AOH :: 10STPEX.TXT|
10 steps to exellence
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 10-01-91 1600HRS. CDT
TEN STEPS TO ACHIEVEMENT OF EXCELLENCE
BY: Clark Staten
Emergency Response & Research Institute
During each of our lives, we set within ourselves, patterns
that help to determine the success or failure of our efforts.
Psychologists tell us that we either consciously or
subconsciously write "scripts" for our minds to follow. The
content of these "thought processes" is believed to be self-
determined and controllable.
Of course, outside influences or stimuli can have some
measure of influence on the make-up of these thoughts and
beliefs; ultimately the "scripts" themselves are composed of
our preconceived and conditioned responses to our
environment. Therefore, the individual reply to a negative
experience or situation is controlled by each individual's
personal ability to run the "right script" or "internal
program" to allow that person to effectively cope with or
manage the negative influence or circumstance. Conversely,
positive influences and stimuli need to be translated into
additional "input programming" to foster a sense of well
being and confidence that will enable additional and greater
While this may seem a rather clinical and analytical approach
to behavior understanding and modification, it is presented
for the purpose of explaining that we CAN control our own
destinies and the way that we respond to everyday conflicts
and challenges. Additionally, it is the basis for setting
productive patterns of achievement that will eventually
result in excellence. In other words..... WE ARE WHAT WE
THINK AND HOW WE PLAN!!
I. Decision Making and a Focus
The first step to planning a successful life and career is to
analyze and decide what is really important to the individual
who is making the plan. For some, this will involve making a
great deal of money; for others it will entail the creation
of a great work of art. The primary step must encompass the
basic wants and needs of the person making the decisions,
rather than the perceptions and wants of others. Far to many
people have become failures because they aspired to fulfill
the desires of others. Determining one's own fulfillment is
the key to the future planning of one's life focus.
II. Goal Setting; the Path to our Focus
In order to understand or perceive any real progress or
personal sense of achievement, an individual must ascertain
certain goals. These goals must be determined by the
individual concerned, as being significantly important to
his/her overall best interest and part of a larger plan for
accomplishment of their life's focus.
These goals may be large or small, seemingly significant to
others or not; they must, however, exist with clarity in the
mind of the person doing the planning. The goals should be
written down and reviewed for thoroughness. Accomplishment
deadlines should be set and honored. Establishment of a
criteria list of acceptable outcomes should be undertaken.
Otherwise, it becomes practically impossible to measure
success or failure and thus provide positive or negative
feedback to our personal sense of fulfillment.
III. Committment is the Key
The key to completion of goals and subsequently to
achievement of our life's focus is committment. Without it,
little has ever been accomplished in the history of man.
Success often starts with the mere exsistence of the
committment to change and improve. By committing ourselves to
accomplish the goals that we have determined, we take that
first step to the achievement of excellence. Committment is
what transforms promises and hopes into reality. It is an
internal adherence to personal integrity and accomplishment.
Therefore, committment to our focus and completion of goals
is paramount to excellence.
IV. Knowledge is Necessary
Achievement is based in knowledge.... of oneself, of the
topic that we have chosen as our focus, of peripheral
subjects that will help us to our goals. Learning is not
always a formal process. Often, it is an aggregation of
experiences that prepare us for further progress. While
formal education is necessary and can provide us with the
basic building blocks of knowledge, it is frequently not the
prime contributing factor to excellence. The application of
knowledge is far more important than the accumulation of it.
However, the failure to be educationally prepared for any
field of endeavor is a critical flaw in the overall plan for
achievement. You must have the knowledge to recognize a true
opportunity when it presents itself.
V. Failures will occur
Failure is inevitable for those that try to accomplish any
given difficult task. It often is a method of learning about
the things that don't or won't work. Thomas Edison was said
to have failed hundreds of times during his invention of the
light bulb. He, however, looked upon each failure as one
more possible alternative on the path to ultimate success.
This persistence of purpose is a hallmark of those that are
extremely successful. Failures will occur in any
circumstance; the winner is he/she who learns from these
experiences and then renews his or her committment to
VI. The Cyclical Planning Process
Following failure or the achievement of a goal, the prudent
achiever will stop to assess the results of that effort.
This assessment should serve to facilitate the foundation for
the a new round of goal-setting and modification of our
focus. Constant measurement of our success or failures
affords us the opportunity to modify or delete goals that do
not serve our ultimate purpose.
