A while back, I spent a wonderful weekend in Saginaw, Michigan, with some really great…
Tip: “The next step is…?”
Over the years I have tried to grow in the area of personal responsibility. As a child I was not a very responsible person. I believe I was basically lazy. I put things off as long as possible and when I finally did get around to doing something, I would only do it with a “good enough to get by” attitude. I look back at this immature attitude with regret. It was not until I was 18 years old and attended a military college that I began to grow up. Personal responsibility at a young age was not an easy concept for me to grasp. It was a lot easier to blame everyone else than blame myself!
Many countries throughout the world (Israel, South Korea, Singapore) believe that all men and women ages 18 – 21 should serve in the military in some capacity. I often wonder what our country would be like if we adopted the same philosophy. Perhaps if that were the case it would help a person to grow up in a more responsible manner, love his or her country more, begin to understand authority and learn some self-discipline. Today we live in a society that is full of grown-ups who are still children in their attitudes, but that is a topic for another Tip. Because of my own military experience, I believe that I understand much more about maturity, self-discipline, respect and personal responsibility. For that I am grateful.
I ask myself, “Just how does a person really grow up to become productive?” Why do some people seem to accomplish more of their goals and dreams while others seem to wander aimlessly through life? What is the real difference? Is it just luck or fate? I think not! Therefore the real question is: “What kind of experiences or what mindset will help us to become more efficient in all we do?” I believe I have found the answer.
The next time you begin to think about something you want to see accomplished, ask yourself one simple question, “The next step is…?” If you can answer that question you will be well on your way toward becoming more responsible and completing your goals or dreams. There may be a hundred things that need to be done, but in most cases you can only do one thing at a time; and in many cases each thing needs to be done in some kind of order. Let’s face it….you cannot put the roof on a house until you first have some of the walls in place! I find that is where people get lost. They see the “big idea” or the “big picture”, but they just do not posses the wisdom and maturity it takes to get started then get from one point to another.
It may be that you do not know what the next step actually is and that becomes something to consider. In other words, if you do not know what to do next, then the next step is to find out exactly what that next step is. One way to discover that is to ask someone who is experienced in that area.
Recently, I had a real estate issue to arise in which I wanted to make some progress, but I am not a realtor. So, I called a friend of mine who is a real estate broker and he explained, in detail, everything I needed to know. After our conversation I knew exactly what the next step was that I needed to do.
Someone once said, “I may not have all the brains in the world, but I do know how to borrow brains from other people.” Sometimes asking someone else what the next step is – actually becomes the next step!
Whenever I want to see something accomplished I simply ask myself the same question over and over again, “The next step is…?” In that manner my thought process begins to line up and suddenly, complicated situations begin to be less complicated. Issues that start out as confusing to me suddenly become very clear. I am much more able to reach my goals and dreams using this technique. I even have a 3 x 5 card that sits on my desk that reads: “The next step is…?” When I feel confused or when I feel as though I have lost my focus, asking myself that question soon has me back on track. It also will sometimes cause me to think of related ideas that will be helpful in attaining my goal. In most cases, I have discovered that everything relates to some thing! So, while I am working my way through one process, I may also learn additional, vital information that will help with a future project. In other words, everything relates to everything!
When working with other people, I have found that if I politely and appropriately ask them what they think the next step is – they suddenly begin to grow in their own ability to think more clearly as well. We all need a little help and this technique seems to do the trick!
This one concept has helped me complete projects, achieve goals and become a better leader. If you want to be more productive in your life, start practicing this important Tip. It will not be long before you see things more clearly than you do right now.
Knowing what the “next step is” helps insure success. Other people will wonder about your seemingly “magical powers” in getting things accomplished! However, it is not magic at all. It is a mindset that will change everything that you do. If you feel “stuck” in any area of your life start practicing this technique and watch what happens. This is one concept you will want to share with as many people as possible!
Tip: “The next step is…?”
Have a great week! God bless you!
Dr. Robert A. Rohm