Success in Life: Imagine Your 75th Birthday Party. Prepare an Outline for Your Speech on Your Greatest Successes

Gary North

This procedure is difficult. You probably will not fill in this sheet. If you do, you will not review it regularly. But this is the basis of exceptional success.

I offered this challenge to a class of high school students.

Imagine your 75th birthday party. Your heirs have assembled. You plan to speak for 10 minutes on your successes in life, and how you achieved them. You want the speech to be useful to younger members of your family. You want it to be practical.

To do this today, you must think through what you would like to be able to say at age 75. This means you must have goals.

Part I: Age 75 Retrospective self-evaluation

A. My five achievements that I regard as the most important, in order of their importance.

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B. Which one cost me the most to achieve, and what I had to give up in order to attain it:

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C. Which one took the longest to achieve, and why:

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Part II: Identifying a specific goal

A. What do I want to achieve?

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B. Why do I want to achieve it?

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C. When do I want to achieve it?

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D. What am I willing to pay (do without)?

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Part III: Beginning a specific goal

A. My goal is: _____________________________________

B. I will achieve it no later than: ________________

C. Steps that I will take to achieve it, and completion dates:

_________________________________________ ______

_________________________________________ ______

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D. Today’s date: __________

E. My preliminary goals for 90 days from today:

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F. My intermediate goals for one year from today:

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Part IV: 90-Day Self-Evaluation Sheet

A. Long-run goal: _________________________

B. Date begun: ________________

C. Today’s date: _______________

D. This is evaluation number _____

E. How close have I come to my previous 90-day success indicators?

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F. What have been my main successes?

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G. Why was I successful?

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H. What have been my main failures?

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I. Why did I fail?

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J. What are my main success indicators for the next 90 days?

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Part V. One-Year Self-Evaluation Sheet

A. Long-run goal: _________________________

B. Date begun: ________________

C. Today’s date: _______________

D. This is evaluation number _____

E. How close have I come to my previous 90-day success indicators?

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F. What have been my main successes?

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G. Why was I successful?

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H. What have been my main failures?

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I. Why did I fail?

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J. Is there any pattern to my failure? If so, what?

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K. What do I have to do to overcome this?

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L. Have my priorities changed during the last year? If so, what are they now?

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M. What are my main success indicators for the next 12 months?

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CONCLUSION

This exercise is very difficult. Few people ever go through anything like it. I never did. But what I did do was to set lifetime goal at age 18. I decided to investigate what the Bible says about economics. I worked intermittently on this project for over a decade, writing a book on it at age 31, Introduction to Christian Economics (1973). I began writing a monthly column on this topic that year. I increased this to 10 hours a week, 50 weeks a year, in 1977, at age 35, to continue to age 70. I have stuck to this schedule. So far, I have written 22 volumes, plus I have written another half a dozen volumes as appendixes. I used a weekly time input as my self-disciplining device.

My books served as substitutes for self-evaluation sheets. Instead of writing down my successes and failures on individual sheets of paper, I published books: lots of pieces of paper. They are all available free of charge on-line:

 

http://www.GaryNorth.com/freebooks

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