Leading a World-Class Life

… by Jim Rohn

Choose your world class life.

As I think about what it takes to become a world-class athlete, I realize that there are some foundational lessons for all of us to learn as it relates to becoming world-class in whatever we set our hands to.

The secret of how these athletes became world-class is found in the combination of two fundamental ideas: desire and dedication.

A 22-year-old man doesn’t simply wake up one day and find that he is on the Olympic basketball team. No, it started years before. In fact, it probably started when he was only 6 or 7 years old. Maybe his father took him to a basketball game, and that little boy said, “Someday, Daddy, I am going to be a basketball player.” That was the first sign of desire. Desire is key. World-class people start with desire. They have to at some point “want it.”

But we all know people who dream of big things and never accomplish those dreams, don’t we? Why is that? After all, they have desire. They want it. But the engine that drives a dream is dedication. Desire tells you what you want, while dedication is what will get it for you.

Someone may see a young gymnast and say, “Wow, that looks easy.” What they don’t see, or perhaps overlook, are the years of practice, the years of getting up at 4:30 every morning and going to the gym before school. It is the dedication of the young athlete, the many times of failing in practice, the many times of falling off the equipment and faithfully getting back on, that turns a wisher into a world-class doer.

A person with desire but no dedication will never achieve much. You must have the powerful combination of both.

So let’s take a closer look at each of these and gain some insight into what desire and dedication are all about.

Desire
There are three parts to desire:

• Dreaming
• The Vision
• Focus

First is dreaming. Have you let yourself dream lately? Just sit down and begin to imagine all of the incredible possibilities your life could become? Spend some time just dreaming.

Next is vision. Once you dream, you begin to cut back on all of the possibilities and narrow it to what possibility it is that you really want. You begin to create a vision for your life. You begin to see it as you want it.

Lastly, under desire is focus. Once you have the vision, you have to really focus in on that dream. This is where you get really specific about what your life is going to look like.

Dedication
There are also three parts to dedication:

• The Plan
• Beginning
• Perseverance

First is the plan. Without a plan, you will drift to and fro. You will certainly not carry out your dream if you do not have a plan. So write it down. Set your goals. Know what you want and how you are going to get there.

Second is the beginning. This may sound simple, and yet it is simply profound. Many people have a dream, and they even have a plan, but they never begin. It’s so simple: Just start. The first step on the long journey is still just one step. If you have a dream and a plan, take a step in the right direction.

Lastly is to persevere. Every road to every dream has a section or sections that are hard to travel. Every great dream will encounter difficulty. The question isn’t whether or not you will encounter trouble, but how you will respond to trouble. Will you quit when the going gets tough or will you persevere? I have found that every successful person I know, myself included, has encountered problems along the way that tempted them to quit. Yet, they persevered and achieved their dream.

Let’s take a look at the progression. As you do, think about where you are in the progression of becoming a world-class dream pursuer.

1. Dream
2. Create a vision
3. Focus the vision
4. Develop a plan
5. Begin to pursue the dream
6. Persevere

Friends, I hope for you the fulfillment of every dream that you have. That is what life is about, isn’t it? But to do so, I know that you will have to combine your desire with good-old dedication. And when you combine those two, you will be well on your way to leading a world-class life!

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