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The Power of focus
The power of focus.
For the past few years, I came to realize that I never really accomplished anything in my life.
With hindsight, I observed that there was a huge lack of focus.
Recently, I’ve been obsessed with one single thing: how to stay focused.
This book, the power of focus was really helpful.
As the authors highlighted, the principles developed in the power of focus will help you hit your professional, personal and financial goals.
Forget magic formula, you won’t find that here.
You need to commit if you really want to create permanent change.
Too many people spend thousands of dollars in books, personal coaching and seminars but they simply don’t apply what they learned.
The power of focus will help you to take actions.
FOCUSING STRATEGY 1: Your habits will determine your future
The first chapter of the power of focus tells the story of a struggling Mom. Despite all odds against her, she achieved spectacular success.
The authors used her story to pinpoint that change in your life is possible. As long as you’re ready to take a leap of faith, get out of your comfort zone and use the power of focus, then everything is possible.
Step into the unknown and trust your guts, listen to your intuition because it knows the way. Have faith and believe in yourself, you will be unstoppable.
Remember that life has better things in store and rewards are waiting when you develop the “habit of enthusiastic focused action”.
Life is for you, not against you. It just doesn’t happen. You can choose how you interpret what happens to you.
Make bad choices now and you will regret it. Your future is shaped by your everyday choices and actions.
Be aware of your habits because they determine your future. You will notice that “consistent choices lay the foundation for your habits”
The power of focus: Habits will determine your future
A habit is something you do automatically because you repeated it long enough.
It’s a behavior that you do consistently. Repetition creates a new behavior and it gets easy over time.
Do you remember when you first started driving a car? You had to make conscious efforts on the wheel, on the brake and on the gas. But it eventually became easier because you developed the habit and less brain activities are now required.
It’s possible to reprogram yourself. You have the choice, every single time.
Think about it, success doesn’t come with simple luck. You need focused action, self-discipline and a lot of energy to get things done. Your behavior and your habits will determine your future from this day forward.
You can choose: abundance or scarcity, rich or poor, healthy or unhealthy. It’s all about choices!
The results of your bad habits usually don’t show up until much later in life
Oftentimes, we buy into the false idea that we can get rich quickly. Immediate gratification prevails over rational thinking. We want the fat burgers now and think little about the negative consequences.
But chronic bad habits will lead you to failure. Life gives you the consequences of your choices.
In the book “The Formula: The Universal Laws of Success by Albert-László Barabási” we talked about preferential attachment. It says that success breeds success and negative habits will create more negative results.
Live now as if tomorrow doesn’t matter. This live-for-the-moment attitude is the primary cause for obesity and diseases. We dismiss healthy habits and don’t think of the long term consequences.
Jack Canfield, one of the authors of the power of focus shares 3 healthy habits you can implement:
- Sleeping more as deep sleep heals the body
- Networking more
- Getting better at storytelling: he considers it to be an important skill in business.
Developing successful habits takes time
It’s often said that a habit forms within three to four weeks. It can take up to 66 days or more.
Read my article: Atomic habits by James Clear
The longer you have a habit, the harder it will be to get rid of it. Also remember that you still risk slipping back into your old negative habits.
It’s important to develop more habits, preferably four habits every year. Ten years from now, you’ll amass forty new habits. Within five years, you will have a fulfilled relationship, healthy lifestyle and mostly financial abundance. Start with one habit at a time, over time. It’s possible.
Our daily lives are filled with routines we’re not even aware of. You do hundreds of the same things every day. “Up to 47 percent of your everyday behavior is habitual”, are they good or bad? Would they lead you to success or to failure? These firmly entrenched habits control your life in every area.
You can change your life by changing what you are doing, that’s some good news!
Simply replace your old habits with new positive ones.
One step at a time, day by day, every day, one positive behavior will dramatically improve your overall lifestyle.
Les Hewitt, one of the authors of the power of focus recommends one habit you can develop: meditate every day.
How to identify bad habits
List everything you do from the moment you wake up. Assess which habits are unproductive, even toxic.
Awareness is the starting point of change, the more you know what’s holding you back, the more likely you will replace them with productive habits.
