Shocking and humiliating were words used to describe the team’s failure. The team was playing at home and the expectations to win were quite high. The history of this national team was a glorious one. Up to this point, they had a 62-match home unbeaten streak in competitive matches going all the way back to 1975. No one expected such a loss on home soil. The world was left in a state of shock and it certainly was a national humiliation! The team to which I refer is Brazil’s national football team who lost 7-1 to Germany in the FIFA world Cup semi-finals in July 2014. If you are a Brazilian fan, this is not a memory you wish to remember and perhaps you will stop reading right now. If this is your reaction, you understand the pain of losing. Every team plays to win and when it comes to the game of life, my question to you is this: Are you winning? Are you expecting to win? If you are not winning, it is time to revisit the drawing board and create a strategy to win. I’m sure Brazil will be doing all it can to prevent a repeat of this humiliating defeat. If you are not winning, it’s time to design to win! Here now are three proven simple steps to help you design to win at life.
1. Determine your Purpose
In my years as a missionary, I helped many Caribbean persons to plan their journey overseas to fulfill their call to serve in ministry beyond their homeland. We often had a recruitment drive and an orientation to select the right candidates and prepare them for their journey and service overseas. The criteria for selection related directly to our having a proper understanding of the reason they wanted to serve and their readiness for the mission. You see purpose precedes service and selection of field of service.Creating a strategy to win in life is very similar to planning your journey to serve in a foreign land. There must be a reason for the journey. What is the reason for your life journey? Your reason and understanding of what you are here to contribute will be the oxygen that keeps you breathing on the journey. If have no reason to travel, I don’t think it is wise to travel or the journey will not be meaningful. You must figure out why you are here and then select a field of service. In fact, the airlines usually require that you state your purpose of visit and so does the embassy before granting a visa. What’s your purpose for being on planet earth? What are you here to do? This is the first step in designing to win.
2. Choose a Destination and Make a Plan to Get There
In designing to win, let’s continue with the journey imagery and my experience as a Missions Mobilizer. As I prepared candidates for their service, we usually selected a destination or country to serve and then contacted our travel agent to guide us in planning the journey. Our travel agent would then select the best route, the most affordable package and then the candidate would make the preparations to get to the selected destination. This taught me a valuable lesson: Destination precedes planning. You must select the destination before you can begin planning. In personal development terms, this means having a vision of where you want to go in life. It means you start with the end in mind as Stephen Covey outlines in his book on the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. In construction terms, this means determining what the building should look like and creating a blueprint/design. You don’t wake up one day and arrive in France if you live in Jamaica. Furthermore, you cannot just go to France, there must be a specific address in France where you plan to stay and a reason for the visit. Far too many of us go through life without an ultimate destination in mind and no plan to get there. Some of us have no any idea where we want to end up. If you are going to win you must design to win. You must strategize to maximize your chances of success.
3. Plan for Eventualities and Challenges
I’m so grateful for the travel agent we selected to help us on our journey, Rev. Herro Blair Jnr. On two occasions, our candidates missed their flights. The journey did not go as planned. One candidate was stranded in Germany on his way to France. The flight route had to be redirected and he ended up spending a day in Panama before arriving at the intended destination. Our capable travel agent worked out the costs and fixed the problems to our satisfaction. On another occasion another candidate missed his flight and had to stay in Zambia longer than expected. Again, our travel agent came to the rescue. Without his input the process would have been so much more difficult. In my own travel experience during this period of my life, I remember trips where my luggage did not arrive, there were long layovers and even pleasant surprises along the way, such as being upgraded to First Class without paying for it on one flight. The journey will not also go as planned. For the most part the majority of our candidates arrived at their destination without any challenge en route. However, there were often many challenges raising the funds required to make these trips. More on this in another blog. My point is, we must plan for eventualities and not give up along the journey. There will be pleasant and unpleasant surprises. Therefore, as you design to win, be prepared for challenges and unexpected twists and turns. Sometimes there will be detours, delays and missed opportunities but as long as the destination remains in sight and the reason/purpose remains, you can still get there. You can still win!
More Steps to Design to Win
If you would like to learn the remaining steps, check out the course on my website and look out for our upcoming Design to Win personal development courses, webinars and Vlogs. Also join our Design to Win Facebook group for key strategies and free resources to win at life. We want to help our youths to get it right early and to remind our post-millennials that it’s not too late to design to win. We want to help you become all you were designed to be. We want to help you make your life journey more meaningful, productive and successful. We’ll help you strategize to win! Feel free to leave a comment and share on this article.