Outstanding performance is one of the keys to personal and professional success that I discuss in Straight Talk for Success. If you want to become an outstanding performer you need to do three things. 1) Stay on top of your game by becoming a lifelong learner. 2) Set and achieve high goals. 3) Get organized. Manage your time, life and stress well.
If you read this blog with any regularity, you know that I am a big fan of SUCCESS Magazine. I read it from cover to cover every month – and keep it as a reference. See last Friday’s blog post to get an idea of just how much I value the ideas in SUCCESS. If you’re not already subscribed, I suggest you go to www.success.com and do so right now.
The May 2009 issue of SUCCESS has a great piece by Earl Nightingale called “The 30 day Test. I remember listening to Mr. Nightingale when I was a kid. I loved his “Our Changing World” radio show. He had such a great voice and told such great stories.
Here is an example of his common sense approach to life and success from 1956…
“I want you to make a test that will last 30 days. It isn’t going to be easy. If you will give it a good try, it will completely change your life for the better. First, I want you to write on a card what it is you want more than anything else. Make sure it is a single goal and clearly defined.
“You needn’t show it to anyone, but carry it with you so that you can look at it several times a day. Think about it in a cheerful, relaxed, positive way each morning when you get up and immediately you have something to work for, something to get out of bed for, something to live for. Look at it every chance you get during the day and just before going to bed at night. As you look at it, remember that you must become what you think about, and since you’re thinking about your goal, you will realize that soon it will be yours.
“Each time a fearful or negative thought comes into your consciousness, replace it with a mental picture of your positive and worthwhile goal.
“For 30 days, you must take control of your mind. It will think only about what you permit it to think. Each day for this 30 day test, do more that you have to do. In addition to maintaining a cheerful, positive outlook, give of yourself more than you’ve ever done before. Do this knowing that your returns in life must be in direct proportion to what you give.”
I love this advice because it comes in two parts. 1) Visualize your goal. 2) Work really hard to achieve it. Too many people are great at the visualizing part and not so great at the hard work part. You need both – and probably more hard work – if you are to succeed. Earl Nightingale got it. I hope you do too.
The common sense point here is simple. Successful people are outstanding performers. Outstanding performers set and achieve high goals. Good goals are very specific and measureable. They focus on a single accomplishment. Your goals should become part of you. Carry them around with you. Think about them first thing in the morning, last thing at night and several times during the day. Thinking about your goals will help motivate you to put in the time and effort to reach them. A well stated goal is a great start, but it’s hard work that will ultimately result in achieving your goals. There are no two ways about it. You have to do the work if you want to achieve your goals.
That’s my take on Earl Nightingale’s 30 Day challenge. What’s yours? Please leave a comment sharing your thoughts with us. As always, you have my deepest and most sincere thanks for reading.