Do You Want to Turn Wanting into Winning? Here is How
Take These 5 Steps and Unleash the Mastery Cycle
If you want to succeed, if you want to break through, you’ve got to deliver... No two ways about it. There is no such thing as snake oil, silver bullets or overnight success. Well, there is 'overnight' success, but it usually takes years to achieve it. In short, if you want to make it, cutting corners will not get you there. So where does that leave us? What do you do? I do not know about you, but the mastery cycle always works for me.
The mastery cycle is the secret weapon of successful entrepreneurs, athletes, performers, scholars, and other achievers... The mastery cycle propels you from wanting to winning. Interested? Here it is, in five surprisingly simple steps.
1. COMMIT to your cause
Whether you want to become a millionaire, feed million children, loose ten pounds, or become and Internet Marketer and take your life to the next level, you have to put your heart into it. You must commit and dedicate yourself to your cause. You have to make it your top priority, you have to submerge yourself in it, breath it, eat it, sleep with it, become one with it...
Does this seem too extreme to you? It does not have to be. Committing does not mean that you have to drop everything else and become a recluse... It means that you direct all your available resources towards your cause. It's not important whether you are making small steps or big ones. What matters most is that you keep going and make progress.
Do not let time or money limitations stop you. In fact, they could even help you to gain momentum. The psychologist Rollo May pointed out that just as a river needs banks to flow, creativity needs limitations to emerge. Without banks, water would run in all directions and dissipate, never to move forward. Without limitations, you will not focus and your attempts to succeed will lack the needed direction and force. Which bring us to the second step on the mastery cycle.
2. CLARIFY your goals
Crystal clear goals are essential for success. It's that simple. Or is it? Sharp goals will focus your activities and guide you to the finish line. Goals give you the WHAT. In many cases that's enough. Yet, if you want to achieve something big, clear-cut goals are necessary but not sufficient. You not only need the WHAT, you also need the WHY. You need to know your deepest motives and desires, because they fire your passion. And your passion will sustain you and keep you moving when the going gets rough.
'Know thyself' advised the ancient Greek sages for a good reason. The better you know yourself and your drives, the better the fit between your WHAT & WHY, and the more powerfully you can reach for the stars. Conversely, misalignment of your goals and motives will likely sabotage your commitment (step 1) and make your job much tougher. So, please take the advice of the sages to heart and learn to know yourself - it will help you achieve more, faster, and easier.
Once you are satisfied with the fit between your ultimate goal and your motives, you can clarify your goals or subgoals further, so that you can define your strategy. A lot has been written about creating so called SMART goals. In many companies, no strategic plan will be approved unless it’s based on such goals. There is a lot to be said for goals that are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-bound. But the problem is that people get so busy with defining the perfect goals on paper, that they never get to actually working on and achieving these goals.
So, please avoid this paralysis by analysis. If you desire to climb a great mountain, select your mountain, the route you want to take, make sure you have the required resources and GO!
For instance, if you want to become an Internet Marketer, you have to decide whether you want to make money for the sake of making money, or whether you want to deliver value as well; whether you want to become an affiliate or a product owner; whether you want to sell to cold traffic or build a list and create long term partnership with your clients; whether you want to market physical products or info products; whether you want to have a blog, a newsletter, a membership site... There are many ways to climb the Internet Marketing mountain. Experienced marketers typically master several of them. If you are new in this business, you will be tempted to climb several routes at the same time – don’t! Doing so will dissipate your energy and lead to endless frustrations. Can you imagine constantly switching between trails on a real mountain? It would take you forever to reach the summit. Select one route to start with and keep marching to the top.
OK, so you are committed, your goals are lined up with your motives, and you have your route... Now you have to execute. If you want to achieve something worthwhile, do not expect a walk through a rose garden. Your commitment and your ability to solve problems and overcome difficulties will be inevitably challenged and tested. Get used to it - this is the normal state of affairs.
Have you heard the story of the two little mice that ran around at night and fell into a large bucket of cream? One mouse panicked and drowned. The other one swam and swam and in the morning woke up on a ball of butter.
As long as you focus on your goal and keep going consistently, step by step, you will make it. Your confidence and trust in yourself will grow with each problem you’ve solved, with each obstacle you’ve overcome. There is not much more to be said about this step. It has to be done. Actions speak louder than words. The more you DO, the more you learn about yourself and your field, the more effective you become, and the more you CAN do. This is the gist of the mastery cycle.
