Many have allowed their dreams to rest on the unstable grounds of hope, but what they fail to realize is hope alone is not a strategy. Many years ago while working in corporate America two significant things became very apparent. First, the society we live in has become too accustomed to the false sense of microwave success and second, people today are more “feeling” dominated than they are “purpose” motivated.
With this mixture there is no wonder most businesses see such a great employee turnover rate. Even within personal relationships, for many there seems to be a revolving door. To truly understand why this phenomenon has become the norm, we must recognize that simply hoping for better will never take the place of preparing for better.
If you conduct a survey of the people in your circle of influence you will no doubt hear many dreams, desires and wishes. What you will find lacking is a date or plan attached to those lofty hopes. That’s because we are a society obsessed with mission statements but very little mission accomplishments. There is a gulf between how we realize our potential and how to make it manifest.
In the psychological world, human behavior and success are measured in terms of our “Locus of Control.” A low Locus of Control means that person believes their success or failure heavily depends on the actions of others; but a high Locus of Control is the exact opposite. For that person, success or failure rests entirely on themselves and how they behave. With this in mind, the latter person is more likely to move beyond hoping into a state of planning. These people know that if their destiny is to be fruitful, they have to get up and work for it.
Here are a few traits of folks with a strong Locus of Control:
- They are usually coined by friends as an over achiever: Every group has one. The guy or girl who is usually missing from most events due to their hustle. They work a couple of jobs, always have big dreams and are very vocal about how successful they will be. You know it’s just a matter of time before they really strike it big!
- Excuses don’t seem to be in their vocabulary: There are some friends you can complain with and others you know to avoid with negativity. High L.O.C. people don’t respond well to sad stories or pity parties. They are the ones who yell for you to get off your butt because the world doesn’t owe us anything. They strongly resemble a drill sergeant.
- They actually walk the talk: Now here is a rarity – someone who does just what they say they will. It is amazing how easy it has become to be a “social media” icon. If you get a couple thousand followers on Twitter or fifty “likes” on Facebook, you are a celebrity. The problem is, you’re only a celeb in your own mind! Authentic people spend their time doing far more than they are saying.
We all have hopes. These are the things that cause us to gaze off into space on lazy afternoons. However, when it comes to real issues and real needs we must move pass a nostalgic fuzzy feeling about our future into a serious time of planning. Things will not just happen; things must be made to happen. When you are ready to elevate your life, you will take your hopes and dreams and fashion them into well-crafted plans of action. Until then, remember hope alone is not a strategy.
by Cherese Jackson (Virginia)
Top Image Courtesy of Brian Slewlorek – Creativecommons Flickr License
Featured Image Courtesy of ~dgles – Creativecommons Flickr License