In any race (as life tends to be) you have a goal, a flag that is your spot in the sand that you are running to. Most adults do not know what their own flag is, so when they are running the race of life they often get lost. Once you find your flag, every choice in life will either lead you towards or away from that flag. Knowing your flag will allow you to achieve your goals and dreams.
“A dream is just a dream. A goal is a dream with a plan and a deadline.” – Harvey Mackay
Flags have two sides, and in most peoples lives their flag’s two sides are ‘personal’ and professional’. It is ok if one side is brighter than the other, but they must provide a balance. If you want to achieve your dreams and goals, you need to be able to identify what you will (and will not) sacrifice to get there and a balanced flag gives you that picture.
The Personal Flag.
When people think about their own personal flag they often think about family, spouses, kids, etc (which is right on). The question is what are the non-negotiables? Are you and your spouse having kids or not? What type of life are you looking to live? What does ‘comfort’ look like to you? What is the importance of ‘time’?
You will want to discuss your personal flag with those who matter to you. If you have a spouse, it will be valuable to share what each of you sees as a personal flag and what are you willing to give up for the professional side (or not willing to give up). Having this discussion before you start the race together will help prevent frequent course corrections.
The Professional Flag
Most people have a better idea of their professional aspirations than personal but still may not have an identified goal or plan to succeed. To say you want a million dollars is fine, but what are you going to do to get there, and by when? If money is not it, and impact is (such as to improve the lives of a group) then how many lives do you want to improve, how, and by when? A good, simple goal should be able to be stated as from X to Y by When (which is at the heart of an execution effort, and more can be found in the book entitled the 4 Disciplines of Execution).
Once you have your flag identified, everything else is easy. Identifying that flag can be difficult and may even take years. I am here to help you.
Yours in Service,