Christer Rasmusson is the founder of McCarthy Business Consulting and one of the leading experts within leadership and personal development in Scandinavia. In this book he will show you how to Turn Your Vision Into Reality. This book is a valuable tool for anyone who is interested in leadership, in personal development, is a business owner, an entrepreneur or has the desire to become one. Christer is well known for his ability to inspire people to achieve greater results, and as a top performance strategist he clarifies some of the most important principles that many struggles with in their leadership roles. The advice he shares with us, and the simple yet effective methods he teaches, add value not only in the workplace, but in every area of life where balance and goal setting is needed. As a entrepreneur, business owner, husband and father his experiences are relatable, insightful and ultimately of great help to people in all walks of life or business. Christer and his wife, Maureen, are the parents of eight children and live in the south of Sweden.
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Many authors begin their acknowledgements by thanking their spouse and I would like to say that giving my wife, Maureen McCarthy Rasmusson, my heartfelt thanks here for her support would just not begin to cover it. This book would not have been possible without her active help. Some of the most treasured times I have had with my wife have been when we have sat down together as she has gone through what I have written. I now take the opportunity to publicly apologize for all abuses inflicted on her precious language during that time.
No one else has had the same level of active participation in writing this book as my wife has, but I would like to thank all of our wonderful children for their support and for all the times they had to listen to their father when I had something to share ”about the book I am writing”. So a big thank you for the patience and support to Connor, Megan, Andrew, Jack, William, Samuel, Rachel and Lucie.
I would like to extend my gratitude to Megan, especially, for the great example she has been to us all with her dedicated service as a missionary in the Birmingham area of Great Britain. A wonderful source of inspiration to us all. I would also like to express my admiration for William. He and I had a conversation about the importance of following our dreams and building our own business if we have the desire for it. William, fifteen years old at the time, brought up the subject of the importance of leaving a legacy. That, in his view, it would not be enough to build something for yourself, but to also build it for others. I was very impressed by how my son expressed his values, and his understanding. I, for one, totally agree with him, and William in addition, I would like to hope that this book will be a part of what I leave as a legacy to others.
I would also like to express my deepest gratitude to so many people that have invested friendship, time and money in me and my dream. It would be impossible to mention them all, and even if you are not mentioned here I hope you know who you are and understand how much you have helped and inspired me. But I would like to start with my best friend, Torbjörn Jansson, for all the support he has given me over the years.
”If you are absent during my struggle, don’t expect to be present during my success.” (Will Smith)
Torbjörn, you have really been present during my struggles and I am eternally grateful for that.
Carl-Gustaf Dybeck, Mats Narfeldt, Michael Forsberg, Olle Kindberg, Peter Carlsson, Klas-Göran Karlsson, Ulf Lernesjö, Thord Lernesjö are just some of the people that I owe so much to.
I would also like to thank Richard Ottosson for being a great friend and former college. I had to persuade him a lot to come and work with me in 2003. When he decided to come and work with me, we sat down in my office, he said; ”One of the reasons I choose to come and work with you is so that I can make sure that you will mention me in the book you will write one day”. That line touched my heart then and has been a great inspiration for me ever since. And Richard, you are not just mentioned here, you are mentioned in the book from that time when you gave me one of the best pieces of advice that I have ever been given.
One thing these great people have in common is that they have never, as far as I can remember, said to me; ”You can’t do that”. For that, together with so many other ways they have supported me, I extend my sincere appreciation.
I would also like to take this chance to mention the gratitude I feel to all my customers and clients that have not only bought and appreciated the concept, within personal development and leadership, that I have developed but they have also added a lot of value to me in my life and the growth I have had in my business. Some of these customers have also become good friends of mine which I truly value and are very grateful for.
Some people might feel that we don’t need another book on goals. I am convinced that we do. I believe that there are many great visions, dreams and goals that are yet not written down on paper, and amongst all that are identified there are still many that have as yet not been accomplished.
In this book, I will lay out some revealing yet simple points and strategies, and in so doing give you, the reader, a greater ability to reach your goals. This book will be of value to anybody who is looking for clear ideas on what it is that takes a mere idea all the way to becoming a dream fulfilled. People have been having both good and bad ideas since the dawn of time. Nothing new there. You will soon notice that the foremost principle I will address, the principle that permeates all other ideas and guidelines in this book, is the one about that our vision should add value to the lives of others. I believe that any goal, dream or vision that has the potential to add value to others is also more likely to bring a deeper and longer lasting feeling of success to you upon it’s accomplishment. However, this book will help you succeed no matter what your vision may be, and when it comes to turning your vision into reality, I would like to show you just how easy that can be.
