Building a bridge to the life you want

November 22, 2011

The average worker spends about 100,000 hours of his/her life working. In Rich Horwath’s experience most people work at jobs they don’t like. Making a plan though can help one have the “greatest days of their lives” according to Horwath, a business strategist.

In his book Strategy for You: Building a bridge to the life you want (to be published in January 2012) Horwath outlines a five-step plan for building a bridge to the life you want. Entrepreneurial spoke with Horwath about how one can create a successful life for themselves.

What does the bridge symbolize in your book?

The bridge symbolizes how you get from where you are today to the goals and objectives that one sets for themselves. In the real world a bridge spans obstacles or barriers. Strategy helps you span or overcome the obstacles you might face.

Step one: Discover

Uncover your process through insight. How is our career? How are our finances, relationships? How is our health? It demands understanding where we are today, where we want to go and then building a bridge to get there.

Step two: Differentiation

As individuals, we have competencies and skills that make us unique. The problem is in life, we often find ourselves converging or becoming more similar. For some reason we don’t want to stand out because we’re afraid we’ll stick out like the proverbial sore thumb. In developing a bridge or a strategy for your life, you really gotta understand what makes you different. What makes you unique that other people would value.

Step three: Decide

Step three forces us to make allocations with our time and our talent. The reality is almost everyone has a to-do list. But not everyone has the discipline to create a not-to-do list. The reality is we try to do a little bit of everything in order to please as many people as possible. That’s not the best way to reach the goals that we want to reach and be a good family member, friend. The best leaders are the ones that really focus their time and talent on the few causes, activities or initiatives that really bring themselves the most value.

Step four: Design

Once we’ve thought about where we want to go, what makes us unique and where we are going to put our resources, step four asks us to develop a plan to channel those resources into activities that are going to help us reach the goals and objectives that we set for ourselves.

Step five: Drive

Execute your plan day in and day out. The drive step demands that we have the discipline not to create a plan and just follow it for a month but day in and day out to stay in tune with what we’re trying to achieve and how we’re going to do that.


Following the five-step plan requires an investment in time. What would the payoff be?

An average person spends 100,000 hours of their life working. From a career perspective if you haven’t developed a strategy for that aspect of your life, it’s 100,000 hours that you’ve wasted or spent miserable or frustrated and not really reaching your full potential. The hope is that by investing even an hour or two a week by thinking, planning or doing for yourself the strategy you’re trying to develop it’s gonna give you the best opportunity to realize your full potential.

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