The next step: Coming out of the fog.

| December 11, 2017


“What this power is I cannot say; all I know is that it exists and it becomes available only when a man/woman is in that state of mind in which he knows exactly what he wants and is fully determined not to quit until he or she finds it.” ~ Alexander Graham Bell

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Last week we focused on taking the first steps towards making 2018 your best year ever.

This week we will continue the theme, but from a decidedly different point of view: Your Success Potential.

If you took some time to map out your future this week—to write out your goals with clarity and detail—you have set up the rest of the year for success beyond expectation.

If you haven’t, right now is the perfect time to complete your 15 Year Time Horizon from the Set Goals Personal Workshop.

Simply print it off, take out your pen, and start visualizing your life over the immediate and long-term future.

The following is not fluff, platitudes or warm-fuzzes.

It is the kick in the butt most of us need to come out of the fog and see the reality we face each day.

I highly recommend that you print this article, and take the entire week to digest it.

TQ Warning: Thick Skin Required Beyond This Point!

If you want to actually ACHIEVE your goals this year and beyond, these are the tough questions you need to address.

Otherwise, you are just idly talking the talk and jiving the jive.

But you are not walking the walk.


Do not write me emails telling me that I hurt your feelings… insulted you… poked holes in your dreams… or that “life is hard enough anyway, I don’t need you bursting my bubbles.”

I do get a few of these from people who want to believe that they are spectators in the game of life… not active participants. These are the same people who walk around with a big red sign on their backs that reads: KICK ME, I’M A VICTIM.

If I am getting to you, that’s my expectation—to fire you up—to light that inner-fire that sparks an idea or two about what you are already doing right, and what you need to do differently to achieve your goals this year and beyond.

Your Top Five Goals…

1. Personal__________________________________
2. Family__________________________________
3. Financial__________________________________
4. Career__________________________________
5. Community__________________________________

Your Power to Achieve Them…


As I said all last week, these goals will remain on this page all year long… next year… and years thereafter—unless you commit the power to achieving them.

What’s It Going To Take?

Look at your goals closely. Now, look at your life.

Rather than my usually well balanced, positive and negative treatment, I am going to ask you the 10 Color questions from a very negative point of view.

This will help you contrast what’s going on in your life, with the dark forces that conspire each day to hold you back from your dreams.

Perhaps you will see the utter futility in declaring a string of goals without the power to support them.

The good news is, that you can immediately improve your power… if you so choose.

  • ENERGY How are you going to achieve your personal goals when you are dog-tired all the time, constantly burned out, stressed out and running on empty? What’s the chance that this year’s career goal will be achieved on time… when you don’t have the energy and physical stamina required to see it through to completion?What changes do I need to make? _____________________________________
  • MISSION Look at your five-year goals closely. How do you intend to achieve them if your heart, body, mind and spirit are not 100% engaged—all time? It is simply impossible to keep striving for something if your heart isn’t in the game. Where’s your heart right now?What changes do I need to make? _____________________________________
  • ATTITUDE How often do you permit your attitude to turn sour… to move you from a positive and optimistic assessment of your current situation… to a gloomy and discouraged view of your potential? Just how likely is it that you will actually attain your five-year financial goal if you permit your attitude to poison the well from which opportunity springs?What changes do I need to make? _____________________________________
  • SET GOALS Look at your list of 1 and 5-year goals. Are these really GOALS… or merely wishes that you simply wrote down? How committed are you to this list? How determined are you to achieve this list… no matter what? Have you taken out your Time Horizon yet and written these goals as a series of milestones and objectives?Just doing THAT increases the probability of success, simply because you have increased your commitment to these goals!What changes do I need to make? _____________________________________ 
  • MAKE PLANS How do you expect to attain these goals when you don’t have a map for reaching them? If you don’t have at least a simple, 1-page plan for each goal—in a 3 ring binder where you can quickly update them—your goals don’t stand a snowball’s chance in hell of surviving. It’s one of our best “catch-phrases,” but it is a truth for which there is no exception: A goal without a plan is merely a wish without a hope!What changes do I need to make? _____________________________________
  • PRIORITIZE How do you expect to reach your goals when you don’t know which steps in your plans are MOST important? If you don’t mind running in circles, having your every waking moment made up of urgencies after catastrophes, then taking the 5 minutes each day to prioritize your activities isn’t for you. But what a waste of time, opportunity, and money. If you haven’t learned how to focus on priority number one—or worse—don’t have a clue as to what your priority number one should be… then you are simply confusing effort with results. This will wear you down, and wear you out… well before you get halfway close to your goals. Yes, this is harsh. Unfortunately, it is also true.What changes do I need to make? _____________________________________
  • SYNERGIZE There is no possible way you are going to achieve anything of importance by yourself. Look at your five-year financial goals. Closely. Who do you need to find to help you? Who do you need to find that will encourage you? Who do you need to find to offer greater expertise and insight into how you can make what you want happen? Stop trying to be an “Army of One.” It takes an entire army of people to make your dreams and goals real. Believe it.What changes do I need to make? _____________________________________
  • ORGANIZE Look at your Career Goal. Can you achieve it if your organizational systems don’t support you? How can you hope to excel in a mess? How can you even think that you can move your goals off the page and into your life when your systems are fighting you? If you don’t have the systems, procedures, and checklists for success, you will simply trip over yourself one too many times. Look around. Are you organized to conquer… or has the mess already won?What changes do I need to make? _____________________________________
  • OPTIMIZE Look at your five-year family goal. When are you going to get around to achieving it? Four years from now, or starting today? To have the time of your life, you have to watch the time in your life. Sharpen your time management skills and you sharpen your edge. You get more done in less time by design. Don’t and you won’t.What changes do I need to make? _____________________________________
  • ACT NOW You have three natural enemies: Fear, intimidation, and doubt. Each day they set out to rob you of your future. Each day they cause you to hesitate. Each day they trick you into wishing and waiting—instead of taking bold action. The big question is, will you live a life of results or a life of regrets? Will your dreams be made manifest, or will you—one, five or ten years from now—still be explaining to anyone who is willing to listen how you were robbed of your future?What changes do I need to make? _____________________________________

Yes, The Time Is NOW…

I hope I have made you think about how these ten areas of your performance affect your dreams and goals. I hope I have made you uncomfortable. Moving your comfort zone—by any means possible—is my principle job.

Don’t worry if you don’t feel you have the power right now.

Over the course of the next 12 months, you will learn to grow and reinvent yourself… to make YOU the best YOU possible in this fabulous new year.

This is precisely WHY we created The Power of TQ! — E.R. Haas, CEO


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Category: Color Commentaries, Personal Growth

About the Author ()

E. R. Haas is CEO of the TQ Smart family of web sites including,,,, and hundreds of others.E. R. is a "serial entrepreneur" and has created over 20 different businesses in software, manufacturing, finance, publishing and many other areas.He is married to Jan Haas who shares his interest in model railroading, gardening, and traveling by train. Together, they have 5 grown children, 9 grandchildren and 5 great-grandchildren.

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