By Brian Mitchell, CEO & Managing Partner.

I listen to a lot of different music and two of my favorite performers are Eminem and Springsteen. Yes, I know that combination is not very likely on the surface. It occurs to me that the common thread these unique artists share is the powerful music that rises from the strife and pain in their lives. The lyrics really resonate with many of their fans; it’s poetry that hits home. In correlation, it seems to me that their art isn’t nearly as substantive when positive things are happening in their lives. Why is that? It seems crazy that we have a heightened sense of awareness of our thoughts when faced with a hurt or challenge or motivation, personally or professionally.

My point in bringing up this reference has to do with individual focus. We are halfway through 2014 and annual goals are being pursued (or not). With vacations, July 4 th , World Cup soccer, and lots of other summer diversions, it’s really easy to slow down and put your goals on the back burner. But last December, you took the time to evaluate what you achieved in 2013. It was an important exercise for you. You developed goals for 2014, you documented those goals, you thought through strategic paths, you listed the tactics you would put into action. You developed a plan for success. You were motivated and focused; you had an increased sensitivity of where you could improve on your 2013 performance. You were determined to achieve in 2014.

Have you looked at your plan since you created it? Were you serious about your objectives for this year?

Go blow the dust off of that plan and take a little time to see what you need to do to stay (or get back) on track. Sometimes, it takes a pain point to get focused, but that can quickly be turned into motivating energy. We’ve got six months left in year 2014; it will never come back. Make it count.

“The door's open, but the ride it ain’t free.” – Bruce Springsteen