I can do anything well for a short period of time.
When I run as fast as I can, I can only do so for a short period of time. In that burst I am crazy fast.
If I give something or someone my undivided attention, I can only give it for a short time before my focus is broken, even if I don’t want it to be. It takes all my mental energy to focus completely and absolutely on just one thing. In that moment I am like a laser beam.
This principle intrigues me. If I can do things well for short periods of time, why not approach important tasks in this fashion? Don’t spend an hour obsessing over the details of an important email, spend 15 minutes focused with maximum mental energy, then walk away, regather, and hit it again.
Approach a task with just that task in mind, do not stray to the right or the left, do not click to that photo slide show article about “Crazy apartments you won’t believe people live in!” Stay on target (yes, I recognize the irony of placing that link there). Accomplish the task and then stop. Step away for a few minutes, refocus, and attack again.
Every morning write down a short list of things that must get done for the day. No more than 3-4. The list is intentionally short. Every day should be a new list, do not copy the items that didn’t get accomplished from the previous day, instead, write them down again as if brand new.
Tackle the items one by one in short bursts until they are complete.
I have to spell the word park around my kids because actually saying the word leads to begging and pleading to go to one.
When I turned 20, my friends reminded me I was half way to 40. They forgot to mention 30. People often seem to forget 30, it’s the age at which you’re old, but not so old that people think of you as old. Your 30’s are the decade you can benefit from all the lessons you learned in your 20’s before you hit your 40’s and have a mid-life crisis, reverting back to the stupidities of your 20’s (just kidding). At 30 people respect your opinions and ideas just because of your age, you made it out of your 20’s so you must be doing something right. Only 3 years separate someone who is 28 from someone who is 31, yet the gulf between them seems so wide, whereas someone who is 38 seems equal to someone who is 41. The 20’s shouldn’t get too bad a rap however, it’s your 20’s that shape your adult life. If you can figure things out, work hard, stay out of trouble, and use the excuse of your youth to ask questions and charge heedlessly into the unknown, you can learn a lot and get ahead. Who you are when you enter your 20’s and who you are when you leave can be unrecognizable, hopefully in the positive sense.
Do you have an idea but doubt anyone will be interested in hearing it? You’re right, they won’t. Are you content with being mediocre at everything you do? That’s good, because you will always be mediocre at everything you do. Are you envious of what others have earned but assume they got what they have because they know how to work “the system”? You’re right, they do know “the system” and you obviously don’t. Congratulations, you are the reason for your failure. You are the one holding you back.
Successful people don’t waste time thinking about reasons why they won’t make it; they spend time thinking how they will make it. Successful people don’t waste time wishing they were more talented; they spend time learning and training themselves so they become talented. Successful people don’t waste time wishing they had what someone else has; they work hard and earn it for themselves.
If has been said before, if you look for a reason not to succeed you will find it, and failure will follow. The unhappiest people in the world are the ones who predicted their own unhappiness because they have no one to blame but themselves. Stay positive, work hard, be successful. That’s all.