Milestones. Achieving a milestone. Passing a milestone.
According to www.baseballreference.com, in the 135 years of Major League Baseball, there have been a total of 17,538 MLB players. Out of that 17,538, only 25 of them have hit more than 500 home runs. Of those 25, nearly half are contemporary players who may have used steroids, but the others are among baseball immortals: Babe Ruth, Hank Aaron, Willie Mays, Ted Williams, Mel Ott, Mickey Mantle, Eddie Matthews, Ernie Banks, Jimmy Foxx, Frank Robinson, Harmon Killebrew, Willie McCovey, Reggie Jackson, and Mike Schmidt.
I am achieving two milestones this month. This is the 500th issue of Sales Caffeine, and I just published my 1,000th weekly column. YIKES!
Milestones are NOT goals. No one ever set out to achieve a milestone. Milestones are reached with small, consistent achievements that, when added up over a 10 or 20-year span, equal something big (something more than a goal).
My first column was written and published on March 22, 1992. Not a milestone, just an achievement. Fast-forward to June 2011. Consistent work along the way and BOOM – a milestone.
Milestones are accomplished over time from achievement after achievement. Home run after home run. To start, think one at a time, not 500.
Here are the elements of what it takes to achieve a milestone:
- The skillset. Are your fundamentals solid? Do you have a genuine understanding or capability of where you are trying to get to?
- The drive. You have to wake up in the morning and be ready. Not because you have to, because you want to.
- The knowledge. Do you consider yourself an expert?
- The daily self-discipline. Making small achievements a habit is paramount in the milestone process.
- The desire. The more you “want” to do it, the easier it will be and the more fun it will be to create achievement.
- The practice. Every great ballplayer comes to the park two hours before the game starts to practice. If you’re going for a milestone, practice is NOT an option. NOTE: The better you are, the more you have to practice.
- The action. Nothing in the milestone process will happen unless you make it happen. Action is a culmination of several attributes and is also a report card on how you have mastered them.
- The consistency. My milestones are based on my consistency. Achieving 1,000 articles came from one article per week for 1,000 weeks. Achieving 500 email magazines came from one email magazine per week for 500 weeks. One means nothing. One consistently over 10 years equals milestone.
- The intention. Intentions trump goals. If you do not intend to do something, the goal will never be achieved. Intention and milestone are brother and sister. In order for achievement to take place, intention must precede it.
- The “no matter what” (no excuse) attitude. Non-achievers are great at making excuses for why it won’t happen or why it can’t happen. (My definition of can’t is won’t.) If you are trying to achieve something, and you write it down, end the intention or the goal with the words “even if my ass falls off.” It will automatically give you a clearer picture of intention and achievement.
- The love of it. When I look back at my milestone achievements, one of the most important attributes in the process is loving what I do. It makes intention automatic. But more important (perhaps most important) is that I’m always striving to be my best in all of my achievement. It may take extra time and it may take extra work, but the reward and the pride lead to fulfillment.
- The personal pride. Personal pride cannot be measured, only felt. And it’s a great feeling.
- The personal sense of achievement. Personal sense of achievement cannot be measured, only felt. And it’s a great feeling.
- The personal sense of fulfillment. Personal sense of fulfillment cannot be measured, only felt. And it’s a great feeling.
Nothing and no one lasts forever. But for me, it’s safe to say that 2,000 columns and 1,000 email magazines and are within sight and within achievement – all I have to do is maintain the pace, stay focused on my responsibilities, and do the hard work required. Keep thinking, keep collecting ideas, keep writing, keep working harder than everyone else, and keep loving what I do. Simple – not easy.
Milestones lead to more milestones. As a writer, my body of work has allowed me to complete my 11th book this year, and my intention is to write 10 more.
What does this mean to you?
It’s a challenge to your ability.
It’s a challenge to your self-discipline.
It’s a challenge to your time allocation.
It’s a challenge to your dedication.
It’s a challenge to your sense of accomplishment.
It’s a challenge to your legacy.
You may not feel the same pride in my milestones as I do – I don’t expect you to. I have enough pride for both of us. I didn’t achieve this milestone for you; I did it for ME! You are just the beneficiary.
But please don’t miss my point – you have a milestone within you – identify it, and work at it. My hope is that you achieve it.