Know where you came from
Know where you’re going
This may seem like simplistic advice but it’s actually been the hardest two things for me to come to terms with, I’ll explain why and how I believe nailing these two down can radically alter your life.
Know where you came from
What does knowing where you came from mean? Well it’s more complicated than just “I was born in Texas” or “I went to school at such n’ such U.”. Knowing where you came from is getting up close and personal with the things in your past that have made you the person you are today… both good and bad.
There is a good deal of self psycho-analysis that goes along with really knowing where you came from. Pick up some books, watch some videos or visit a shrink and try to break down what triggers in your past are contributing to the person you are today.
My biggest fear was facing the stress in my childhood that has made me into the driven person I am today who is obsessed with reaching her goals. I thought that if I admitted that as a child I had faced a lot of stress and unhappiness I was dealing a blow to my parents (who were always amazing to me and my brother). So instead I held onto it until finally plagued by nearly paralyzing OCD at the age of 23 I went to see a therapist.
It was easily one of the best & most pivotal choices I’ve made to date.
Every saint has a past and every sinner has a future. – Oscar Wilde
That was the first step to understanding myself, my mind, my obsessions and quirks. Once I began to really delve deep into what kind of person I was and why, I was able to start shaking the negative things I didn’t like about myself and only hold onto the parts of my personality that I felt comfortable with.
Now I not only know my weaknesses, my shortcomings and my past but I am comfortable with them and I can curb them when necessary. I realized that I have always had a deep fear of change, because of this (and since I know it’s unhealthy) I force myself to experience change constantly – something that at first frightened me but now delights me.
I now know that I’m obsessive and I have a tendency to focus on one thing and let everything else slide. Because of this I have an assistant who keeps me on track when I’m manic and I have friends and loved ones who help bring me down to earth.
I also know a lot of my obsessive behavior is the reason I have stuck with my goals for so long – through so much angst – if I wasn’t quite literally a compulsive person I probably would have given up on Zirtual two weeks into the Founder Institute. Realizing this makes me grateful for the ghosts of my past that before I would just try and ignore.
Try being very honest with yourself about what drives you today, what holds you back and how your past (especially your childhood) affects who you are now. You’ll be happy with some of it and unhappy with other parts, the good thing is once you accept your past you can find ways to neutralize the negatives and work on a brighter future.
Pick the day. Enjoy it – to the hilt. The day as it comes. People as they come… The past, I think, has helped me appreciate the present – and I don’t want to spoil any of it by fretting about the future. – Audrey Hepburn
Know where you are going
This is by far the hardest thing for people to wrap their heads around (though it seems simple). That is setting a solitary goal and going for it guns blazing. I had such a hard time for years to focus on just one goal and focus on it exclusively, but once I did it changed everything for me.
Knowing where you’re going has to do with setting a goal – the biggest, best, most passion filled goal you can summon – making sure it’s really what you want and rooted in something deeper than just money and then going for broke to try and achieve it.
Your goal could be anything from starting a family with the guy/gal of your dreams, to building the next Virgin, to writing a bestseller. But it must deeply resonate within your soul and connect with you in a way that’s palpable.
Don’t worry if it takes you weeks, months or years to find that goal – it will come eventually if you give yourself enough quiet time to dwell on what you want and where you are going.
Show me someone who doesn’t dream about the future and I’ll show you someone who doesn’t know where they are going
This isn’t to say you have to know how you’ll get there, that will come with hard work and persistence. Everyday you’ll get closer and closer and one day you’ll reach a panorama and be able to see the big picture. I started Zirtual under the name “Virtual Zeta” over a year ago while I was still running another business. I had no idea what I wanted to do with it except people kept asking me to help them find virtual assistants.
Finally one day I realized that I enjoyed helping people delegate and connecting a party who needs work and a party who wants work done more than I enjoyed what I was currently doing. So I quit that business and started another.
I knew I wanted to build a big business and I knew I wanted it to be a real force in the virtual staffing world, but I didn’t know how… so I worked and read and worked and read until I finally started to scratch out what kind of business I wanted.
It wasn’t until I set a specific monetary goal for the business (building a $100 MM company) and gave myself a time table (before I’m 30) that things started really taking off. I had to have a set, solitary goal before I could go for it guns blazing.
Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude. Thomas Jefferson
Now Zirtual is up and running, I am loving everyday of hard, hard work that I put into it because I know where I’m going and what my “end game” is. So try and decipher what your goals are in life and what your overarching purpose is… set one amazing goal and then commit it to memory. This way whenever you feel lost or confused you can think about “where you are going” and you can adjust your path to get there.
Knowing where you are going is the most important thing in the World in my mind. Think of your life like a boat, it either has a destination it’s aiming for – or it just bobs along. You may have to adjust course one thousand times to get there, but that’s far better than being taken with the tide and having no control over your journey.
Action item: Go out and listen to The Strangest Secret … like now, it’s amazing.