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Success Strategies 3 – Plan

I decided long ago to celebrate the members of my family to the best of my ability each time their birthdays came around. By default, I have those dates on my vacation plan every year.
For the kids, the little things matter. Having mummy do almost everything for them is part of the pleasures of their special day. ‘Mummy, I want you to bath me and dress me up… Mummy, I want you to be at home when I get back from school…’ and so on. They are also super excited when they return to find their birthday cake all decorated by Mummy. I think we all gain because their delight fills me with so much joy.
Well, after a successful breeze through Anna’s cake, I patted myself on the back. Being the first time I was going to do this in a while, I had given it much attention and carefully planned every step. I decided I would make Micah’s cake as well.

Anna’s cake

I planned to make him a Gecko cake but the days leading up to his birthday were really busy for me so I didn’t take time to plan for this activity. By the time I was ready to bake, I discovered I didn’t have some of the required ingredients at home. I sent someone to the market but the market had closed. I had to drive through town looking for a cake shop or any shop that had those ingredients. I eventually got what I needed for the cake itself but it cost me time, fuel and energy.
On the D-day, we had to shop for some other items to decorate the cake. Eventually, the cake was set just before Micah walked in from school. I think it would have looked a lot better if I wasn’t working under so much pressure as a result of poor planning.

Thankfully, my dear son said ‘thanks Mum, I really like my cake’. That was a consolation… but he didn’t fail to add ‘but Gecko isn’t blue and green. He’s only green’. I told him that was how the printout came. Thank God he was very happy that day. He didn’t fuss over it and we had a good celebration.
Really, there is no good enough reason for not planning; not even tiredness. In fact, you have a greater need to take sometime to plan when you are tired. That way, you won’t have to expend the little strength you have left on activities that would have been avoided completely if you were working with a good plan.
So, my success strategy 3 is PLAN.

Success Strategies 2 – Negotiate

My little one is a professional at saying exactly what he wants and he often insists on getting it. He’ll specify the cup you should use and how full it should be when you prepare him a chocolate drink. He’ll say the outfit he wants to put on for his birthday and will even negotiate his schedule – Mummy, please can I play one game first, then write one to fifty, then go outside and ride my bicycle before I come back and finish my homework?
I grant his requests as often as they are reasonable and have no negative consequence. Right now as I write, he’s asking to keep playing with his bubbles and it’s past his bedtime. He says he won’t cry when we wake him in the morning to get ready for school. This is one of the times when I say NO! There is no end to negotiating with him.
He reminds me of the fact that although so many things are ours for the asking, we may never get them if we never ask. If the terms aren’t favorable for you, you can negotiate for better terms rather than just settle. If the response you get is a NO, you’re no worse off but if you get a YES, that’ll leave you with more satisfaction, more joy and an overall sense of accomplishment. I see that in the big smile that splits his face when he gets the better deal he asked for. That YES can move you many miles ahead on your journey to where you want to be.
Now being only four years old, Micah thinks mostly about himself and what he stands to gain at the time of his request but we have the ability to consider others and to go for a win-win outcome which will make the other parties more open to our proposal. 
There really is something here. Know what you want. Be bold enough to ask for it. Think win-win and you will be pleased with the result. 
To your success. 

Success Strategies

I watched a leader give an account of his organization’s achievements over the past year. He said everything without referring to a document. He had the figures for the key performance indicators logged in his memory and I thought that was impressive.
He went further to explain the origin of the ideas that became the vision and goals his entire team ran with until every single one was accomplished and at the end of the event, he happened to share with a small group I was part of a new vision which should be realized sometime next year. Amazing!
So I deciphered the pattern – this leader spends time in prayer/meditation, receives divine direction/instruction/ideas, translates them into goals/action items, and shares them with his team. I am yet to discover if he assigns leads for the execution of each item while he maintains oversight or he gets involved in the nitty gritties, but from what I see so far, his strategy is yielding good results.
I am continually amazed at how great things are achieved and the strategies employed to do so. One thing is clear – great accomplishments do not just happen. There’s always a starting point – an idea – and then the strategies for achievement. 
I look forward to a new year packed with great accomplishments so like this great leader, I will plan ahead and then work it. I wish you good success too.

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