In Arlene Johnson’s most recent book, SuccessMapping®, she identifies “eight success blockers” and then devotes a separate chapter to each of the eight steps that will avoid or overcome those barriers. It is helpful to think of the process of personal development as a journey of discovery as well as a sequence of specific achievements. I agree with Johnson that many (if not most) of the mot valuable lessons will be learned from delays, mistakes, and even failures. Indulging my passion for metaphors, I also suggest that there will be dead-ends, dry wells, detours, and an occasional train wreck before achieving success, however it may be defined.
Johnson does a brilliant job of organizing her material and then presenting it within a sequence and framework that enable her to establish and then sustain a personal rapport with her reader. In certain respects, she functions as a travel agent. In other respects, she functions as a mentor. To me, she seems to be a pragmatic idealist: she combines a passion to understand and then explain what works, what doesn’t, and why with a rock-solid faith in what is possible if (huge “if”) an individual is willing and able to make and then sustain a commitment to her or his personal development. Johnson is to be commended for her skillful use of a number of reader-friendly devices in each chapter that include a brief list of purposes or objectives, the relevant “Success Blocker,” “Important” reminders that serve as heads-up, self-audits that actively involve the reader in the process, and a “Checkpoint” at the chapter’s conclusion.
During the current economy, most of us are cutting back on what we spend on the holidays. However, this is also an excellent time to make a modest investment in ourselves and in our future. For example:
1. Purchase a copy of SuccessMapping and read it with great care.
2. Then re-read it, this time highlighting key passages, recording notes, and completing all of the exercises (pages 1-168).
3. Now proceed through the first two appendices and complete the exercises and worksheets. Pay special attention to the “Personal Strengths Inventory” on Page 182. Don’t rush. Proceed at our own pace.
Note: Before beginning to work on our Success Map in Appendix Three, we should re-read the completed exercises and worksheets in the first two appendices.
4. The Success Map worksheet asks us to record an “intention statement of what we want to accomplish.” I suggest that the goal be
• Exciting, preferably inspiring
• Consistent with your passions
• Appropriate to your strengths
Dorothy Gale and her companions were fortunate: They were given a yellow brick road to follow and a destination to seek.
It remains for each of us to decide on a destination, devise a map by which to locate it, and then pave the “road” that will take us there. That extent of self-reliance and self-direction is the genius of what Arlene Johnson offers in SuccessMapping®: She explains How to Do That.
Why wait for Santa Claus? Purchase a copy as a special gift to yourself. Purchase copies of it as a special gift for family members and friends. You and they can then welcome the New Year with more than resolutions. Bon voyage!