Improve Your Life (and Business) with IDEAL

Updated: Apr 1

Think about this…

We go through life pursuing our interests, filling our responsibilities, developing, chasing our dreams. We are not aimless; we have intention – to do, be, see, achieve. In order to accomplish all of this for a certain quality of life, we make decisions. We direct our lives by our selection among the options we have, and, accordingly, we engage life with actions believed to advance us toward what we want. Since we care about what we intend, we assess. We constantly evaluate situations, others, and ourselves, and factor-in new knowledge as we learn.

This process—intend, direct, engage, assess, learn—is completely natural, and expresses characteristics of ours that we may exercise every day. The process forms the acronym IDEAL. In order to benefit from this natural course to our development and success, we must choose to practice the characteristics of IDEAL deliberately, as a process.

Life’s process for our development, improvement, and success—personally and professionally—is IDEAL. And since success requires deliberate effort, there is no success in life, no personal development apart from these five human characteristics.

There are many human characteristics. We all care about our safety, have a degree of curiosity, and, for another example, want to connect with certain others. While some of our characteristics needn’t be in the forefront of our awareness, this should not be the case with the characteristics of IDEAL.

A Cause of (and Solution to) Our Difficulties

Many of the problems we experience in life—personally and professionally—are both created and solved through our awareness of IDEAL, how each aspect—our aims, determinations, actions, judgments, and ability to discover—is expressed in our lives. Think this through.

  • Do you act without clarity of what you want to accomplish or how you’ll accomplish your aim?

  • Are you mindful of what your actions contribute to your pursuits and how they impact others?

  • Are your assessments accurate, and by what standard do you make that determination?

  • Do you learn, and, if so, how do you know that you’ve learned well?

  • Do you (properly) apply what you learn to your intentions, how you direct your life, your actions, the manner in which you assess, and improve your ability to learn?

Solutions to our problems often reside in what we intend, the direction we choose, how we engage, assess, and learn.

In addition to our personal development, IDEAL may be applied to aid the achievement of goals, improve productivity, and support numerous business situations. As a model and structure to guide a personal or professional situation, IDEAL may be surprisingly simple to use or as complex as necessary in order to appropriately support an endeavor.

If you are in business and do not apply IDEAL to your sales operation, you are not doing your best to grow sales. If you are trying to develop yourself and are not mindful of IDEAL in your life, you will be handicapped in your progress. IDEAL applies to all things we wish to develop, improve, and achieve. Since IDEAL is at work in your life and business, regardless of your effort to recognize IDEAL, you can only benefit from an effort to increase your awareness of IDEAL.

If you would like more information on how to use IDEAL as model for a personal or professional endeavor, contact me, or refer to the support options available on my website:

Life’s Process for Our Success

Who we are, become, and what we achieve begins and ends with the five human characteristics that comprise IDEAL. IDEAL is our natural course to personal development and achievement. The characteristics that comprise IDEAL form a continual process that works throughout our lives, and impacts all aspects of our lives—personal, professional, social.

IDEAL is not a philosophy of life; it's how we live life. You don’t choose IDEAL; you live IDEAL— through what you intend, how you direct your life, what you do, how you assess, and how you use what you learn. IDEAL reflects us – who we are today. We can only be aware of and choose how to represent IDEAL in our lives.

Think about how you express IDEAL in your life. Consider your personal and professional ambitions. How do you approach your interests, determine your actions, and express regard for your willingness to self-assess, learn, and change. You may choose to disregard IDEAL. That choice, however, does nothing to nullify the expression of IDEAL in your life. IDEAL is as much as you as is anything else that makes you the person you know yourself to be. You may accept, deny, or ignore IDEAL, but, whatever you decide, IDEAL defines you.

IDEAL: The Model for Improvement

Naturally, we all are subject to the expression of IDEAL in our lives, and we all live with some awareness of those expressions. Being more aware, of course, does not mean that your judgments are wise or will guarantee improvements in your personal or professional life. Being more aware simply means that you’re making a conscious effort to regard each aspect of IDEAL as a process for improvement. This awareness offers the distinct advantage of your having a natural process by which to improve. It would be wise to put it to use.

The Learn aspect of IDEAL makes the process cyclical, which means that IDEAL is continual. IDEAL enables you to build on your knowledge and successes. As you discover—though your experience of connecting your intention with a course, related actions, and assessment—, interpret and apply what you’ve learned in order to refine IDEAL. The benefits of your refinements lead to new discoveries and/or will create opportunities for improvements, which will become evident in the results of your actions.

Get started. Identify how IDEAL is presently expressed in your life. You have hopes and or goals. What are they?

  • How is your intention to achieve expressed through your actions?

  • Are you able to explain how you pursue what you intend as a process (in steps and objectives)?

  • What is your decision-making process, and is it validated by a standard?

  • Is there a difference between your potential to accomplish and what you accomplish, and, if so, what primarily accounts for that difference?

  • How do you assess (i.e., are you thoughtful, aware of biases, consistent, etc.)? Do you excuse yourself or hold yourself accountable?

  • Do you have clear productivity standards?

  • Do your assessments, reading, reflection help you discover how to improve?

Improvement, whether it be with self-development or the achievement of a goal, begins with your choice to accept responsibility for what you intend, your choice for a direction, and taking appropriate actions. Your efforts and progress should be regularly assessed, and you should continuously remain willing to learn. Your best expression of IDEAL does not guarantee your success; it only allows you a complete process by which to discover and improve. Trial and error are, often, the means for development. And success follows from this process.

The clearer you are about your IDEAL and how each aspect interrelates, the more beneficial IDEAL can be as a model for your development and success. Learn more about IDEAL and goals with my free ebook GOALS: The Course to Success, which is available on my website:

If you found the concept of IDEAL useful, please share it with others. If you have any questions about IDEAL, contact me through my website.

All the best for continued success.

Copyright © 2020 Steven Robert Young. All rights reserved



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