Today, I performed an informational interview with a co-worker in enterprise risk management to discuss what he thought about different certifications like the CFA and FRM.
After discussing what I was interested in, I wanted to cover his goals and aspirations for the future. The one thing that really stuck with me was that he wasn’t worried about 10-20 years down the line and trying to plan every detail. His primary focus was taking it one year at a time and then re-assessing what his goals and dreams were at the end of each year. This way, he wouldn’t get ahead of himself and waste time planning for something that might never happen.
A Powerful Lesson
My key takeaway from this informational interview is the importance of taking things one step at a time. When people start discussing the future, there is a lot of pressure to follow through and live up to the hype. But if a person can take things as they come and prepare for the near future as best as possible, I believe that things will take care of themselves. Focus on the opportunities you get every day to become a better person. Eventually, you will get to where we want to be since we have been working towards our goal every day!
By staying consistent, you will stay on schedule and not fall behind. This will allow you to achieve success much more quickly!
A Real-World Example
For example, let’s say that one day you want to run the team you’re on. Your manager is looking to move out and needs to find a replacement. If you come into work every day focused on learning the business as much as possible and produce consistent value, you’ll build a reputation as someone who can lead the team. But, if you come in each day and waste time thinking too much about the future and make mistakes as a result, the manager will overlook you for the role.
Now, I’m not saying that you shouldn’t think of the future. It’s equally important to set short- and long-term goals! But, when it’s work time, it’s time to stay focused and get things done. By staying consistent, you will be able to achieve your goal of promotion and leading the team. Taking it one day at a time, giving it your best effort, will produce results.
The Bottom Line
By taking it one step at a time, one day or one week or one year at a time, we can set ourselves up for a successful future. This is what I am focusing on right now; I wake up each day and say, “I am going to live with a purpose and a goal of making tomorrow better than today.”
With this thought, I can have a clear mind and be able to complete my work today quickly and efficiently. Eventually, a terrific opportunity will arise and I will be able to attack it with maximum effort because of being in the right place at the right time. Since I will have constantly prepared and worked towards my goals, I will be able to confidently take on the opportunity and achieve greatness.
How do you keep a clear mind and stay focused? What strategies do you use?