Sometimes, as humans, we are convinced that good solutions must be complicated in nature, but while reading this book you will come to understand that once you are willing to take the risk that is needed to live your dream and are willing to work hard to minimize that risk, after that you really only need to take two steps. It’s true. Firstly, you need to identify your highest priority, your vision, and then secondly, you need to give it your highest priority, all of the time. Over the years as a coach I have come to recognize that what people most often fail in is the ”all of the time” part. In the last part of this book I will present the habit that will help you to stay focused on your highest priority, no matter how many of your other roles, or responsibilities, both the essential and trivial, may risk distracting you from your focus on your highest priority.
The upmost purpose of setting a goal is to inspire and motivate us so that we would want to reach better results and experience greater achievements. Our vision is the ”greater achievements” and the goals are the steps that are needed to turn that into reality.
"Action is the foundational key to all success." (Pablo Picasso)
Take action now. This is the time. This is your time. In fact, there has never been a better time to make a dream come true. Success wants to be found. It leaves clues for you, but these clues need to be identified and acted upon. You’ve got to hunt down your potential and you’ve got to chase your dream. If you don't build your dream, someone will hire you to build theirs.
At a church service one Sunday, I listened to a wonderful talk given by a man called Kent Perciwall. He ended the talk with a story I immediately related to, and I knew I had to use it in my seminars. I don’t know the origin of this story but I loved the way Mr Perciwall told it.
Let me tell you about an exiting day down at the turkey farm. In a nearby field, everyone had gathered to watch the new guy, the turkey who could fly. They all stood, motionless with anticipation, peering up towards the sky, to witness what they had never before seen. He was up there in the sky, a turkey just like them, but flying! Not just flying but flying high and performing loops and spins. They could barely believe there own eyes! They could have watched him the whole day long. After some time, the amazing turkey flew towards the earth once more and landed among them where he was understandably greeted with quite a lot of fluttering and commotion. They all pressed forward to get close to him, and they all wanted to know how he did it. Naturally they all wanted him to teach them what he knew, so that they too could take to the skies, as he had done. That talented old turkey wanted nothing better than to teach his new friends to fly, and gathered them to him sharing his knowledge. He explained and demonstrated, he encouraged and corrected, taught them about gravity and aerodynamics. Well, what do you know, but by the time the sun was setting low in the sky each and every one of those turkeys could fly. The wind felt so good to them as it rushed through their feathers! ”The day is coming to an end, well done everyone” said the turkey tutor. ”Gather here tomorrow, and I shall teach you even more about flying!” He added. Well you can just about imagine the chatter between all those turkey as they walked back to the farm for a good nights sleep.
I really hope that you are one of those that would not settle for walking once you have learned how to fly. I really hope that after you have come to realize how important it is to have a vision, or a dream, you will never return to a life without any greater achievements.
Don't worry about the past. Past mistakes that you, or others, might have made. Stephen R Covey said
"The history keeps the future hostage". And he is so right there, many makes that mistake.
Don’t let it be so. Remember that the past is in the past, nothing else. Don't cling to a mistake just because you spent a lot of time on making it.
"You have made some mistakes, and you may not be where you want to be, but that has nothing to do with your future." (Zig Ziglar)
Obstacles will appear in our lives, no matter who we are, where we live or what we earn, but being defeated by these obstacles is a choice we make. People are not born with a millionaire mind. It is a matter of attitude together with knowledge that anyone can adopt and acquire.
The purpose of this book is to inspire you to see that your vision can become your reality, meanwhile giving a greater picture and understanding of how much we need goals to pursue our visions. I will take up points such as; why we need goals, why so many fail to accomplish them and of course the ”magic” of how to reach them.
Unfortunately for many of us our goals are nothing more then a wishing list. We feel great about writing them down and then expect our goals to magically be achieved. We then so often tend to get frustrated when they don’t ”just show up under our christmas tree”, as they used to do when we were younger. We so often forget that the things on our wishing list actually didn’t just magically turn up under the tree. It took a lot of effort, sacrifice and hard work for our parents to bring them home and carefully wrap them up and place them under the tree. It does not work like that with your goals. Now it’s your time to make the efforts, sacrifice and hard work to ”bring them home”. To reach your goals you need to walk the talk. You need to go from ”do-it” to ”do-it-now”.
