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Align your actions with your ultimate life goals

Apple founder Steve Jobs, in his commencement address to Stanford University in 2005, made the following statement, which pretty much explained why he has been so successful in his life:

“When I was 17, I read a quote that went something like: ‘If you live each day as if it was your last, some day you’ll most certainly be right.’ It made an impression on me, and since then, for the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: ‘If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?’ And whenever the answer has been ‘No’ for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.”

What have you been doing lately? Where would that lead you? Are you living consistently with how you want to be remembered by your loved ones when you are no longer around?

Many of us are so busy living day to day, bouncing from one urgent issue to the next, that we have lost focus on our ultimate destination. Many of us are meandering through the maze of our lives without a clear focus and ultimate destination in mind.

Far too many of us are allowing other people and events to dictate our priorities, our life goals and the life path we take. If you happen to be in this situation, here is a set of practical steps you can take to realign your actions with your ultimate goals.

Step 1:

Reflect on your life to date and prioritise your life

Invest some time today to reflect on the most important people and commitments in your life. Take ten minutes each morning before you start your day to properly plan and prioritise your activities for the day. Make sure to work on the high priority items first and cross them off as you complete the tasks.

Take one full day each year to reflect on the past year and to set your priorities for the upcoming year. We can get the most of our lives by not only appropriately choosing what we do, but just as important, what we choose not to do. Make sure to define your priorities clearly and take actions consistently.

Step 2: Clearly define what you want out of your life

Would you ever hop into a taxi and expect the cab driver to tell you where you should go? Of course, the ultimate destination should be dictated by you. The driver is there to help you by choosing the right path and making the appropriate turns. Just as true, when it comes to our life journey, each one of us should define our own set of goals and our final destination.

Step 3: Be specific in defining your goalsBe a better spouse, be a more loving parent, get in shape, lose weight, work harder, be a better Christian, etc. aren’t specific enough. When you define your goals, double check to make sure you can measure your progress. Replace your vague ambitions with clear goals: Spend 20 minutes each night reading Aesop’s Fables to my son Daniel as he goes to bed. Join my neighbour Sean in running around the park every Monday and Wednesday mornings at 6am. Stop eating afternoon snacks at work and no fried food for the next 30 days. Take public transportation and pack my own lunch for the next three months to save enough for my wife’s birthday gift in January.

Join Jim in his weekly men’s Bible study every Friday evening. You will have much better chance of success with specific goals than admirable but ambiguous ones.

Step 4: Make necessary readjustments starting today!

Our today is an accumulated result of our yesterdays the planned and unplanned events that took place in our lives, decisions we have made, people we have met and chose to associate with, actions we took, how we chose to invest our time, money and effort. Likewise, our tomorrow is being shaped and determined by how we choose to spend today. For all of us, without an exception, we are where we are as a consequence of our past, and our future is being formed by how we choose to spend this very moment. Start today on achieving your ultimate dreams and goals!

Joong (“Joon”) H. Hyun is the author of soon to be released “Outswimming the Sharks: Overcoming Adversities, Naysayers, and Other Obstacles to Lead a Meaningful Life”. For the past two decades, Joong has worked with many global Fortune 500 companies in various capacities. His experiences include working as a managing director for an international consultancy, as vice-president of Global Strategy and vice-president of Asia Region for a multibillion-dollar US-based company.



Focused: Apple CEO Steve Jobs

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Published August 09, 2011 at 2:00 am (Updated August 09, 2011 at 10:08 am)

Align your actions with your ultimate life goals

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