The Plan is Really Your Success.

You will be whatever you are planning for yourself to be.

(......let that sink in for a moment)

Chances are that you won't win the lottery or have a rich uncle leave you a small fortune.  If you are like the majority of people, you will likely stumble through life making excuses for your failure and trying to stay optimistic that success might just be right around the corner.

What if you could guarantee that outrageous success really is right around the corner? What if you could "bank" on the edgy prediction that everything you never wanted for you will happen?

Here's a little secret for you:

You can have whatever you want in life as long as you are willing to plan for it.

....and then execute (but this article is about planning).

The bigger your goal, the bigger and badder your plan needs to be. The bigger the reward you expect from success, the riskier your plan needs to be.

In essence, if you can plan it, you can have it.

Anything.

Lasse tells us that story best.

Lasse Viren of Finland, was a police officer who burst onto the international track scene in 1971 running the 5,000 and 10,000 meter events.  He finished a miserable 7th and 17th place in each respective race.  He ran too fast at the beginning of the race and faded fast.

If the story stopped here, there would not be much to talk about at all.  Lasse looked like a big loser.  Like every other failed athlete who just didn't try hard enough.  But at this moment, while dust and sweat clouded the air, he planned his success.

Determined to make a difference, Lasse decided to move more than 4,000 miles away to Thompson Falls in Kenya to begin a brutal training regiment.  Under the 250 foot scenic waterfall at the base of the Ewaso Narok river, Lasse pushed his body  to the breaking point each day.  As the mist of the powerful waterfall crashed down around him, he planned to smash the world record for the 2-mile event at an event in Helsinki in the early summer of 1972.  And he did.

And yet success wasn't complete.  Despite world records, Lasse entered the last half of 1972 as an unknown.  He headed to the Munch Olympics without anyone believing in him.  His goal was audacious so his plan became audacious.

He logged thousands of kilometers of running in his local forests back in Finland, sprinting at gradually increasing intensities to prepare for the race of his life.  Sill not satisfied with his anaerobic training, he mastered the art of "bend mathematics" where he practiced running along the very inner edge of the first lane.  He figured this plan would save him tens of meters over his competitors.  And he was right.

The plan was was coming together.  Would it be enough to be successful?

On September 3rd, Lasse took his place at the starting line -- ready to take his plan to the finish line.  As the gun sounded to begin the 10,000 meter even, Lasse ran to the front of the pack, right behind the semi-celebrity runner, Steve Prefontaine.  And that's where he stayed for the first 12 laps.

Until he fell....  His legs got entangled by the Olympic runner from Tunisia, Mohammed Gammoudi, and he crashed to the track -- quickly falling into last place and meters behind the rest of the fast moving pack of runners.

And in this moment, Lasse's plan helped him set a new world record.

With desperation fueling every part of his soul, Lasse got back on his feet.  In less than 150 meters, Lasse caught back up to Prefontaine and the leading pack.  The faster Prefonaine pushed the pace, the faster Lasse ran.  He was bruised, panting, and wildly determined.  He had planned to win and now was his chance.

With 600 meters left in the race, Lasse began to sprint at a pace that no one could match.  Leaving everyone, including Prefontaine, in the dust, he crossed the line in first place -- with a gold medal, a world record, and a stadium record race time that has not been beaten in almost 40 years.

And the plan for success didn't stop there.  Lasse was just getting started.

A week later Lasse, won a gold medal in the 5,000 meter Olympic finals -- ahead of Prefontaine and the trio of all-star runners from Great Britain.  Four days later, in a light drizzle in Helsinki, Lasse set a new world record in the 5,000 meter event.  At the Olympics four years later, Lasse again won gold medals in both the 5,000 and 10,000 meter events -- against what some would say was a more challenging set of competitors than four years earlier.

Lasse Viren, a policeman from Finland, accomplished what no other athlete had or has ever done -- he won back-to-back Olympic gold medals in the 5,000 and 10,000 meter events.  Not before Lasse -- or since.  It might never be done ever again.

And, it was all about the plan.

Many times we think success is about getting the medal.  About crossing the finish line.  It seems that way sometimes.

But nothing could be farther from the truth.

It's all about your plan.

And there's a few things you should know about your plan:

  1. Your plan needs to involve you working harder than you ever imagined. -- You might not move to Kenya to sweat under the hot sun as you train to break world records, but you may spend a decade of sleepless nights until you see your way to the finish line.  And you need to plan that way.  Success and "living a balance life" should not be in the same sentence.  It take extreme effort to be successful.  Not a 9 to 5 work ethic.  You need to plan to work harder than you ever imagined... and then double that effort.
  2. Your plan needs to be bigger than just not losing.  It needs to be audacious. -- You don't just work and hope and work.  You plan to win.  It's not about tumbling into success or "getting lucky".  Most of us live defensively - working hard enough to pay the bills and go on vacation a week every year.  We take jobs that limit our risk at dying and crush our chances of really changing the world.  Think big.
  3. Your plan needs to involve you executing outside the spotlight. -- You can't plan to win if you are busy trying to be noticed.  This is a hard lesson to learn, but a key one if you are going to really achieve outrageous success.  Looking impressive and being impressive are quite different plans.  Looking like you're successful will steal years of destiny from you.  It's a huge distraction.  Just be amazing.  People will notice.
  4. Your plan needs to include you being successful in spite of not getting it right the first time. -- You might lose a time or two before you win.  That's how it happens most of the time.  If you get it right the first time, you have to question how audacious your goal really is.  You have to expect that you will probably get it completely wrong the first few (dozen) times you try.

Most importantly, you have to plan.  You have to plan for your success.

Here's a final thought to leave you with:

If what you're planning right now is the success that you will see in years to come, are you planning for what you really want?