YEARS OF TRAINING disciplined her to keep going long after her body needed rest. Now, standing on the French coast about to embark on her dream of being the first woman to swim the English Channel, Florence Chadwick wondered if it would be enough. Her assault on the channel went well initially. Then, nearing the coast of England, heavy fog and cold, rough waters began to impede her progress. Completely exhausted and not realizing that after several miles she was within just a few hundred yards of the shore, she quit swimming. Heartbroken after discovering how close she had been to accomplishing her goal, she considered the cause of her failure. Had the heavy waters consumed her strength and stamina as some suggested? She had trained too hard for that. Then it came to her. It was the thick fog that had robbed her of her victory. Addressing reporters she said, "I'm not offering excuses, but I think I would have made it if I would have been able to see my goal."
RESUMING HER TRAINING for another attempt, this time she focused on her mental conditioning as well as on her physical strength. She developed a mental image of England and the coastline, memorizing every feature of the landscape. With the image of her goal implanted firmly and clearly in her mind, she began her second attempt. Again hindered by fog, frigid water, and high turbulent seas, this time she prevailed. When asked the difference that resulted in her success she responded, "I never lost sight of my destination. It was in my mind the whole way across. I could see the end at the beginning."
FOCUS, A MENTAL IMAGE, and a view of the end from the beginning are important elements of success in any endeavor. Often we ignore this process of mental conditioning in favor of the task training necessary to accomplish the job. However, the mental conditioning provides the drive necessary to empower the task training to take effect. The key to great accomplishment is a clear view of the destination.
SUCCESSFUL WEALTH-BUILDING is not a product solely of techniques and knowledge. Unless your ever-growing financial knowledge is fueled by the passion of purpose, it will never produce the results you seek. Energize your pursuit of financial success by creating a clear mental picture of your destination. Visualize the achievement of your goals. What does it look like, feel like?
SPEND TIME DAILY ON YOUR MENTAL CONDITIONING. Never lose sight of your destination. Implant your goals firmly and clearly in your mind and turn the vision of your dreams into reality.
THE OLD MUSEUM IS unremarkable in its architecture and ordinary in appearance. The interior provides an area smaller than most living rooms, a meager 12-foot square, in which fifteen of the rarest works of the renaissance masters are displayed. The beautiful magnificence of the art demands an almost sacred reverence.
AT THE DOORWAY, the museum curator proudly serves simultaneously as patron greeter, ticket taker and security guard. This morning, as museum visitors quietly move through the doorway, the curator is distracted by loud voices approaching from outside. Pushing his way to the front of the line, a tourist demands, "I've been told this museum is a must-see." Looking around at the building he continues, "Based on what I've seen so far, I don't understand what all the fuss is about. Anyway, I'm on a tight schedule. I need to get in here now." The curator bristled at the man's arrogance but agreed to allow him to view the museum without waiting.
A SHORT TIME LATER, the man boisterously returned to the entrance and exclaimed, while slapping the curator on the back, "Heck, we got bigger outhouses than this back home, and the pictures are prettier too!"
Straining to maintain control of his emotions, the curator paused and then responded, "Sir, the standard of excellence established by the art contained in this museum is not measured by those who view it. Rather, those who view the art are measured by it."
Rendered speechless by the reply, the red-faced tourist stared at the curator for a moment and then bowing his head, quietly walked away.
OUR LIVES ARE FULL OF SIMILAR "art museums" by which we are unknowingly measured each day. Some of these "museums of measurement" take tangible form such as the art in the story. Others are intellectual principles, "time tested and proven", which measure us first by our acceptance or rejection of the validity of the principles. Once having accepted valid principles, we again subject ourselves to measurement as we attempt to implement them. Established principles leave us without excuse - they remain valid regardless of our actions. We become the only variable in the formula for success in such an environment.
ALLOW YOURSELF FEW EXCUSES, rise to the challenge and be measured among those who have empowered themselves to achieve financial excellence.