Thus, roll up your sleeves and go for it!
4. CHECK that you are on target
All the hard work would be for nothing if we stray off course. We need clear and fast feedback to keep us on target. Yet, measuring and evaluating progress can lead to similar paralysis as creating perfect goals: excessive progress analysis can actually prevent us from progressing.
Moreover, there is the danger of comparing ourselves to others, who often seem to do everything better and faster then we do. And - especially when we are doing something difficult - we will get exposed to the perhaps well-meant but equally demoralizing advice of those who know everything better and take the slightest opportunity to let us know what we are doing wrong. Needless to say, following such advice indiscriminately could take you on undesirable detours.
Being on the mastery cycle means that YOU own your mission, YOU have selected your goals, and YOU are doing all the work. And YOU are also in charge of assessing your progress. Of course, getting advice from people who have DONE what you are trying to achieve is invaluable. However, you still have to fit their advice into your approach (remember the sages: know thyself!).
Concerning measuring your progress, my recommendation is to keep things as simple as possible. Ask yourself: Is what I am doing sufficiently contributing to my goal? If so, is it sustainable? If not, what’s the next best strategy I can apply? That’s all.
Be flexible – the only thing we can count on in this life is change. Strategies that work perfectly today may not work tomorrow. You may even come to a dead end. When this happens, reroute. And while doing so, try to ‘traverse and hold your altitude’, that is, try to incorporate as much of what you’ve gained already into your new strategy, so that you do not have to start all the way from the bottom of the mountain again. Focusing on your ultimate goal will help you in making the necessary decisions.
Another important factor is time. Per definition, worthwhile things take far more time to achieve than we expect. Even experienced people underestimate how much time it will take to create something new. When I was in charge of creating new products, I used to triple the original time estimates of the developers, and even then we had to work very hard to bring the projects in on schedule. So please do not be discouraged if you are not climbing the mountain as swiftly as you expected. Give yourself enough time to reach your goal. But not more than that!
If you catch yourself dragging your feet and procrastinating, review. Immediately. We all procrastinate every now and then. There is nothing wrong with that, provided we see procrastination for what it is: feedback. Namely, procrastination is telling us that something is not quite all right in our work or in our life. Use this information and get to the bottom of the matter ASAP. Perhaps you will have to alter your route or even adjust your goal. Let’s say you wanted to become a millionaire because you thought that it will make you happy. You worked hard and earned half a million dollars, but are more unhappy than ever. In this case, you may want to rethink your goals and find out what really makes you happy. But at least you have the resources to do so now, and – more importantly - you’ve learned how to generate these resources!
Last but not least, take the time to cherish your accomplishments. As much as you want to focus on your goal, do not let that stop you from enjoying how much you’ve achieved already. Reward yourself for it – it will keep you motivated to continue on your journey.
5. CONTINUE with iron consistency
Continuous effort and consistent movement towards your goals is the secret behind gaining mastery and achieving your goals. The more you do, the more skills you will master. And not just technical skills. You will also learn how to prioritize and stay on course. You will learn how to solve problems, and how YOU solve problems. How you respond to adversity and overcome difficulties. You will not only learn how to succeed, but also how to create conditions in which YOU can succeed. And the more you achieve, the more confidence and trust in yourself you will gain, which will propel you towards more challenging goals, and thus more mastery. You will experience exponential growth of mastery and achievement. So, no matter what your goal,
COMMIT, CLARIFY, CONQUER, CHECK, and CONTINUE.
Get started. Do not worry about the size of your steps or the speed of your progress. Just keep going. And when you’ve reached your goal, do not stop there. Keep going. You will be surprised how much you can achieve.
Be you, be free, and the future is yours… starting NOW!
Dr. Iva Embley Neumann
is a coach, writer, marketer and data miner.
Before establishing her online business, she ran a forensic research center (crunching data to prevent crimes), and consulted numerous multinationals on issues such as assessing marketing strategies and optimizing operations (crunching data to maximize profits, among others).
Iva writes about and teaches internet marketing and strategies to free your creativity, talents, and strength to achieve your greatest potential.