Whatever you are about to do, ask yourself, “If the world were perfect, what would this particular thing look like or be like?” Of course, it can’t be perfect, but too many times we compromise on a compromise, rather than compromising on perfection.
Choose your actions, not for how they affect today, but for where they’ll get you a year or five years from now. What decisions can you make that will get you closer to the place you want to be?
- The unsuccessful are looking for pleasing experiences.
- The successful are looking for pleasing results.
Have a goal. Know where you are going, and the how will follow.
Nick Leone was a chef in Italy before he worked his way to America on a freighter. When the ship docked in Philadelphia, Nick jumped ship. Speaking no English and having little money, he first got a job on a hotel cleaning crew. Nick worked hard, routinely scrubbing the men’s room fixtures with a toothbrush. The General Manager walked in and noticed the astonishing transformation. He summoned Nick and interviewed him about his goals, ambitions, and work ethic. When he learned that Nick had been a chef in his native country, he gave him a job in the kitchen. Nick soon worked his way up to head chef. He continued to work hard and save money until he was able to open his own catering business on Long Island.
Nick was doing well and could have stopped there, but he had a clear image of how things would be if they were perfect. He hired an architect to draw up plans for a beautiful banquet facility, the kind of place where people could hold large parties and gladly pay double or triple per person what Nick was currently charging. Using the sketches and his vision of a greatly expanded business, Leone persuaded some of his suppliers to advance him credit. With his cash freed up, Nick built the hall. It was so successful that he soon was able to build a second one. “He isn’t just a chef, and he isn’t just a manager,” says his business partner, John McCormack. “He is a creator.”
Before you make a choice or take an action, ask yourself, “How would this be if the world were perfect?” Then proceed toward perfection. Make your decisions for your tomorrows, not just your todays.