I want to circle back to character and the intersection I spoke of last week. Where you, your choices and action converge, using a gem from James Allen:
“Let a man radically alter his thoughts, and he will be astonished at the rapid transformation it will affect in the material conditions of his life. Men imagine that thought can be kept secret, but it cannot; it rapidly crystallizes into habit, and habit solidifies into circumstance.”
This is keen insight. Thought, habit and circumstance. A pattern of consequence with a lasting resonance. An interconnectedness solely accountable to you.
In certain respects, how your character is woven into a pursuit of excellence.
Following a path governed by three simple questions.
#1 What thoughts hold you back?
Is it fear? Of beginning? That it isn’t within you to start?
Or is it the commitment. That it is too much to see it through. To finish.
Perhaps it is the unknown. The possible outcome that dogs you. The daunting spectre of disappointment. Discouragement’s distractions. Disapproval. Defeat.
Maybe it is the fickleness change. A need for security. The inability to trust. An aversion to honesty or criticism. Selfishness. Arrogance. Ego.
Misperceptions about the call for leadership. Misconceptions about its demands for constant, unrelenting accountability, presence and effort.
And despite your efforts at containment, your thoughts rarely remain secret.
Your doubts are traitors.
By word or deed, they make their way to the surface. A little here, a little there. Followed by a hitch, the glitch, the sticking points, avoidance.
Soon, all at once – you become an open book.
Your once private thoughts, come to govern habit, control action, impede achievement and prohibit excellence, all in a very public manner.
#2 What are you willing to do to change?
Not simply a change for change’s sake.
But renewal with the highest intention.
The reclamation of a positive and fulfilling future through the development of the requisite and lasting habits this instant.
Making the choice to acknowledge, address and act upon constraints now – that prevent you from maximizing your capacity in the moments yet to come.
Engaging in an intensely personal process of assessment, evaluation, reassessment, reevaluation, until the change you aspired to achieve has been accomplished and received.
Preparing yourself to begin the work, commit the resources, and transform the internal obstacles of your own creation into a method of optimizing opportunity and enhancing abilities, forging a path for your own pursuit of excellence.
Mustering a level of will, faith and fortitude to maintain and nourish sustained level action.
No matter what.
#3 – What will be different?
What will you become while on this path ? Who will you be once you get there?
How will you fit into a much bigger picture? What will your impact be?
And then, where do you go from there?
Crucial questions, requiring thought, fully employed vision and an honest examination of intent.
All of which leads to choice.
And then, ultimately transformative action.
The very mass of your character, woven into the fabric of excellence.
There can be no secret to this pattern.
Nor to the circumstances only you create.