5) Keep your eye on the ball:
The road to success is almost never straight. There are twists and turns that could trip you up and there are side streets that will appear to be either shortcuts or possibly easier paths to take. Being accountable means keeping your goals in your sights, breaking through or going around obstacles and not deviating from the path you have laid out for yourself to achieve your station as a Prince or Princess. I discuss these principles at length in both “Prince or Pauper” series books.
First let’s talk about obstacles and pitfalls. In “Prince or Pauper – Prepare for the road ahead”, I discuss a principles that I have learned from my participation in motorcycle racing. They are called “Looking through the Curve” and its opposite counterpart, “Target Fixation”. Since less than 3% of Americans own motorcycles and far fewer race motorcycles … this will take a brief explanation.
Looking through the curve means that as you race along the course of life, you don’t look at what is immediately ahead of you … instead you look at the end goal, or possibly an interim goal that is still in the distance. You are aware of the curves and obstacles in your periphery, but your focus is on the goal. If you look just in front of you, you cannot see disaster in time to avoid it. If you look just in front of your current position, you do not have enough information to make strategic decisions that will ultimately lead to success. Don’t be overly worried about today’s challenge. If your eye is on the ball, your instincts will bring your bat up to meet it. If your eye is on the finish line, you will instinctively make decisions and your brain will send messages to your limbs to make the proper adjustments to get through the curve as quickly as possible. The same principle is at work in “Target Fixation”. Only Target Fixation means you come around a curve and see an obstacle, possibly another rider who has crashed, and become so fixated on disaster that you steer right towards it like a moth to a flame. You have taken your eye off the ball … off the finish line … and disaster rises up to meet you like a tsunami. Accountability requires the Prince to have acute focus and self-discipline to reach for the goal.
The second component of this principle is your “One Thing”. In “Prince or Pauper – Think like the Rich” I discuss the critical importance of identifying and staying true to your “One Thing”. Your One Thing is the thing around which all other things revolve. It is the central paradigm around which you make all decisions. Just as there are curves and pitfalls along your road, there are also side streets, apparent short cuts and shiny objects meant to distract you. This world and our economy are completely based on distracting people from doing what is in their own best interests … convincing people to purchase things they don’t need, buy on credit, live beyond your means. Being true to your one thing means basing every decision you make around how that course will affect your ability to achieve your one thing … not getting distracted.
All of the above absolutely DEMANDS self-discipline. Accountability demands self-discipline … unwavering focus.