Who drives your 'bus?'

  • Published
  • By Col. Michele A. Williams
  • 366th Medical Support Squadron commander
Why do some people seem to have the Midas Touch -- everything they want turns into metaphoric gold? How do they make it happen? Is it "magic" that some people are showered with success while others seem to struggle?

It's not magic at all. Successful people take 100 percent responsibility for their thoughts, the images they visualize and their actions. These people simply know who's "driving their bus" and know their "passengers."

Getting what you want in life is actually quite simple, but not always easy. Unfortunately, many people want things immediately but don't want to do the work. Then they get a nasty surprise when their idea of what "should" be doesn't show up. These people are commonly called "victims" and have some nasty passengers on their "bus." Do you carry these same ones on yours? Check the seats. Your passengers could be negativity, anger, fear, pessimism, unkindness, jealousy and greed. Kick them off the bus at the next stop.

At the same time, drive away from mediocrity and take the road filled with inspiration and results. To find this better road to drive your bus, consider these five simple steps:
STEP 1: Set honest goals. Is it what you really want, or is it something someone wants for you? You have a choice to either make things happen, watch things happen or wonder what happened. Which will it be? In the words of noted author and motivational speaker Zig Ziglar, "Goals are dreams we convert to plans and take action to fulfill."

Research shows 97 percent of people choose not to set goals out of fear or they don't want to risk not reaching these goals. When you think about it, both reasons are the same. They fear to fail. However, the price for setting and managing goals is much lower than the price we pay when we don't set them.

While it's a great idea to have goals, it's much better to write them down and work on them every day. Jim Yates, a well-known industry leader, uses the ALA principle -- Ask questions, Listen to responses and take Action.

Action is the antidote for despair. When you move forward, you grow. When you stand still, you stagnate. So work on your action plan each day and tell everyone what you are doing so they can support you.

STEP 2: Get a mentor. The 366th Medical Group recently conducted a mentorship survey. About 63 percent of respondents said they already had a mentor; they rest said they didn't. Of those with a mentor, 74 percent wanted a mentor while the other 26 percent said they didn't one. This small group of people stand to miss out on a prime opportunity to learn and grow.

Mentors serve as trusted counselors or guides who provide quality support, advice and counseling. However, don't put your mentor in a position where they need to figure everything out for you. Mentors should never take you by the hand every step of the way. They should give you some guidance and send you on your way. Your job is to make the link between what mentors tell you and how to apply it.

STEP 3: Be "coachable." Remain open minded to outside opinions and influences. Don't expect everyone to always "sugar coat" things for you. Get ready for an honest bottom line. Although you can either take these opinions or leave them, remember there's always some validity to what people tell you, especially in constructive criticism.
The most dangerous words you can ever tell someone are, "I already know that." If you already knew something wasn't right, you wouldn't be in your current situation. There's a difference between "knowing" something and living it. Coaches help you realize your full potential.

STEP 4: Make a "vision board." Successful people clearly "see" what they want. Vision boards help folks visualize what they want in life. People make vision boards by simply gathering lots of old magazines, flipping through the pages and cutting out images, words or items that speak to them emotionally.

It's important to use the exact image of what you want to attract because whatever you show on your vision board becomes part of your reality. So if you want a specific kind of car, make sure the board includes the exact type, model and color you desire. If you want a promotion to the next rank, go to clothing sales, buy the new rank and pin it on the vision board because when it's out of sight, it's also out of mind.

At the same time, do what it takes to be successful. Keep focused on your intentions, and don't fall prey to immediate gratification. If you need to finish your career development course or complete that master's degree, give up those extra hours watching TV or going on those late-night excursions. They tend to waste valuable time and pull your focus away from your intention goals. In the words of Leonardo da Vinci, "I have been impressed with the urgency of doing. Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Being willing is not enough; we must do."

STEP 5: Practice the "Law of Attraction." If you focus on something you want, it attracts more of it your way. However, if you focus on something you don't want, it'll attract more of this negativity your way. Here are some of the reasons this "secret" works:

- When we feel great about something, we're more creative.

- When we feel great about something, we're more likely to take effective action.

- When we feel great about something, we open ourselves to more opportunities. We set up our brains to find these opportunities. Because we expect them, we find them.

- When we feel great, we feel better about ourselves and likely get the best out of ourselves.

Commit to taking 100 percent responsibility of every aspect of your life. Train yourself to have the Midas Touch. Decide to make changes one step at a time. Once you start the process, you'll see it's much easier to get what you want by taking control of your thoughts, vision and actions.

Know who's driving your bus, which road you are on and the passengers you have onboard. As author Anthony Robbins once said, "Success leaves clues."