Simple rule? Yes. Easy to execute? Most definitely not… unless you see it in a whole new way.
This past weekend I was in Portland visiting a friend who is training to become a helicopter instructor. Of course while I was there, I asked for a ride to see the city from up above. Operating an aircraft such as a chopper is no joke, one wrong move, one misstep and the joyride can very quickly become a disaster. I was in the passenger seat (on the left) watching him go through his checklist as we prepare to takeoff. Even though he had done this hundreds and hundreds of times before, and we were just sitting there baking in the sun. He still conscientiously walks through every single step to make sure he has covered everything. Why? Obviously because he not only wanted us to have a great time in the air, he wanted to give us the best chance of survival! At that moment, it occurred to me…
What if I treated my vision of success as life and death, just like a chopper ride? And this spurred a few more thought provoking questions, as we slowly lifted up into the air, hovering above the tarmac.
What if my vision of success is not as important as life and death? That would present a motivation issue right? If that’s the case, it is probably not strong enough to pull me towards emotion and action anyway. Failure is already eminent.
Ok, taking it a step further. If I had a compelling enough vision of success and I treat it as if my life depended on it, wouldn’t it make sense that I have a daily checklist to make sure I am doing the things that will move me towards my vision? Wouldn’t it make sense that this checklist is the dearest thing to me day in and day out? Yes and Yes.
One simple rule: Make a checklist that moves you towards your vision and follow it like it’s a matter of life and death
People at the peak of their careers often say that routines and success habits are important. But this takes it to a whole new level. If you treat success as life and death, your routine is your checklist for liftoff.
A pilot has a checklist to maximize the chance all passengers will survive, I’ll have my daily checklist to make sure my dreams don’t die.