A frequently encountered problem is that upon completion of a
goal, people tend to rest "on their laurels" or participate
in destructive behavior that is contradictory to the
achievement of it. For instance, the person that has lost
weight, "rewards" him\herself with a large meal and enters
back into the behavior that created the problem in the first
place. A far more productive or meaningful approach, would
involve rewarding oneself by buying some new clothes that
would further enhance one's appearance and reinforce the loss
of additional weight.
It is recommended that each accomplishment be used as a
springboard or stepping stone to further achievement.
Cyclical analysis can then become part of a larger planning
process in an endless progression of successes.
VII. Progression of Achievement
Excellence is best achieved in small steps that encompass a
greater whole. A productive and reinforcing method of goal-
setting involves the breaking of any large task (or our
overall focus) into manageable segments, with the easiest
parts to be accomplished first. By actually achieving
success after success, we begin to establish a repetitive
pattern of achievement that leads to even greater
accomplishment. Success, like failure, tends to be a trend.
Continued successes encourage continued successes. Enough
successes eventually comprise ultimate excellence.
VIII. Resource Utilization
One of the important steps on the road to excellence is the
appropriate use of resources. Some of these resources are
not tangible in nature. Maximum utilization of God-given
gifts, friendships, relationships, and information is often
necessary to extract the greatest possible good from any
circumstance. Caution is urged, however, in the exploitation
of others. The greatest secret of using the knowledge and
ability of others is to insure that they ALWAYS benefit from
the experience. To do otherwise will undoubtedly,
eventually, result in the loss of the friendship,
relationship, or information resource.
Other resources are material and obtained in finite
quantities. In today's society, the use of technological and
financial assets probably ranks among the highest priorities
of entrepreneurs and those that strive for excellence. For
some, the accumulation of wealth appears to be a "Yardstick"
by which they can measure their degree of success or failure.
Undoubtedly, the effective use of all available assets will,
in large part, determine the ultimate success or failure of
any worldly enterprise. The use of lesser technologies (when
better ones are economically available) has frequently been
the failing of various businesses. A failure to
appropriately manage and allocate funding resources has been
the cause of ruin for many otherwise worthy individuals.
In one's personal life it is a necessity, of course, to
manage one's money in a responsible way. However, it should
be noted that the accumulation of money is probably not a
very good determining factor in gauging relative success.
Financially "poor" people can be successful, if they have
accomplished the goals that they have established and are
attaining the substance of "their focus", whatever that might
be. Achievement of one's stated personal objectives might be
a better measurement of success than money. Amazingly,
people that accomplish what they have thoughtfully planned to
do, often find themselves to be financially secure.
Millionaires have gained financial wealth, but may not
consider themselves successful until they become
billionaires. A painter, on the other hand, may have little
financial wealth during the creation of his work, but gains a
great deal in the process of creation and may eventually
profit financially from it. In other words, the pursuit and
attainment of a goal, quickly, may become more valuable than
the resulting accumulation of material resources. Happiness
in one's endeavor and satisfaction with the outcome of that
effort would appear to be a prime directive in this strategy
IX. Persistence is the Answer
Regardless of any other principal that is presented here for
your consideration, the practice of peristence will previal
when other stategies have failed. Once committed to a focus
and goals; a continual, grinding, grudging, sweating, and
diligent effort is necessary to accomplish the end outcome
objective....excellence. Little has ever been gained by
half-hearted or sporadic attempts at anything. Persistence
is difficult, and it's easy to become discouraged and quit.
Those that have prevailed in almost every field of
endeavor, however, have shown a common trait...that of
X. The Courage for Attainment
One of the often forgotten facets in the pursuit of
excellence is that of personal courage. Courage is a
prerequisite to the effort of accomplishing the other
suggestions in this stategy for success. It is the courage of
self-conviction and self-denial. It is a courage of personal
integrity and ethical behavior while in the pursuit of
attainment. It is the capacity to forge ahead when you are
afraid of the inevitable failure. It is the endowment of the
human spirit to feats of mental and physical effort that are
thought inhuman. It is the genius unleashed on a seemingly
insurmountable problem. Courage is what will allow you to
face the fear of fear itself and achieve greatly in the
process. YOU must have the courage to succeed and and in
continued success, you will have accomplished excellence.
Excellence is ultimately.... persevering when others think
the task is too difficult, risking more than others think is
healthy, caring more than many think is prudent and expecting
more than others think is possible.
(c) By Clark Staten, Executive Director
Emergency Response & Research Institute
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