If you want to get more, you’re going to have to give more. If you want to understand more, you’re going to have to learn more. People that want to achieve more, well, they simply have to do more. If you want to be truly successful you need to take that "want more" and turn it into "do more”.
"To achieve what you have not, you must become what you are not. You have to grow into your goals." (Darren Hardy)
It's the doers, the people that put their words, dreams and visions into action, that reach their goals.
"Don't dream of winning, train for it" (Mo Farah)
"What you do Monday to Saturday separates you from the rest of the league" (Julio Jones).
It’s all about doing. It's about putting things into action. Call me Captain Obvious, but it needs to be said; a certain amount of discipline is needed to reach your goals.
”We must all suffer one of two things: the pain of discipline or the pain of regret or disappointment.” (Jim Rohn)
The difference between the winners and the non-winners is that the winners put on their marching boots and do what the non-winners don’t do. There will be leftovers for the non-doers, but it will only be what the doers leave behind. Enough said for now about discipline, I will come back to that later.
Over the years, as a coach to executives, I have come across many who feel that there is a gap in their lives. A gap between where they are and where they would like to be. This could be in their business, relationships, or pertaining to their health or wealth. Some experience this gap simply because they don’t have a vision to inspire them and others because they are not doing what needs to be done to close the gap.
Another purpose of this book is to provide you with the tools that are necessary to both identify and close this gap. I am personally convinced that goals are needed in order to achieve something that really matters. In the first part of this book I will explain why.
Why We Need Visions And Goals
1 A Vision Without Goals Will Forever Be The Dream You Never Lived
2 Lack Of Time Is Not The Problem, Lack Of Direction Is
3 We Get Paid For Bringing Value To The Marketplace
4 Build A Brand Around Your Vision
5 Build Your Dream Or Someone Will Hire You To Build Theirs
6 Education Or Not
7 Dream Big
8 Be A Player
9 How To Avoid Missing The Roadsigns
10 Are You Climbing The Wrong Mountain?
Why So Many Fail To Accomplish Their goals
11 First Failure - Then Success
12 If You’ve Started To Doubt Your Potential It’s Time To Start To Doubt Those Doubts
13 Be Different
14 Learn From Others
15 Being The ”Best Of People”
16 Fail Harder And Faster
17 The Best Thing With Not Trying Is That You Will Never Fail
18 You Can’t Afford To Be Impatient
19 Burn The Ships
20 The Ropes That Hold Us Back From Our Success
21 It’s In Our Response The Key To Our Growth And Freedom Lies
22 How To Get Rid Of The Ropes
23 Whatever It Takes
24 What Happy People Have In Common
How To Achieve Your Goals
25 Lack Of Trust Is Your Greatest Expense
26 Emotional Trust Account
27 You Can’t Make It On Your Own
28 First Things First
29 The Pilot Is Out Of Course About 90 Percent Of The Time
30 Drink All The Time
31 Successful People Have Two Things In Common They Invest In Themselves
32 Successful People Have Two Things In Common They Have A System That Works For Them
33 A System That Works
34 Seek Out Those Quiet Moments
35 The Best Time To Stand On The Chair
36 The Third Generation Of Planning Systems
37 The Connection Between Your
38 Standing On The Chair, The First Step - Read Your
39 Standing On The Chair, The Second Step - Read Your
40 Standing On The Chair, The Third Step - Evaluate Previous Week
41 Standing On The Chair, The Fourth Step - Set Goals For The Week In Every Role
42 Standing on the chair, The Fifth Step - Plan With Focus On Your Weekly Goals
43 The Best Year Ever
Template To Identify Your
Emotional Trust Account II
The Best Year Ever II
Quotes Used In The Book - In Order Of Their Appearance
”It is always to soon to give up”(Plutarkos)
”The biggest waste is the ideathat is never acted upon”(Thomas Edison)
”Dream big, small dreams have no magic.” (Dottie Boreyko)
It always starts with a dream. It always has and it always will. Lets face it, everything that exists was once only imagined.
It always starts in our mind. It starts with someone having an idea. All break-throughs are really ”break-withs”. Great successes usually come from big dreams and with somebody having the idea of doing things differently, no matter how others are doing it or how it has always been done. You’re going to need to break-with, old habits or old ways of doing things, to reach a break-through.
According to Ellen Johnson Sirleaf; ”The size of your dreams must always exceed your current capacity to achieve them. If your dreams do not scare you, they are not big enough.”
