The best most people can do is AVERAGE. (After all, isn’t that the definition of average?) So when you can freely operate at your optimum and know how to focus like a laser beam, outshining others becomes easy.
You can achieve your goals faster, and with fewer struggles.
Society consistently rewards those who master peak performance. When you have the extra “oomph” that gives you superior results, people are quick to give you respect, admiration, and power.
The world is a competitive place, and so when you don’t know how to focus, you get left behind by those people who can, and we also know that slackers often get the lowest status within our competitive society.
I know that you’ve always known that you can do better for yourself.
If not because of the “feel good” clichés that pervade pop culture, perhaps you’ve known about your true potential on an intuitive level.
But sensing your potential and living it are two different things. And bridging the gap between these two things is the subject of this post.
How Much Is Optimum Anyway?
You may have heard about the 80/20 rule.
Simply stated, 80% of your results almost always comes from 20% of your effort.
After “geeking out” on this principle for a while, it occurred to me that if 80% of my productivity came from 20% of my actions, I could choose to focus all of my energy on the 20% — and this could result in a 400% increase in productivity.
But in order to accomplish this, I think there are 2 keys to achieving this optimum state:
1. Motivation.Motivation is the fuel that drives any achievement, and even if you think you’re motivated, are you really?
There’s one thing that’s more motivating that any other, and that’s life and death.
You can choose to perceive that you have everything to gain by achieving a goal and everything to lose by not, and this can push you in the direction you WANT.
2. Accountability. Accountability works incredibly well to create results, because sooner or later you will screw up. Humans are incredibly talented at conning themselves out of doing what they know they should do. When you have someone else keeping you on track, you will be much more likely to stay focused and get what you need to do.
How to Stay Motivated: Set a Powerful WHY-Goal
Even as you work that is very important to you, you drag your feet with sloth-like ambition.
Because you haven’t programmed your mind to really understand that your goal is critically important.
Any student procrastinating with their work knows exactly what I mean.
If you want to high levels of motivation, you’ve got to be crystal clear on WHY you’re doing what you do.
Even beyond that, paint a picture so that you have everything to gain if you succeed – and that’s the basic premise of a WHY-Goal.
Tony Robbins often talks about “getting leverage” on yourself. This is a similar concept.
Goal: Do my homework.
Why: Because every day that I do my homework gets me closer to excellent grades. This is critical because I’ll get one step closer to becoming a brain surgeon, I will be able to save the lives of thousands over my career, and when I become really exceptional, I’ll create a new innovation in my field, and I’ll be able to change the lives of millions around the world!
If you repeat this goal daily, your mind will align itself with the goal, and it will eventually start to crave homework. You’ll know how to focus your energy.
And that’s when you suddenly start to operate on a “genius” level; productivity also becomes automatic.
How to Keep Yourself Accountable: Get an Accountability Partner
You want to meet your targeted goal – let’s say it’s working out.
If you want to get it done by yourself, you may have hit or miss success, but if you get someone who will agree to hold you accountable, you may find that success becomes much more inevitable.
You can setup an agreement with your friend so that you pay him every time you miss a workout. Of course, I know you’re going to back out when the time comes, so you would agree to it in advance.
Tell him/her, “I need your help staying on track, and I’ve decided to commit to this, so I’m going to call you every day letting you know that I went to the gym or you take this check for $50 bucks and cash it immediately.
If you do this, you might miss one workout, but you’ll be a hell of a lot more motivated to get to the gym as long as your money is on the line!
Your thoughts on how to focus? Leave a comment and join the conversation!
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that’s a great article, I like the example you mentioned
Goal: Do my homework.
Why: Because every day …..
this really what we should do, we should algin everything we do with our own vision and mission, and we’ll get the motivation to struggle and achieve it.
it’s a great article …. i like it & i get that the inner motivation is more great than outer motivation …… so let’s power up our inner desire to get success 🙂
Good article! The idea of being held externally accountable is one that has really helped me in my career. In business it’s been Peer Groups or Coaches that have helped keep me accountable. On a personal level it can be tougher to find someone to hold you accountable, but a good friend can do this.