CONSIDER THE CONSEQUENCES
by Brian Tracy
mark of the superior thinker is his or her ability to accurately
predict the consequences of doing or not doing something. The potential
consequences of any task or activity are the key determinants of how
important it really is to you and to your company. This way of
evaluating the significance of a task is how you determine what your
next frog really is.
LONG TIME PERSPECTIVE
Edward Banfield of Harvard University, after more than 50 years of
research, concluded that "long-time perspective" is the most accurate
single predictor of upward social and economic mobility in America.
Long time perspective turns out to be more important than family
background, education, race, intelligence, connections or virtually any
other single factor in determining your success in life and at work.
attitude toward time, your "time horizon," has an enormous impact on
your behavior and your choices. People who take the long view of their
lives and careers always seem to make much better decisions about their
time and activities than people who give very little thought to the
THINK ABOUT YOUR FUTURE
people have a clear future orientation. They think five, ten and twenty
years out into the future. They analyze their choices and behaviors in
the present to make sure that they are consistent with the long-term
future that they desire.
your work, having a clear idea of what is really important to you in
the long-term makes it much easier for you to make better decisions
about your priorities in the short-term.
DETERMINE THE CONSEQUENCES
definition, something that is important has long-term potential
consequences. Something that is unimportant has few or no long-term
potential consequences. Before starting on anything, you should always
ask yourself, "What are the potential consequences of doing or not
doing this task?"
clearer you are about your future intentions, the greater influence
that clarity will have on what you do in the moment. With a clear
long-term vision, you are much more capable of evaluating an activity
in the present and to assure that it is consistent with where you truly
want to end up.
MAKE IT A TOP PRIORITY
there is a task or activity with large potential positive consequences,
make it a top priority and get started on it immediately. If there is
something that can have large potential negative consequences if it is
not done quickly and well, that becomes a top priority as well.
Whatever your frog is, resolve to gulp it down first thing.
requires motive. The greater the positive potential impact that an
action or behavior of yours can have on your life, once you define it
clearly, the more motivated you will be to overcome procrastination and
get it done quickly.
continually about the potential consequences of your choices, decisions
and behaviors is one of the very best ways to determine you true
priorities in your work and personal life.
your list of tasks, activities and projects regularly. Continually ask
yourself, "Which one project or activity, if I did it in an excellent
and timely fashion, would have the greatest positive impact on my
it is that can help you the most, set it as a goal, make a plan to
achieve it and go to work on your plan immediately. Remember the
wonderful words of Goethe, "Just begin and the mind grows heated;
continue, and the task will be completed!"