One of my favorite past times as a child was putting together puzzles. I vividly remember my mother and I taking trips to purchase these puzzles. It was during the ride back home, I waited with high anticipation to arrive and start putting them together. The greatest part of putting together each puzzle is that we already knew what the completed puzzle would look like before we even started because of the eye catching picture glazed on the front of the box. The next step involved me collecting my pieces to the puzzle and carefully arranging them correctly to create the perfect picture.
Those puzzles back then can now be compared to the path of success OR life, itself! In contrast, the actual puzzles weren’t as hard. Piecing together the puzzles of ultimate success is easier said than done. Thinking back to my childhood days, there were countless times I picked up the puzzle pieces and attempted to place them, but they did not fit. As expected, I became frustrated. In turn, that frustration would manifest itself in me trying to force the wrong piece into an incorrect position. I can say the same about my life as well. In the attempting to completion of my goals I have been guilty of trying to force pieces of my goals together that definitely don’t fit hoping and wishing that things would somehow workout. In a haste to complete my goals, I have been guilty of trying to force the pieces of my path together – hoping things would, somehow, work out in my favor. I can also admit to being guilty of not knowing what to do with certain pieces of my aspirations, ultimately deeming them as undesirable and placing them to the side for later, when, they were key ingredients to my success. In my maturity, I learned to temporarily take a step back from some situations and analyze what is actually being offered to me as it deals with the completion of my goals and how it will assist me in building that picture I saw on the puzzle box. I call this the gift of foresight. In this week’s blog I will discuss how to apply the gift of foresight to build your puzzle to completion without delay or destruction of your overall goals.
My life has been filled with many different goals that I have achieved. I refer to my goals as puzzles because every goal that I have been blessed to accomplish all came in pieces. In reflecting back, I can truly say that not all of my goals were easily achieved, provided a straight path to success, or even just fell into my lap. While some of my puzzles were quick and easy to build, most were rather challenging, tough to complete, had a lesson to be learned, and sometimes involved a very influential person who proved to be crucial to the completion of my puzzle. But just like building an actual puzzle, no directions or instructions are ever included. There was just the picture on the box to refer to, which made the completion of my goal that much more rewarding in the end.
In every goal that I have achieved, I’ve been able to perfectly envision what it looked and felt like before it was ever completed. Some may call this a vision. Another person may say it is mere intuition, but I most definitely view this gift as having a very strong sense of foresight. Foresight is defined as the ability to predict or the action of predicting what will happen or be needed in the future.
As I previously stated, I have had experience in dealing with pieces of my goal that were initially undesirable, mainly because I had no idea how they fit into the reaching of my overall goal. Let’s take a look at a recent event that occurred in my life. I was contacted by a head coach that originally recruited me out of high school. We have always kept in touch through the years. He invited me for a meeting with him to discuss the details of a job offer. I agreed and met with him and overall the meeting went well. However, he didn’t offer me the kind of salary I knew I deserved. I’m sure most of you have gone into an interview with a preconceived notion about how things would go, and if your reality/expectation didn’t match up with that offer, we instantly threw a wall up and voided out the rest of the interview. Well, that’s what happened to me, except I continued to listen attentively to the rest of the terms of the job offer this time. Initially, I was shocked that he wasn’t offering me anywhere in the neighborhood of what I thought I should be earning. I must admit I had to gain back my composure. I was caught off guard! Once I gathered my thoughts, I refocused and begin to see the bigger picture and how it all would prove to be one of the perfect puzzle pieces to my overall success plan. He understood that he wasn’t offering much money in the first place, so he offered me the freedom in the summer to work at other football camps around the country on the major college football level to earn more money. In addition, he also offered me a chance to create my own camp, something I have always wanted to do, but I never had the money, resources, or as of recently, the time. Because I applied the foresight to see the bigger picture of the plan, I now have this chance that will allow more amazing opportunities to come my way and apply my actual know how to create a successful football camp. The most important piece of the puzzle that he offered was a vital contact that can assist me with my future goal of becoming a head coach one day. You see the coach that was I met with is a very well connected man in the football industry. But there is one very important person that he is great friends with that I foresee will be of great importance to my future transition of becoming a head football soon. I have a very strong conviction that one day I will cross paths with this gentleman and we will form a great rapport that will enable me to complete my puzzle of becoming a head coach. Although, nothing is guaranteed and anything can happen, I’m willing to bet that my foresight about this particular move is pretty accurate. Without the proper foresight, this opportunity which proved to be a crucial piece of the puzzle, that I would have been passed up due to my need for immediate gain and satisfaction, instead of the ultimate success that I will have in the future.
You have to remember that foresight is, indeed, a gift, and we all have the ability to apply it. When tackling my goals, I am a very attentive to the details and heavily focused about how everything can and will turn out. But that’s what it takes when attempting to accomplish your major life goals. You can’t afford mistakes in your judgment and decision making when getting goals completed. Ultimately, without the gift of foresight you are blindly leading yourself down a path that is not only uncertain, but also uncalculated. Sure, things will pop up that you didn’t envision happening along the way. Don’t be deterred as that’s just part of your test of persevering through the adverse moments. In closing, remember that the greatest thing about applying your foresight to a goal is that you already know how your hard work and endurance through tough times will work out. All you have to do is see it through to the end. Trust me, it will be all worth it.
Written by Coach Aaron DeBerry