The key ingredient to getting where you want to go

By March 4, 2012Blog

First I would like to apologize for my disappearance for the past two months. I had a lot going on in both my business and personal lives. I have also been working my tail off getting an amazing course off the ground that I will soon be offering thru SproutPoint. On top of that our family got hit by one of those hurricane viruses. My son ended up with pneumonia and my wife shortly after was in bed for a few days. But that is all gone now, everyone is well and I got things straightened out and here I am again with a new post.

“You either have reasons or results!” was once said.

Although I listed a bunch of reasons that explain my absence they do not justify the results. The fact that no blog post was added last month is inexcusable.

That leads to the main  topic of this post: Do you have a key ingredient that will get you where you want to go?

Life will go on, the clock will continue to tick, the bills will continue to come, the kids will continue to grow up fast regardless of what is being thrown at us. Some people look themselves in the mirror and say: “Do something about it now!” Others will blame someone else, whine, or play the victim game only to find out later on that won’t make anything better. Actually it will make things worse. Success and happiness belong to those that set up a goal, map out a plan to achieve them and then TAKE ACTION! That is a key ingredient to getting wherever it is that you want to go. But that is not the one ingredient I am talking about today. The key ingredient is…

Discipline! The discipline to painstakingly take action day in and day out, regardless of what is being thrown at you is THE key ingredient. Having the plan mapped out but taking action only sporadically will not do it. If you want to get a specific result, acquire and master a skill, work on it EVERY DAY. And to do that, make that decision today and stick to it.

When I was a preliminary resident in general surgery, I took my first in-training examination two months after moving to the US and starting into a totally new environment. I did not even know what an in-training examination was (for those who don’t, every year residents take a test that compares them to everyone else in the country at the same level). In a nutshell, my results were terrible. If my  memory does not fail me, I scored below the 30TH percentile. I had a lot of reasons to justify it but at the end of the day they were irrelevant. The standards I held for myself were (and still are) very high and I was looking to secure a categorical position so I could graduate as a surgeon and execute my plan to become a cardiothoracic surgeon. I knew that regardless of how good I would do clinically, for me to move ahead I had to score high. I then mapped out a bold plan for someone working 100+ hours a week (this was before the 80 hr/wk rule): Regardless of what happened that day I would study for at least one extra hour. I picked up the textbook selected by the residency program and started. By the end of that year I had read the cinder-block thick book from cover-to-cover. The following year, my score skyrocketed to 75th percentile and the rest is history.

Was it easy? Hell no! There were days that I slipped others that I was almost unconscious after working 36hrs straight. But when that happened I did not beat myself up. I picked up where I left off and moved on with my plan.

The same discipline allowed me to excel during my Cardiothoracic fellowship, to land the jobs I wanted, to negotiate the deals I did, to learn about finance, marketing, investing, to found SproutPoint, write my little e-book and to be of service to someone like you. There is not one day, that I don’t do something towards achieving the goals my wife and I have set for ourselves. Not a single one. Even if that means a simple phone call. What have you done today to achieve your goals?

I know this may sound more like “motivational verborrhea” but this is what will get you to wherever you want to go. Creating and sticking to rigid plans in order to achieve anything is not easy, and that is why so few do. But if you have the opportunity to have an honest conversation with high-achievers, you will find out that they do it too.

What you get may not always be what you decide. But without discipline and clear decision you will certainly get what others decide for you. Which one would you prefer?

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