Long-term goal achievement

In the fall of 1975, I had the privilege of having Raymond Berry and his wife Sally in one of my Detroit, MI leadership classes. At the time, Raymond was the backfield coach for the Detroit Lions. He would later become the head coach for the New England Patriots, winning the Super Bowl in 1985. Naively, I asked, “Ray, when your guys are practicing during the week, you don’t want them to give it everything they’ve got? Because if they do, they are likely to hurt each other, right?” Raymond said, “The way the team practices is the way the team plays on Monday night.”

It may be hard to understand the way you are working today is practice for tomorrow, but that’s exactly the way it is.

The job you’re doing today isn’t for today. Instead, you’re preparing for tomorrow. If you think for even a minute that when you get the perfect boss, the ideal job you’ll become engaged in a more passionate way. You’ll give it your best. You’re wrong! Today’s the day you must give it your best. You must give it all you’ve got. Why? Because today’s the day you are preparing for tomorrow. Today is the day when you’re getting ready, to play a bigger game, and unless you play full out today, give it everything you’ve got, you’ll never play on a championship team.

In the summer of 1972, along with my fellow Canadian and Michigan Dale Carnegie associates, I attended an advanced sales training program in Southfield, MI. The training was conducted by Dick Morgal, our regional manager from the New York corporate office. As we walked across the parking lot from the hotel where our training was being conducted for lunch Dick, who I had tremendous respect for said, “Larry your success is guaranteed, (he had my attention) because you understand the secret of long-term goal achievement.”

I had some big goals and wondered what secret to long term goal achievement Dick thought I understood. This is what he said (highlight this line, memorize it, as I did, and more importantly do your best to incorporate this succinct philosophy into your daily life.), “The secret to long term goal achievement is commitment to excellence in what you’re doing today.” That’s it. Don’t worry about the future, have your eye on a picture in your mind of your ideal future. Know what your ideal is, what you want to accomplish. Don’t worry about it. Hold on to your long-term picture and be committed to excellence in what you’re doing today. Period.

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