Without Written Goals, You’re Alice in Wonderland
In Lewis Carrol’s classic, Alice wanders around Wonderland aimlessly. When she bumps into Cheshire Cat she asks him for directions. The cat responds:
“That depends a good deal on where you want to get to.” Alice says, “I don’t much care where.” The cat then comments, “Then it doesn’t matter which way you walk.”
Many of us have a similar problem and if you think Wonderland is confusing, try the current job market. Having your vision defined clearly is critical on any project and a job search is nothing more than a project except the stakes are so much higher.
A few weeks back I wrote a review of Steven Covey’s “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” focusing on his first three habits. (Follow the linkfor the article.) Habit 2 “Begin with the End in Mind” is about stating your vision or goals clearly so in Habit 3 “Put First Things First” you can organize your life towards not just any end – but the end you defined for yourself. Covey and I are in complete agreement with Cheshire Cat. If you have no clear vision or goals, you might as well be running around in the forest with a faulty compass. You can wander around never making it anywhere worthwhile unless you happen to run into it by chance. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to live my life that way.
I also reviewed Jeannette Kraar’s “Breakthrough” (see link for article) and Richard Bolles Nelson’s “What Color is Your Parachute” (see link for article) which both gives a similar advice. Setting goals and particularly written goals is key.
Several years back when I first read Covey’s book, I wrote my personal vision statement in the form of an obituary. I answered the question, “How do I want to be remembered at the end of my life?” I wrote it and was happy with it. Then I would read it occasionally. It was “OK” I thought. However, when I read it again earlier this year, I realized that now several years afterwards, it still applies. So I now carry it around as a memo in my Blackberry. I read and review it frequently. It serves as a blueprint or compass for making decisions because I really do want to be remembered that way. I’m sharing it here with you. You should seriously consider writing your own.
Jorge exemplified a life filled with passion, kindness, courage, gentleness, honesty, compassion, and humility. His interaction with his wife and three girls exemplified it best. The dedication and love he showed his life-long soul-mate, best friend, and lover, Any, warmed those closest to him. He demonstrated great respect, honor and unconditional love for her. The loving leadership he showed in mentoring, coaching and encouraging Mónica, Gabriela and Sofía was equally inspiring. He communicated his belief in their potential and worth so clearly, they came to see it and believe it for themselves. And the accomplishments in their lives reflect it.
People trusted Jorge. He had a way about him that inspired those around him. Jorge nurtured the loyalty he earned from others, keeping his own pride in check while focusing his life around the end goal of guiding others to a balanced life founded on Christian principles and values.
Jorge dedicated his life to learning. His ability to quickly understand technology, business and leadership concepts helped him establish a solid career and fueled his creativity. He combined this with his natural communication talents to establish himself as a thought leader in personal and organizational transformation. Through Jorge’s leadership and example, those who knew him developed a similar voice and jointly they carried the flag inspired by his saying, “Cultivate a Culture of Transformation.”
Jorge and his following took active steps to apply his thought leadership in selected business, philanthropic and church-associated projects leading to immeasurable blessing for themselves, their family, friends and communities.
Jorge attained financial independence before retirement age. He showed good stewardship of his talents and treasure making sure to complement the emotional and spiritual support he provided his family with financial stability. He made a point to instill in his family a sense of financial responsibility summarized in Uncle Ben’s line from Spiderman, “With much power comes much responsibility.” For him, wealth and power were not an entitlement, but a God given gift to be used honorably.
Jorge preached and practiced a life dedicated to prayer. He made a lifelong hobby out of long distance running and fostered a consistent Yoga practice for its strength, flexibility and meditative benefits. All this combined with his contemplative practices enabled him to develop heightened self awareness. He often referred to this as the source of his strength.
Jorge will be greatly missed by his family, friends and co-workers, but he has left a legacy fueling future generations.