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How to Get Anything You Want in Life
By Michael Crow   Printer Friendly Version

Strategic planning is a technique we are familiar with in the business world, but how often do we apply the same technique to plan our personal lives?

Strategies are like maps that we use to direct our actions and guide us toward desired outcomes. They are systems we use to accomplish things, based on previous experiences and knowledge. We use them regularly - without even being aware of them, and often whether they work for us or not.

For example, a new employee at the next desk is on the telephone and you can't help overhearing her conversation: "He says they get along very well, but I still can't believe he's dating a yellow!" she confides. You stare in amazement - you cannot believe what you are hearing.

"That's right. They come from such different backgrounds too," she continues. Now you are sure she is discussing race and become quite angry at this exchange. You decide to confront your co-worker and protest the use of racial slurs and prejudice. Just as you are deciding how to put your thoughts into words, you hear, "I know. 'Like we learned at the seminar, blues and yellows just don't make a good match!" You suddenly realize you had leapt to an inaccurate conclusion before all the information was available - and had completely misunderstood the interaction.

How many times do we apply old data, old thinking, or old strategies that no longer work? We get busy, we forget to ask, we don't listen well, and sometimes we misinterpret important information and situations. How do we arrive at these outdated or inappropriate beliefs and strategies?

In childhood, our dependent strategies and thinking helped shape our lives and form our characters. What were the driving forces that affected you as a child? Fear of punishment, embarrassment, the unknown? Curiosity and wonder? Seeking the thrill of adventure and the unknown? Fulfillment and personal satisfaction (knowing you were good at something?) All of these and more?

As an independent adult, what drives you and keeps you growing and developing solutions and strategies in your life? Fear of loosing what you have built or gathered? Fear of growing old? Retirement? Responsibility? Paying the bills, providing for yourself and your family? Personal potential? Relationships and people? A higher purpose than your own personal needs? Sense of self worth and contribution? All of these and more?

Review these questions and take time to differentiate your youthful influences (childhood), from your developing wisdom and independence (adulthood). By identifying and eliminating dependent thinking and old behaviors that are no longer valid, then replacing them with adult, independent thinking, you are making powerful choices and developing positive strategies that will lead you to your desired outcomes.

In my book, "Intentional Identity: How to Get Everything You Want in Two Days," I explain the important correlation that you determine how you see EVENTS by the filters you apply. These events drive IDEAS, which evolve, into your BELIEFS, which dictate your behavior or ACTIONS, which form HABITS, that become our VALUES. Once we have identified our values and listed the priorities in our lives by value category, our subconscious goes to work to create a picture of our personal purpose or desired outcome. The actions we take toward that purpose or goal are then guided by the STRATEGIES we implement to arrive at our desired OUTCOMES.

The most effective strategies are always those that utilize our strengths, knowledge and experience, and are based on a solid foundation of core values (Love, Security, Success, Adventure and Freedom, as described in the Values chapter of "Intentional Identity").

If your desired outcome is based on your values, you will feel inspired to achieve your goal. When you are comfortable that what drives you (desired outcome), is congruent with who you are (core values), you'll discover that your motivation and productivity increases and you'll enjoy tremendous personal satisfaction.

What is your desired outcome? What strategies are you implementing in your life to guide you toward getting things done and accomplishing your goals. Without a map or guideline you may spin your wheels or repeat past mistakes. A truly effective strategy then, is based on values, combined with passion and a positive attitude. The result is almost always a successful outcome.

To determine the best strategy to use for a particular situation or desired outcome, review your past successes - those times when you achieved something important that really made you feel good - and then bounce them off your core values.

Ask yourself:

  1. What is it I want?
  2. How do I want it?
  3. How will I know when I get it?
  4. What is the best strategy I can use to achieve this outcome?

Over the years our desires, drive and our definition of success constantly change, so we must continually check back to our "map" of strategies to make sure if we are still on track towards our desired outcomes. Occasionally the "map" or strategy may need to be re-examined. However, the winning formula never varies:


In a time where we have almost unlimited personal freedom, we have the power to choose our outcomes and choose the strategies we need to obtain important and cherished goals. Are you making the best choices? Are you choosing the right strategies for your life? As always, the choices are yours!

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