If you’re in the United States, you may have voted last Tuesday. Democracy can be awesome in that it offers most everyone, regardless of socioeconomic status, the opportunity to cast a vote for a person or measure impactful to a group of citizens.

You have a voice, your perspective matters, and you deserve to be heard.

Vote. In whatever way you feel called to. For the rest of your life.

I’m also a fan of unconventional types of voting.

I vote for the future I desire with where I spend money. I choose to buy local and from small businesses. I’d rather put food on the table of an aspiring entrepreneur than help the ultra wealthy business person buy a fifth house.

I vote for a future filled with conscious capitalism. I’m a member of the Arizona Chapter of Conscious Capitalism because I want to design a world where people and businesses operate with a higher sense of purpose, they adopt a stakeholder (not shareholder) orientation, use visionary leadership, and create a values-driven organizational culture.

I vote for the human in the mirror. When making tough decisions, I try my best to ask “Does this action cast a vote for the person I’m becoming?” I ask my clients to clearly define their lives’ missions, short and long-term goals, and what makes them unique in a competitive marketplace. With those solidified, they can feel inspired to make the sacrifices and deploy the daily habits that make becoming their ideal selves likely.

I don’t believe becoming an overnight success is the probable path for most (if any one) of us. I believe it takes years of voting for the human in the mirror, sacrifice, hard work, practice, mistakes made, trial and error learning, reflection, and confrontation behind the scenes. Then, in the moment when you’re “discovered”, your rise to prominence seems fast. People easily forget you toiled for years to create the serendipitous opportunities that opened the appropriate doors to allow for the overnight success.

Some well known humans seem to think the process of becoming an overnight success is more important than actually becoming an overnight success.

Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “Shallow men believe in luck. Strong men believe in cause and effect.

Benjamin Franklin said, “Diligence is the mother of good luck.

Ray Kroc said, “Luck is a dividend of sweat. The more you sweat, the luckier you get.

Do the actions you take day to day cast a vote for the person you desire to be?

If yes, good for you. You’re a part of the minority who are willing to complete the focused work to align your daily actions with your life’s mission.

If no, what in your life do you need to start, stop, change, and/or continue? I encourage you to invest in yourself by spending half a day or more reviewing your last 2-3 years of performance reviews, recent 360˚ feedback, personality inventories (e.g. DISC, Myers Briggs, Emergenetics, CliftonStrengths), your personal journal, professional recommendations, your bucket list, your mission, what makes you unique, and more.

Once you’ve collected this feedback, read through it, reflect, and identify patterns. If your performance reviews consistently showed you struggled to delegate, then consider reading/listening to a book to help you change that behavior in 2019. If you’re a high “I” on DISC or “Woo” on CliftonStrengths, you likely say yes to too many things that don’t fulfill your personal mission. Set a goal to stop saying yes to activities that pull you away from your goals. If your bucket list has items you can accomplish next year, make a note to start planning, saving, and resourcing that activity.

Consider doing this exercise before 2018 comes to a close. Hopefully, you create robust lists of what you’d like to start, stop, change, and/or continue. How will you hold yourself accountable? What are the consequences of you not changing your behavior? How will you reward yourself when you accomplish new goals?

Do you believe in luck? If so, then you believe in cause and effect, diligence, and sweat… right?

It takes years of daily sacrifice and focused action to offer you the chance at overnight success.

Be diligent. Don’t be shallow.

Does the action you’re taking cast a vote for the person you’re becoming?