Q&A With Michael Annese, Author of The Victory Cycle

So The Victory Cycle is a book for anyone looking to achieve their full potential?

Yes, the idea behind the Victory Cycle is that you can apply it to any goal you want to achieve. I wanted to create a system that was simple to identify with but was deep enough to make lasting change. Victory is an acronym: V-Vision, I-Inspiration, C-Commitment, T-Timed Steps, O-Obstacles, R-Rejoice, Y-Yearlong Adjustments.

Let’s look at a real example, understanding of course that this is about as brief as it can get. Say you’re looking to start a business.

It all starts with your “Vision.”  You would look deep into what you want your business to be about. What kind of business, what kind of service or product would you create? Remember back to when things seemed totally possible and you had all the optimism in the world within you as you decide what to make as your new business. Your Vision of your business would be a direct reflection of who you are. Make your business your “purpose.” So, you would certainly want to make money, but more importantly you have to really love what you’re doing otherwise it just becomes work, right?

Next, what’s your “Inspiration?” Basically, what is it that is inspiring you to open this business, what makes you want to get up out of bed in the morning and chase it down? In essence what’s your “Why?” Once you find that inspiration, hold onto it tight because you’ll need it later when things get tough, and they always do.

Now, commit!  Your “Commitment” is your how. In truth, it’s your sheer determination of getting this business off the ground. The level of commitment we’re talking about is almost life or death, because without deep seated commitment you will lose your grip on your dreams. You must absolutely commit fully to this new business venture or it will fail.

Your “Timed Steps” is your plan. You must time out some steps in order to track and hold your progress, otherwise you’re just drifting along. Planning along the way creates organization, and with organization comes real progress. That’s what we’re looking for. Small steps add up to giant leaps over time, don’t bite off more than you can chew, make them significant but manageable.

“Obstacles” are just that, things that show up in your path to Victory. Anticipate them, overcome them at all costs, but don’t let your train to success become derailed as a result of them. Think about some potential obstacles that may show up within your business plan.

“Rejoice” is enjoying life along the way. You must celebrate what you’re doing and your progress up to this point. Life is to be enjoyed and so is all of your hard work.

“Yearlong Adjustments” are all about checking your course during your journey. If you don’t check what’s working with this new business and what’s not working you’ll just end up in a more challenging situation later if you don’t address it early. Capitalize on what’s going well and fix what’s not working.

Of course this is a cycle, so all of this must add back up to your “Vision” back at the beginning. Keep cycling through and polish your Victory until it becomes real and strong. You could apply the cycle to weight loss, finding a job, getting a promotion, or running that marathon you always wanted too. Virtually any goal or mission can enter the cycle and you can break it down within the concept.

Leading people through an emergency situation takes quick decision making – how do you step back and improve for the next time?

At the fire department, we do something called a Post Incident Analysis (PIA), where we discuss what went wrong and what went right. Also discussed are ways to improve and prevent situations from happening in the first place. It’s really a session to learn and grow from. There’s always something that can be learned from reviewing what happened. Same thing happens in the “Y-Yearlong Adjustments,” review what’s going well and what you can improve on for the betterment of your goal over all.  Make those changes and try again.

You have a lot of motivating visuals in your book – did this develop from what you saw in the line of duty?

The graphic of the cycle was created as a result of my education with personal development. I liked the idea of a repeatable concept for success. We are basically constantly re-inventing ourselves, growing and changing.  The circle of fire represents birth and rebirth of who we are.  Particularly when it comes to the “O-Obstacle” portion within the cycle. Simply stated, that’s where we earn our character, that’s where we are forged into the man or women we truly are and become as a result of our failures and defeats. Similar to a sword that is heated and cooled for strength, so are we within our challenges and obstacles in life.

You’ve been on tour promoting The Victory Cycle – what’s a recent decision you’ve made to benefit your readers?

The main decision I have made is to really strive the issue of urgency. All too often we hear a good idea, we like what we hear and even agree. Too often though, we leave a class where we learned something good and waist time getting started. The Victory Cycle is about immediate action, in other words what are you going to do today towards your goal? No matter how small a step, take at least one, and plan the next one tomorrow. Feel the urgency of your dreams in your heart and soul. Chase them down with a sense of urgency, don’t let them fade away into the past. You can do it, just believe in yourself.

Head over to michaelannese.com and get started on your Victory Cycle!

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