On January 16, 2006, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf was sworn in as the 24th President of Liberia. She was the first ever elected female head of state in African history. Now talk about dreaming big! It always starts with a dream!
”Aim for iconic. Go for legendary. Live a life that makes history.” (Robin Sharma)
”Finding is reserved for those that search.” (Jim Rohn)
Just as achievements are reserved for those that perform. As I wrote in the introduction; The difference between the winners and the non-winners is that the winners put on their marching boots and do what the non-winners don’t do. There will be leftovers for the non-doers but it will only be what the doers leave behind.
A vision without goals will never become more then the dream you never lived, and goals without a vision will only be hard work. A vision can be about a business idea, an enterprise, lifestyle or anything that you are passionate about. Your vision should be about your inner deepest conviction, about what you really would like your life to be about. I have met people that focus on money or personal gain in their visions, and it is my experience that a vision is more fully achieved when it pertains to more meaningful desires than mere financial gain. If money is the only thing you are looking for, money is the only thing you will find. Our lives can be about so much more than the money. There is nothing wrong with making money on your dream, I just hope your dream is not about the money.
”Chase the vision not the money, the money will end up following you.” (Tony Hsieh)
”When companies are focused on what they make, they fail to remember why they made them and they die.” (Robert Kiyosaki)
I think this can also be applied to our lives. Our personal why needs to come before our what. In this context the why is our vision, or dream, and the what is our goals. Our goals are what’s needed to be done in order to turn our vision into reality. In this book I am going to focus on your passion and your inner deepest conviction, not your business. About your business will be another book.
The following story both captures what many feel and also the mindset that comes from having a clear vision. A man was walking by a quarry and saw three other men working there. They were all performing the same task. He asked the first man what he was doing, and the man replied; ”I am moving rocks”. As he walked some more he approached the second man and asked him the same question and the second man’s response was; ”I am piling rocks”. He walked a bit further and came to the third man and posed the same question. The third man replied; ”I am building a cathedral so that we can worship God in safety”.
Many people that I have met during the course of my career felt that they are building someone else's dream, or in other words that they were just ”moving rocks”, without seeing any greater purpose to their efforts. They were lacking a clear vision in their lives. If you don’t have a vision the risk is great that you are spending your time fulfilling some one else's goals and dreams, and it’s very likely that you don’t have the right mindset. Because lets face it, we are all in fact ”moving rocks”. One of the keys to success lies in seeing the bigger picture. Those that can see the bigger picture can also recognize what the hard work is leading up to. Successful people have seen, in their minds, the cathedral they are building and understand that those rocks must be moved in order for the cathedral to be completed. An Important point to note from this story is that the third man did not only know what task he was doing, building a cathedral, but he also knew why he was doing it; ”so we can worship God in safety”. We need to start with the end in our mind, to know what we would like to accomplish in our life. We need to identify our own personal why. We need to find what our lives are about.
”Ultimately, man should not ask what the meaning of his life is, but rather he must recognize that it is he who is asked.” (Viktor Frankl)
It’s not enough to ask what your purpose is, it’s about realizing that you have a purpose and you need to find it.
Your vision should involve adding value to the lives of others. Your vision should describe how you would wish to go about doing that. That vision is your why. It’s not the cathedral you are building, but rather the reason for why you are building it. In the previous story the man’s reason was ”so that we can worship God in safety”.
Let me take a moment to share with you my own personal vision, my personal why. It’s ”Inspiring people to live their dreams”. My cathedral is my business, McCarthy Business Consulting AB. To build that business I have to shift rocks like everyone else. You could say that the seminars I have developed and given through the years, the blog I am running, the CD and DVD that I have made, the coaching programs and workshops etc, have all been rocks that I have piled, to build my business enabling me to live my vision. My business is the key to living my dream, the key to inspiring others to live theirs. That is what I want to do more abundantly and do all over the world. Clearly this book is another ”rock” that I can add to my cathedral.
It is commonly believed, within the field of human behavioral studies, that all people have basic needs. My experience and conclusion is that we all share the following four needs; To Live, To Love and be Loved, To Grow and To Add value to the lives of others.
When it comes to our need; ”To Live”, I believe there are three sub categories, which are; Security, Health and Finances. I see many people that are holding on way too tightly to the their need for security. We all have that need but those that achieve their goals are neither run, nor ruined, by it. We can not turn a vision into reality, therein reaching our dream, while at the same time remaining comfortable. We can not reach our dream meanwhile we are clinging on to our need for security. We are eventually going to have to give up on one of them, in order to reach our dream.
