The way to connect the two big dots called “Goals” and
“Achievements” is by a straight line called “Discipline.”
~Dr. James W. Jackson
The Mission Statement of Project C.U.R.E. is to identify, collect, sort, and distribute donated medical supplies, equipment and services, based on imperative need. That is the objective. That is the big dot labeled Goal. But how do you connect that big dot to the other big dot labeled Achievement?
When noodling the mental model of Project C.U.R.E. in 1986, it all seemed very simple. I saw overwhelming need for medical supplies and pieces of medical equipment everywhere. Good people were dying for lack of the simplest and most basic medical items. Surgeries were not being performed for lack of sterile latex gloves in the operating rooms. Dehydrated children were dying for lack of IV starting kits. Strep and staph infections attacked otherwise healthy people when they went to a hospital because of the unsanitary conditions. The need was gigantic!
On this side of the ocean, medical warehouses and hospitals were full of overstocked medical goods. To my simplistic mind, it seemed like a pretty straightforward assignment: take the things not being utilized here and transfer them to people desperately in need of the goods over there. Then everyone concerned would bebetter off.
It all seemed so simple, even when diagramed out on a piece of paper. But, connecting those two dots of Goals and Achievements was not, and still is not, simple. I used to wonder why someone had not made it work before. Now I know. It costs millions of dollars to freely give away the miracle of life and hope. I began to understand the liability factors faced by the medical manufacturers once their products left their control.
Hard costs involved in collecting and warehousing the donated goods seemed prohibitive. Sorting, inventorying, and preparing the medical goods for shipment demanded computers, telephones, trucks, forklifts, pallet jacks, boxes, and shipping supplies. Insurance policies had to be purchased to cover people, loads, equipment, and buildings. Fuel and maintenance costs had to be met for the trucks and pieces of equipment, as well as payments for necessary utilities. Those expenses multiplied when we began to open up operations in other cities.
An additional factor interfered with our connecting the dots of Goals and Achievements. It was the nightmarish task of shipping through corrupt customs departments found in foreign countries. And we were not just shipping into one port but, eventually, thousands of recipient facilities in one hundred twenty-eight countries. So, how do the dots get connected? Discipline is the key.
As Project C.U.R.E. grew, and we were trying to connect the dots, at least four disciplines were involved:
1. The discipline of believing: We had to believe so tenaciously that what we were doing was the right thing to do, that we could actually see by faith that the project could and would be done.
2. The discipline of focus: Without laser focus, chaos, confusion, and failure will result. Focus is remembering what you want so vividly that all your energies move you toward accomplishment.
3. The discipline of perseverance: Nothing can dissuade you. You will make one more phone call and absorb more “no” responses than anyone else has in history. But it will come to pass.
4. The discipline of sharing the accomplishment: No great thing is achieved by oneself. You are not that smart, clever, good-looking or strong. We need God, loyal friends, team members, and collaboration to make a difference for good in this world. We must utilize discipline to share in that goodness with others around us.
The way to connect the two big dots called Goals and Achievements is by a straight line called Discipline.