Have you set clear written goals for your future and made plans to accomplish them?
In a popular urban legend, this is the question that was posed to new graduates of the Harvard MBA program in 1979 (or Yale class of ’53, depending on whom you ask). As the story goes, they found that:
84% had no specific goals
13% had goals, but not in writing
3% had clear written goals and plans to accomplish them
Ten years later, the same individuals were interviewed again.
Goals are an absolutely essential ingredient in any recipe for success. After all, if you don’t have a destination in mind, you’re not likely to get there by accident.
Yet, goals in and of themselves, no matter how inspiring, are pretty passive things.
We also need next actions.
What are next actions?
A next action is exactly what it sounds like – literally the very next action that would move you a step closer to your desired destination. Let’s say you would like to drive to San Francisco. Forget the giant fold-out AAA maps. Forget MapQuest.
What’s the most critical part of an audition?
The first note! After all, first impressions are huge in an audition, and you can tell an awful lot about a performer from the first note. Unfortunately, this makes the first note the most difficult note in a piece as well. With so much at stake and so much anticipation leading up to this moment, the adrenaline is surging and you may feel like you are about to explode.
Nevertheless, when the opening goes well, the performance tends to continue this way.
Quick, make a list of the most successful and accomplished people you know. Seriously, take a moment to think of 3-5 people you have had personal contact with who are well-established in their careers.
Now, make a list of the most intelligent and talented folks you know.
Are the two lists identical? I bet anything that they’re not.
Weird, huh? Thing is, many of the most successful individuals in the world are not necessarily the smartest or most talented.