”You can have everything in life you want if you will just help enough other people get what they want.” (Zig Ziglar)
”We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.” (Winston Churchill)
”Unless we lose ourselves in the service to others, there is little purpose to our own lives.” (Thomas S. Monson)
Work for your own success, but ensure that your achievements lift up the wider community. My opinion is that all too often not enough attention is given to the fourth need; ”Adding value to the lives of others”.
I once read someone explain how they define success; ”Success means we go to sleep at night knowing that our talents and abilities are used in a way that served others.” (Unknown)
The bottom line is that your why, your reason for building the cathedral, should be about adding value to the lives of others. You should start with the end in mind, to know what you would like your life to be about. In the end you need to know what you would like to be remembered for. Is it for what you were or is it because of who you were? Is it because of your status or for your values and principles you lived by? Would you like to be remembered for what you had or for what you gave?
”One day you’ll be just a memory for some people. Do your best to be a good one.” (Unknown)
Or as Mother Teresa put it; ”Some people come in your life as blessings. Some people come in your life as lessons.”
I am sure she does not mean that those people that are ”lessons” in our lives are teachers. I think she means they are a trial or test to us. So the relevant question for us all to ask ourselves is; ”Am I a blessing or a lesson to others”?
My beliefs and experiences have lead me to the conclusion that when we add value to others value will be added to our own lives. As a motivational speaker and coach I get to meet a lot of people that have dreams or visions but they are too insecure to take the steps that are needed to live their dreams. My life is about inspiring people to develop the faith, in themselves, that is needed to take those steps. That is also what this book is about. I have built my life and business around this. My business is my cathedral and ”Inspiring people to live their dreams” is my reason for building it - it’s my why.
History is filled with inspiring stories of how an inner conviction has inspired people, more then the hope of money has, to accomplish great achievements. The following is how I was given to understand that the classic novel ”A Christmas Carol” by Charles Dickens came about.
Charles Dickens had achieved great success with his book ”The tale of two cities”. Charles was now on a contract to write more books and had been given a substantial advance on the understanding that the said books would swiftly follow. The money was accepted and spent. The books, however, failed to materialize. The deadline grew closer and closer and Mr Dickens started to be very concerned about his predicament and the consequences that his breach of contract risked bringing down upon his family. He understood that his name would be dishonored and he and his family would have to leave their house and their comfortable lifestyle and could conceivable end up in the poorhouse, a thought which understandably filled Charles with dread. Simply put, they would go hungry if he did not deliver. He desperately needed to write something, but nothing, nothing at all, came to him. He stopped eating, and sleep became out of the question, causing his family to be very concerned for his welfare. Needless to say, the gifted author was under an extreme amount of pressure. To calm his mind, and to maybe find some morsel of inspiration, he started to take long walks during the nights. The setting is London in the 18hundreds. During these walks he witnessed a level of poverty he had never really considered before. He saw very young children working long and hard hours, as well as the inevitable prostitution and criminality.
Charles was suddenly aware of a London he had not payed any attention to previously, and he became filled with a desire to make a difference. To make other people aware of the utterly abominable circumstances that these unfortunates were forced to live in. While his writing now took on a different purpose, to make people aware of the misery of so many and to create in others a desire to make a difference, he begin the writing of ”A Christmas Carol”. He wrote swiftly and purposefully, completing the entire book in a short time. The story did indeed cast a light onto a hitherto dark world of the poorer quarters of London. Note that when Charles Dickens was under a lot of pressure to write due to the financial aspect of his contract he simply could not deliver. When his writing, however, became based on a higher purpose and a desire to improve the situation of others, the story came flowing and the book was written in the shortest time ever, bringing mr Dickens world fame and literary immortality, with the story of Mr Scrooge as well known today as when it was first published.
I would also like to share a short version of the events that lead up to Great Britain’s involvement in WWII, and the man that had an unusually heavy burden to bear when his country’s future seemed fraught with danger.
It was September 30th, 1938. Some may remember the date, but most of us will remember seeing the famous photograph of Britain’s Prime Minister, Neville Chamberlain, standing at an airport and holding up documents. His firm opinion that ”the war will not come to us” had driven him to disregard efforts by other politicians within the cabinet to prepare the country against the possibility of invasion. The documents had been signed by Adolf Hitler, and were an official treaty, intended to ultimately ensure Great Britain an amnesty against the war that was raging through parts of Europe. The words that Mr Chamberlain
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