You want to grow as a person but you don’t know where to start. You want to advance your career but you don’t know what to do. You want to be successful but you don’t know how to get there. Somewhere between where you are today, and where you want to be tomorrow, life gets in the way. If you’re like me, you’re searching for the answer, any answer, to the question,
What can I do that will lead to success?
To be honest, I don’t have all of the answers. I ask a ton of questions. I read a lot. I study the words of great leaders, and I try to piece them all together. But that’s what leaders and guides do; they help the people who are following them.
Almost every day I have a conversation with someone who simply doesn’t know how to get started down their path. Notice I said “their path”, not “my path.” You and I both have different goals, different aspirations, and different starting points.
So, knowing that we’re each headed in different directions, and we each have different starting points, how can there be a solution that fits us both?
While the actual actions you and I will each take will be different, the fundamentals will be the same. Just as individual players on a team may perform separate functions, they all fall back on the same fundamentals that got them to the big game.
Here are the fundamentals that will get you started and help you achieve greatness. Here are
The 3 M’s That Always Lead to Success
The first M that will lead to success is Manage. If you and I are to achieve the levels of success that we want to achieve, we have to manage three things in our lives. We have to manage our time, our thoughts, and our behaviors.
Time is the great equalizer; we all have the same amount. What defines each of us is what we do with the time that God has given us. We can waste it or we can use it. If we’re going to be successful, we have to manage it. We have to spend more of our time doing what we should do, and less time doing what we shouldn’t.
Ask yourself, “Is how I’m spending my time going to get me to where I want to go?”
We also must manage our thoughts. As James Allen wrote in As a Man Thinketh, “Whatever your present environment may be, you will fall, remain, or rise with your thoughts.” Through your thoughts you have the power to create your own destiny.
This is where things get really tough for me. I love watching movies, TV, and trying to figure out who will be going home this week on The Voice. But, as Dave Ramsey says, the average millionaire has no clue who got voted off of the island this week. People who are passionate about taking their success into their own hands, and to the next level, manage their thoughts better than the people who are less passionate.
Ask yourself, “Is my way of thinking holding me back from achieving my dreams?”
“Clean thoughts make clean habits,” more wise words from James Allen. If our thoughts are of success, our behaviors cannot help but follow the same path. With everything you do, you must decide whether or not your behaviors are getting you toward your goals.
In that past two years I’ve changed several behaviors. In fact, here are 4 things you should stop doing. Just last month, a good friend of mine and I went to an all-day conference on leadership. For $100, we got to sit and learn from Dave Ramsey and his team. Going to conferences is a great way spend your time, change your thoughts and impact your behavior. If you’re looking for things to start doing, here are 5.
Ask yourself, “Is what I’m doing right now getting me closer to achieving my goals?”
If you need help with any of these things, I coach people just like you.
The second of the 3 M’s that lead to success, is Mentor. You and I must find a mentor. The word “mentor” can be intimidating. All it means is “guide” or “adviser.” We each need to find a mentor to guide us on our journey.
There are two key things you need to look for when choosing a mentor. They need to be on a similar journey as you, and they need to be further along the path than you.
While searching for a mentor, look to your personal board of directors. Here is a link to how to create yours. If chosen carefully, they’ll have a unique perspective on you and may be able to pick up on things you have missed.
But don’t let not having a mentor stand in your way! Books can also be great mentors. Here are my recommendations. I’ve often looked to the words of John Maxwell, Dave Ramsey, Seth Godin, and many more, for guidance. No matter what you’re hoping to achieve, there is almost always someone who has gone before you and who can serve as your guide.
Mentors are also necessary because they can help keep you accountable. By sharing your goals and aspirations with your mentors, they can help you manage your time, thoughts and behaviors. My mentors often help me think through problems, figure out solutions to challenges, and answer my questions.
You and I both need someone to guide us. Those people can be our teachers, our bosses, our spouses, and friends.
Every person who has ever been successful has had a mentor. Even Jesus prayed for guidance. (Tweet that!)
The third and final M that will lead to success is Move. After you’ve managed your time, your thoughts and behaviors, and found a mentor to guide you on your way, it’s time to move.
You can’t steal second with your foot still on first. You can’t cross the ocean with your foot still on the shore. No matter how much passion you possess, your ideas will remain as dreams unless you move to make them reality.
If your goal is to lose weight, you have to make time, change your behaviors, and find someone to coach you. If you want to graduate from school, you have to manage your time to study, go to class, and have someone teach you.
If your goal is to become a better leader, you have to decide. If your goal is to become a better teacher, you have to decide. If your goal is to become a better nurse, doctor, or counselor, you have to decide to move.
Move with intent and with direction. Move with a goal in mind. Focus on the end result and always be moving forward!
There you have it – when you’re just getting started, these are the 3 M’s that always lead to success. Regardless of what you want to achieve in life, it all comes down to these three things. We must manage our time, thoughts and behaviors. We have to realize that we can’t do it alone. And we can’t get where we want to go without leaving where we are. Believe in yourself and begin your journey today!