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I Started with an Epiphany
The other day I hit a personal milestone in my roadmap, and I started to look back on the accomplishments that I had achieved, leading up to that point. It actually made me think of a man named Zebulon Pike. Now, this guy explored southern Colorado in the early 1800s, and he viewed across the vista what would eventually become Pikes Peak – a 14,000-foot mountain in the southern Rocky Mountain range.
The thing is he reached the summit of nearby Mount Rosa, an 11,000 foot mountain in November of 1806. He was surrounded by deep snow, his team had no food for a few days, and eventually he was captured by the Spanish.
Now, hopefully that’s not the same challenges you’re facing as a voice over or running a small business but imagine him going up to Mount Rosa and the feeling of that accomplishment of reaching the summit. And then he looks across what’s in front of him, and he sees again what will become Pikes Peak and he sets that as his next goal.
Start with Accomplishments
That’s kind of the feeling I had in my own journey. So, if you wanted to do something similar, I would suggest the first step is actually to look backwards. Acknowledge what you’ve done and achieved. Then maybe you look back a week, a month, a quarter, maybe even a year. The point is that list, as you start to go through it, can really become quite big.
Now, every accomplishment doesn’t need to be voice over related. In my case, a big accomplishment was receiving permanent settlement status in the UK. I’m an American expat. I’ve chosen to settle in this area of the world and that was finally granted by the government. It was a huge success for me.
But you know what else was an accomplishment? I finally got off my butt and ordered that wheelbarrow I’ve been looking at. So now I’ve received the wheelbarrow. By the way, assembly is still a future goal.
What I want to say here is don’t beat yourself up over what’s not been done, but rather reflect on what you did get done – big or small, voice over or not voice over, it really doesn’t matter. Those types of reflections, those types of acknowledgements, can boost your mindset and keep moving you forward at your pace.
By the way, the last thing you want to ever do is start comparing yourself to someone else’s achievements and someone else is position.
Set your Goals
So then what? Well, start to look into the future. Cast your gaze across the mountain range and set your next goal – or maybe two or three. Think about now the other direction.
By the end of this month, or quarter, or year, or even next year – what is it that you’re going to achieve? And don’t say I hope to achieve…I wish to achieve…but commit to it. What is it you are going to achieve? You are going to find a way. And that becomes your set of goals.
Now, if it’s really big again, one year, two year, three year, you’re going to break that down into what I consider a roadmap – of a bunch of smaller journeys. You build that road map by looking at the big goals and breaking them down into the smaller milestones or steps that will get you there. Keep breaking them down, each milestone at a time, until you’ve determined supporting steps or smaller goals. That’s what’ll keep you moving forward.
Prepare for the Snow
Thirdly, progress is not going to be flat. We don’t walk our paths of life on a flat level straight road. Sometimes there’s hills…there’s valleys. Just like Pike there’s deep snow, there’s no food, there’s things out of your control, like being captured by the Spanish.
So how do you deal with that? Well, stay light on your toes. Be flexible, be ready to hop and skip over those obstacles as they show up.
I’ll give you an example. Last year I was going to convert my garage into a wonderful recording studio. I had a design, I had a plan. I even had a builder come out and we had agreed on a construction process. Unfortunately, that builder then went out of business, so I had to shift and adapt and ultimately decided to buy a booth – a more traditional route perhaps, but it absolutely still achieved the objective which I had, which was to have a quiet, consistent space to do my job.
So, if something comes up in your life, in your journey, in your road map, just do a little skip and a hop. Don’t forget to be flexible. By the way, Zebulon Pike was eventually released by the Spanish so he could continue on his journey.
So, let’s think about this. Start to look back and really take an inventory – perhaps midyear, definitely at the end of the year – of where you are in your own expedition. What have you achieved? Let that really boost your mindset.
Then look ahead. Breakdown the steps that you might need to take to achieve your next set of accomplishments – your next major goal.
And be ready to jump. Be ready to adapt. This is a dynamic and changing environment and world that we live. So, we need to bend. Because with a positive mindset, a destination in sight and the willingness to be flexible, you can reach your dreams.