The road to success is not a meandering path. It’s a carefully planned route. But planning a route takes you nowhere. It only tells you where you expect to go. Getting there requires that you hit the road.
Before you hit the road, there are preparations to make. You have to pack your bags, make sure your vehicle is in good condition, fill your gas tank and stock up on travelers’ checks.
Action usually comes at the end of a series of preparatory steps, best described in the starter’s words at the beginning of a race: Get ready; Get set; GO!
At the Get ready’ signal, foot racers assume a balanced stance that allows them to respond quickly when the action signal is given.
Successful people acquire balance, too, in the physical, mental/emotional, social and spiritual aspects of their lives.
When you achieve this state of equilibrium, you’re ready to accept any challenge and conquer any barrier between you and success.
To acquire balance means to achieve that happy medium between minimum and maximum that represents your optimum. The minimum is the least you can get by with. The maximum is the most you’re capable of. The optimum is the amount or degree of anything that is most favorable toward the ends you desire.
Let me illustrate the difference between maximum and optimum.
If you’re running the marathon and you go all-out for the first mile, you may take the lead, but the victory ultimately will go to the runner who strikes the highest sustainable pace. If the pace is too slow, the others will pass you. If it’s too fast, you’ll run out of energy before you reach the end of the race.
The objective of a marathon runner is not to lead after the first mile, or even after the first 25 miles. It’s to finish the entire 26 miles, 385 yards at the head of the pack. The successful runner will find his optimum pace, which is the highest sustainable pace.
You need to strike that kind of balance in your personal habits and behavior. Find the happy medium between minimum performance and the pace that leads to burnout. Then you’ll be ready to succeed in the long run.
Getting set entails bringing yourself to a motivational edge that allows you to put your heart and soul into the effort once the action has begun. Acquiring motivation means developing a strong reason to carry your action plan to a successful conclusion.
When you’re balanced and motivated, you’re ready to respond to the signal: GO!
Nido Qubein is president of High Point University and chairman of Great Harvest Bread Company with 200 stores in 41 states. He has given more than 5,000 presentations to audiences worldwide and has authored more than two dozen books and audio programs on leadership, sales, communication, and achievement. For more information on Nido Qubein and his learning resource tools, visit his web site at www.nidoqubein.com.
Nido Qubein is a businessman, motivational speaker, and President of High Point University since 2005. He received his Associate’s Degree in Business from Mount Olive College, where he was a member of ΔΠΔ fraternity.