We need to be strategic about every area of our life; otherwise, life just ends up “happening.” Can we control everything in life? Of course not! But we can be intentional and deliberate about the areas that mean the most. That means we must prioritize with clarity and focus so that those areas of life that get the bulk of our attention are the areas that produce the best RESULTS.
For me, I’ve narrowed down the top areas that I want to be the most strategic about on an ongoing basis. These areas are Positioning, Parenting, Thinking and Thanking.
My hope is that this article helps you identify your priorities. Many of you may even want to use my four areas for yourself.
There are so many options out there … that is the beauty of the Internet. While this is a huge positive when you’re on the buying side of things, it can be discouraging when you’re on the selling side.
That is why I believe being strategic about your positioning as a business is vital to its success.
We all know people are more likely to purchase something if you’re selling it straight toward them—taking their preferences into account instead of blasting out a generic message. This is part of positioning your brand. Position your brand to the right target audience, offering them relief for something they dread doing themselves or don’t have the capacity to learn otherwise.
Position yourself as someone/something that can get the job done specifically for the people you’re trying to serve. Capitalize on your competitive advantage.
When it comes to our kids, we want to raise them to love and serve. We want to build their self-esteem and create strong habits, so they can launch into adulthood with confidence.
I want to encourage you to make this one of your highest goals…
Become the President of Your Kids’ Fan Club
Live this out every day, especially with prayerful intention.
From my experience as a dad, I believe incorporating this list into your parenting goals sets your kids up for success.
- Encourage Your Kids.
Help your kids discover what they are passionate about, and use your resources to help them make this passion their vocation.
- Travel the World.
Take your kids with you on vacations around the world to experience different cultures, languages, climates, people, etc.
- Be a “Yes” Parent.
Be a solid “yes” parent with a smart balance of careful “no’s.” Yes your way to parenting success. Be an enabler and encourager instead of an obstacle and a discourager.
- Bring Solid People Around.
Surround your kids with influential people who they can learn from such as the right teachers, friends, coaches, etc.
- Hug Your Kids.
Give your kids hugs, not just when they accomplish something great, but even in the mundane.
- Say “I Love You” Alot.
Vocally tell your kids you love them over and over. Make it your goal for them to be able to confidently say my mom/dad loves me and is proud of me.
Training our brain how to think is a powerful way to reach success. I am a big believer in self-talk. When we speak positives, it is more likely for positive things to happen because our motivation is in the right place. When we speak negatives, we are communicating to ourselves that we are stuck in the status quo.
Here are a few tips to start training your brain…
- Belief Window and Blind Spots.
We all have a Belief Window—a way in which we see life. Within our Belief Window, there are Blind Spots, areas we miss simply because we are human. When we really understand this concept, we can deal more effectively with it. That is why I encourage you to surround yourself with a Life Team who can help you uncover those Blind Spots and adjust your Belief Window to become more accurate.
- Reticular Activating System (the gatekeeper).
Your reticular activating system (RAS) acts as a gatekeeper to the information around you. Our conscious mind can only process 100 pieces of information every second. It is the job of our RAS to filter all this information. Your RAS only lets information in that it deems important. So be strategic about what information you let in (watch The Reticular Activating System video to learn more).
- Lifelong Learner.
You can only think to the level of your current knowledge and vocabulary. This is why you should be a lifelong learning machine. You can do this by reading the right books, watching videos, listening to podcasts, surrounding yourself with smart people (especially mentors and coaches). In your spare time, on your way to work, before you go to bed, during lunch—these are all great times to dedicate to learning.
- Beta, Alpha, Delta.
Become a better problem solver by becoming more aware of your Alpha, Beta and Delta states of mind. Your Beta state is where you function most of your day … it is your active state. Your Alpha state is where brain waves start to slow down … it is your drowsy state. Your Delta state is usually only achieved in deep, dreamless sleep … it is your deep sleep state. Have you ever just woken up and immediately thought of the perfect solution to a problem? When you are about to go to sleep and right when you wake up in the morning, you are in your Alpha state (drowsy state). Your mind can solve problems during this state because you are conscious of your surroundings but your body is in deep relaxation. When you think of an idea, immediately write it down so you don’t forget it when you enter your Beta state.
- The Strangest Secret.
You become who and what you think about, which is why you should strategically manage your thoughts, time, goals, business relationships, mastermind partners and friendships.
No one ever complains they have been appreciated too much—it’s just the opposite, actually. People crave recognition, praise, appreciation and being thanked.
Most people need to be more strategic about sharing genuine compliments. Look for the best in people and situations. When you find yourself in a moment of appreciation, tell that person.
One of the strongest and most powerful and overlooked habits is getting in a continuous flow of thank yous. This can be verbal, through handwritten letters, texts, videos, time and gifts (see Strategic Gifting to learn more about honing your gift giving skills).
Become a “thanking machine.”
Be a leader, parent, friend, colleague, spouse, sibling, child, the list could go on, that is known for being thankful.
My hope for you is that you take away a few new ideas to help launch you into becoming a more strategic person, whether that is through positioning, parenting, thinking or thanking. Being strategic has so many wins, so start today. Envision where you want to be, and start making the steps today to make that possible. You can use all of these tools above on your journey.