People never want to do only one thing. We want to do it all. We simultaneously want to train for a marathon and learn French and go out for drinks and wake-up at 5am without any hangover.
Our desires are limitless, independent agents, working to kick the ball in every possible direction, and yet we never seem to score.
This is how most people live their lives. We feel indecisive in front of a buffet of unlimited choices, feeling we never have enough time to do everything. And nothing gets ever done because we are not effective busy bees.
Identify What’s The Most Important & Give It Undivided Attention
Imagine if you were the one who came up with Facebook, and Amazon, and Google: three of the biggest companies of our century. You could now be worth billions if you had built any one of them.
But, if you wanted to launch all three simultaneously, you would be worth probably billions of Zimbabwe Dollars (Fun Fact: a 1 trillion-dollar Zimbabwe note is worth just 40 USD).
Coming up with great ideas is easy. Lots of unsuccessful people have great ideas. The problem is that too many great ideas prevent you from transforming that one idea into a business empire.
This is why we call a committee of smart people with too many leaders “idiots”. The more directions you’re being pulled in, the less distance you’ll travel.
A ship has never navigated properly by having more than 1 captain & 1 itinerary.
Making Your Moonshot A Reality
Imagine an ambitious goal for yourself that seems far from reach. Say you want to create an app, or live on Mars.
If accomplishing that goal was a matter of life and death – like both your dog’s life and the lives of everybody you cared about depended on it – how would you approach your day?
You would simply drop everything else and stop spending time on bumblebee sh*t! You would become hyper-focused and move at lightning speed in only one direction:
When everything feels urgent and important, nothing is actually that urgent and important. We become active and busy, but this doesn’t actually move us any closer to success. Activity is often unrelated to productivity, and busy-ness rarely takes care of good business.
Success is about doing the right thing, not about doing everything right. When you gamble with your time, you may be placing a bet on a game you can never win.
How Do You Find Your One Thing?
No matter how hard you try, there will always be things left undone at the end of your day, week, month, year, and life. This is why having only ONE THING to focus on will ensure you have an effective schedule.
So try this:
- Ask: “What is my One Thing?” What’s the ONE Thing I can do, such that by doing it, everything else will be easier or unnecessary. Once you’ve found it, prioritize that thing over anything else. Have regular meetings with yourself to focus on your “one thing” of the day, week, month, and year.
- Live by Priority. I use the Productivity Journal to prioritize my day, but you can achieve the same results by writing on a piece of paper. Every morning, write down 5 things you need to accomplish by order of priority. Don’t start the next task until you finished the one on top.
- Learn to say NO. Anything which isn’t top priority now can be done optimally later…or never. Mark Zuckerberg was smart to start Facebook first and then learn Chinese. When you say yes to something, it’s imperative that you understand what you’re saying no to. Saying yes to everyone is the same as saying yes to nothing.
- Line up your focus. Elon Musk built Paypal, then Space X, then Tesla, then SolarCity. Although you might not want to build the next car and spaceship company, you can still simultaneously become, say, a successful and athletic entrepreneur.
Fitness and entrepreneurship can be complementary: a healthier person can be a better leader. They are like two best bumble buddies pushing in the same direction and achieving the same goal. Just much faster.
Actions build on action. Habits build on habit. Success builds on success. Whatever you can see, you have the capacity to move toward. And when what you go for is as vast as you can possibly envision, you’ll be living the biggest life you can possibly live.
Living large is simple. It requires to focus on the small things that matter the most.