Execution (not info) is power.

Author:Moran, Brian P.
Position:Business & Finance

YOU KNOW that big important thing you want--and maybe desperately need--to do? Maybe it is changing careers, writing a book, saving for retirement, or finally building the dream home you have talked about for years--ever wondered why you cannot seem to just get it done? Your excuse might be that you do not know enough to make it happen. That is nonsense. Your failure to meet your goals has nothing to do with what you do or do not know--and everything to do with how well you execute.

People say knowledge is power, but it absolutely is not--execution is. Despite our $60,000,000,000 diet and fitness industry, 65% of Americans are overweight or obese. The fact is, most people know how to get in shape--eat better, exercise more--they just do not do it.

You can be smart and have access to lots of information and great ideas; you can be well connected, work hard, and have plenty of natural talent but, in the end, you have to execute. Execution is the single greatest differentiator between great lives and mediocre ones.

Most people have the capacity to double or triple their income just by consistently applying what they already know. Despite this, we continue to chase new ideas thinking the next one is the one that magically will make it all come together--when what we really need to do is apply the Nike slogan to our lives.

So, why don't we just do it? You are dropping the "execution ball" for the same reason companies cannot meet their goals: you are thinking about time in the wrong way. We tend to think we have all the time in the world-like when you have a baby and you have all these vague notions about saving for college. Well, before you know it, he is 12 years old and you do not have a penny saved. Quite simply, we do not do what does not seem urgent.

In a nutshell, you need to plan your goals in 12-week increments rather than 365-day years. When you do so, you are far more likely to feel a healthy sense of urgency that gets you focused--and whether your goal is of the business or personal variety, you will get far more done in far less time, and you will feel a lot less stressed and a lot more in control:

Envision a future that is worth the pain of change. The No. 1 thing that you will have to sacrifice to be great, achieve what you are capable of, and execute your plans is your comfort. Therefore, the critical first step to executing well is creating and maintaining a compelling vision of the future that you want even more than you desire your own short-term comfort. Then, and only then, can you align your shorter-term goals and plans with that long-term...

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