An ancient Chinese adage states that “the journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step.” This captures the very essence of the notion that your success is within reach.

No matter how lofty your dreams and ambitions, you can achieve them, provided you are willing to understand that success is a journey. You take the first step, then the next one, and the next one thereafter, until you arrive at your destination.

The following principles will equip you in making your journey successfully. They are five essential requirements for intelligently setting and pursuing goals that will accelerate you to victory:

Know where you are:

Defining a destination demands that you first know your current, precise location. An airline pilot who intends to fly to the JFK airport in New York must have the correct information that he is in Heathrow Airport, London. If he thinks he is in the Kuala Lumpur airport in Malaysia and maps his destination based on that incorrect information, you know that he is unlikely to end up in JFK. The same applies to you as you map a destination for your life. A correct assessment of your current physical, mental and spiritual location is the first step towards setting your goals and mapping your journey to success.

Know why you are there:

This demands honest self-assessment and a willingness to accept responsibility for your current station in life. Until you accept responsibility and stop making excuses, you will remain mentally mired in the salt pits of failure.

Know where you want to be:

Having a clear unambiguous destination is crucial if you expect to reach it. This is intricately linked to having a distinct sense of purpose and capturing your vision.You must know where you want to go with your life, so that you don’t live as a wandering generality, meandering from one activity to the other, wasting your energy and your life. Write down your goals and the overall vision for your life and regularly refer to them to assess whether you are on track.

Believe that you can get there:

An attitude of optimism, faith and belief in your ability to reach your destination is necessary to kick-start your journey and maintain your motivation as you head towards your destination.

Commit to dynamic, controlled change:

If we take our example of the airline pilot, you understand that the journey from Heathrow Airport to JFK is never in a straight line. Sometimes you hit some turbulence, sometimes the plane has to descend to lower heights, and sometimes it ascends to much greater heights. The point is that the pilot is always making course corrections to keep on track towards the defined destination.

Similarly, it is important to appreciate that your journey towards your goals may never run in a straight line, so you must commit to the principle of dynamic change. This will create in you a disposition to overcome all challenges that seek to blow you off course and ensure that you will arrive at your desired objective.

Dear friend, I truly hope that you will find these principles useful and if you apply them diligently, they will help catapult you to your next level of leadership success and ultimately to the achievement of the assignment for which you showed up on this planet.

Here’s to your enduring success!