idea that it is best to avoid problems. Parents encourage kids to keep trouble at a minimum and eliminate mistakes as much as possible. Teachers give out As for getting everything right, and nails a student with a low grade for making errors. Eventually failure gets a bad reputation. In the world at large, however, failure can be a friend. There is a certain magic in mistakes. Problems, foul-ups, and breakdowns push you back on track, educate you, leaving you better equipped to navigate accurately toward your goal. Unless you are willing to stretch yourself beyond the point where you know you can perform basically error-free, you will never find out how good you really are. If you are unwilling to taste failure, there is no way on earth you can taste the sweet fruits of your true potential.

Remember that progress often masquerades as trouble. Mistakes and failures typically carry clues for breakthrough performance.
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