If you can do these five steps well, you will almost certainly be successful. However, you must do all five, in this order, and do every step carefully. It might take a few days to accomplish it.
It might also require the help of many people, as everyone has some weaknesses. Before starting, identify what weaknesses you have that can prevent you from doing this five-step plan well, and find people who can help you with it.
Have clear goals.
While you can have anything you want, you cannot have everything.
Don’t confuse goals with desires.
Goals are things that you really need to achieve. Desires are things that can prevent you from reaching your goals. Your goal can be to have a great body, while your desire might be eating unhealthy food.
Decide what you really want by reconciling your goals and your desires.
The thing that will fulfill you feels right on both levels: desires and goals.
Don’t aim for success for the sake of being successful.
This will not make you happy.
Don’t give up on unattainable goals.
What you think is attainable is a function of what you know at the moment.
Set your goals higher than your current possibilities.
Remember that great expectations create great capabilities.
Be flexible and self-accountable.
Almost nothing can stop you from succeeding if you have both qualities.
Identify and don’t tolerate problems.
View painful problems as potential improvements.
Each problem is an opportunity to improve something in you.
Don’t avoid confronting problems.
Acknowledging your weaknesses is not the same as surrendering to them.
Be specific in identifying your problems.
Different problems have different solutions; that’s why you must be precise.
Don’t mistake a cause of a problem with the real problem.
“I can’t get enough sleep” is not a problem.
Distinguish big problems from small ones.
Your time and energy are limited.
Once you identify a problem, don’t tolerate it.
If you tolerate the problem, you are failing to solve it.
Diagnose problems to get at their root causes.
Before inventing a solution, precisely define what the problem is.
Strategic thinking requires both diagnosis and design.
Identify what the root causes are, not the proximate causes.
Distinguish the symptoms from the disease.
Understand the root causes standing in the way of each person (including you).
In order to surround yourself with people that have qualities that you need, you must first identify the mistakes and weaknesses of others and of yourself.
Design a plan.
Go back before you go forward.
First, identify what brought you here.
Think of a problem as a set of outcomes produced by a machine.
Identify how the machine can be changed to produce better outcomes.
Usually, there are many paths to achieve a goal.
You must find only one.
Design a plan like a movie script: Assign roles to each person through time.
Start with the big picture and drill down to specific tasks.
Write down your plan for everyone to see and to measure your progress against.
Remember that the tasks and goals are different; don’t mix them up.
Recognize that it doesn’t take a lot of time to design a good plan, but it’s an essential part.
It might take a few hours or days. Don’t jump to execute before you have the plan.
Push through to completion.
Execute the plan.
Great planners who don’t execute their plans go nowhere.
Have good work habits.
Habits are vastly underrated.
Establish clear metrics to make certain that you are following your plan.
Ideally, give the responsibility of measuring the progress to someone else who will do it more objectively.