In today’s competitive society, we hear a great deal of talk about being a winner – but what does that really mean? Winners are people who have taken the time to find their special place and are running on that singular track that is right for them. This is called life skill tracking.
Tracking by definition requires a strong emotional identification with what you are doing To stay on track, you need to keep both eyes not just on what is happening in front of you but also on what is taking place on your flanks and your rear. Instead of thinking in a straight line look around for alternative opportunities and solutions. As you close in on your long range goals, keep adjusting your peripheral vision to accommodate changes.
People frequently ask what they should do when they feel unmotivated to act in their best interests. Oftentimes, they are mired in procrastination which is really nothing more than an expression of denial and fear. To overcome the fear that causes us to procrastinate, we must program ourselves mentally to guide our bodies into gear so that we can move ahead. For people who find this to be a constant battle, it is especially important to build in energizers and eliminate de-energizers.
Energizers are people, activities, and thoughts that inspire us to move ahead. De-energizers are people, activities and thoughts that render us frustrated and fatigued. The simplest way to raise your level of motivation is to increase your internal and external energizers by pursuing pleasure or rewards and avoiding pain or punishment.
Mastering the resourcing life skill enables us to go out and find the means necessary to achieve our goals and solve our problems. There are three major categories of resources available to us: self, information, and people.
Wherever you are now, you have probably already acquired a good deal of valuable knowledge. Nevertheless, there is always more to learn. And there are several ways to accomplish this through creative resourcing.
First, make reading a habit. Read professional journals, newspapers, and other resources that pertain to your career. Always read with an open mind. Make it a practice to clip relevant newspaper and magazine articles. When you come across an article that might be helpful or of interest to one of your resource contacts, send it to that person along with a thoughtful note.
Learn to identify your needs and seek people and information to help you fill those needs. Keep a Rolodex of people with whom you can network. Set a goal of eventually gathering 1,000 or more names of people to whom you can turn for various kinds of information, feedback, and help.
Socialize on a regular basis with professional colleagues in your field as well as with those who can bring different interests and insights into your repertoire of information. Always listen with an open mind. Consider every person you meet as a source of learning.
To deal effectively with the difficulties we face today and to prepare for the predictable uncertainties that can befall us at any time, we must sharpen our futuring skills. To develop a broad knowledge of futurism, read books, articles, and research materials by leading futurists such as Alvin Toffler, John Naisbitt, and Patricia Aburdene.
Keep your mindset in a proactive mode. Always stay on the alert for problems to solve keeping in mind that many of today’s problems are tomorrow’s opportunities. Try to develop effective ways to cope with fear and anxiety in facing the predictable uncertainties such as career interruption or death of a spouse.
To become a good futurist, you need to master four futuring skills. Consequential thinking is the realization that decisions we make today have serious consequences tomorrow, so we must decide carefully. Critical thinking is the process of standing back from a situation and establishing its positives and negatives. Creative thinking is the tool that enables us to solve problems in our careers and personal lives. It can flourish only when fear of failure is not an issue. Observational thinking is a futuring process that enables us to stand back and observe people, events, and other happenings. At that point, we are better equipped to make connections and decisions based on these observations.
Thinking is a metal rehearsal for action. When you think futuristically, you lay the ground work for such action oriented processes as decision making and problem solving.
The key to making effective use of the four types of thinking is to discipline your self to be thought-full. Remember, when you read to events without using thinking you are reacting in a thoughtless manner.