Get a mentor or ask a trusted friend. They will give you feedback. If 10 people tell you the same thing, you’ll know there is a problem.
Your habits and belief systems are a product of your environment
Your environment shapes what you think is possible. Who you hang around with influences what you do.
If you lived with abusive parents, chances are high that you lack self-esteem and you don’t know your worth. You constantly feel fear and your negative system of belief negatively impact your adult life.
Yet, if you choose a new environment, a positive one, you’ll embrace abundance, experience positivity and enjoy life at its best.
How you can change bad habits
You can start by modeling what other successful people are doing. Success leaves clues so you might as well observe and implement the top performers’ good habits.
It’s possible to interview or network with them. People are more approachable than you think.
If you want to develop positive habits, you can also read autobiographies and biographies. They are easily accessible.
Watch documentaries about these successful people.
Finally, turn your car into a mobile library: listen to non-fiction audiobooks. Learn whenever you are, wherever you are: listen to audiobooks for example when you commute, exercise or when you do the chores.
Jim Rohn said, “If you read one book every month about your industry, in ten years you’ll have read 120 books.
The power of focus: How to permanently change your habits
You can follow three easy steps to help you create new positive habits
1 – Monitor and identify your bad habits
If these bad habits compounded over time, what would your future look like? Think long term because the real impact will happen in 10, 20 or even 30 years. Be honest and stop bullshitting yourself, your life is at stake.
2 – Get a new successful habit
Get clear on the things you want. Reverse-engineer your dream life and identify which habits will lead you there. Clarity helps because what you vividly imagine and sincerely believe will become your reality.
3 – Create a three-part action plan.
“Which specific actions are you going to implement? You must take action. Start with one habit that you really want to change.”
FOCUSING STRATEGY 2: It’s Not Hocus-Pocus, It’s All about Focus
The entrepreneur’s dilemma
In the power of focus, the authors start with a common problem in entrepreneurship. An entrepreneur is likely to wear many hats at the beginning of his venture. He multitasks and never focuses: he’s creating value, doing the marketing, handling people and dealing with taxes, that’s a lot.
Most entrepreneurs are controllers. They rarely or never delegate. “They find it difficult to let go, to allow other people to carry the load. Delegation is not their strength, and of course they are emotionally attached to their business”
The question you need to ask yourself is: “What are your strengths? What do you do best?”
Once you identify your strengths and what you do best, do that and ignore all the rest. You need to invest most of your time every day, every week and every month focusing on what you do best. Then, delegate, let other people do what they do best.
Focus on Your Natural TALENTS
The Beatles were successful because they focused on what they did best: recording and performing on stage.
What are your strongest points?
Where you direct your energy and focus will manifest in your life. The rewards will come sooner than what you might’ve expected.
PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE
Superachievers and highly performers have one single thing in common. They know their strengths and they are aware of their weaknesses. They reap the rewards of success because they focus on their strengths. Successful people dedicate their time on practicing their natural talents. They ignore or spend little time on unproductive activities.
Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo or LeBron James, they all practiced their sports since childhood. They love what they do and in return, they get better which makes them love more what they do. It’s a simple virtuous circle.
Superstars work on their natural talents and hone their skills with daily discipline.
Most of us however focus on fixing our weaknesses. Why?
It started with school: maybe you were ordered to get good grades at math although it wasn’t your most preferred subject.
Dan Sullivan, an American business coach says: ““If you spend too much time working on your weaknesses, all you end up with is a lot of strong weaknesses!”
Consult my article: “Mastery by George Leonard”
Discover your natural gifts
We came to this planet with specific talents. Those are the things that make you exceptional. No one else has it or no one else does it better than you do. Your mission is to discover your brilliance, hone and utilize your natural gifts. In return, you can serve the world and you’ll experience joy and fulfillment.
Unfortunately, we’ve been conditioned to fit in and enter into a mold. As children, we knew precisely what we wanted. Nonetheless as we grew up, our priorities shifted. We spend most of our time doing a job unfit for our strengths.
The authors reveal that they first look for passion when they hire a new collaborator.
When you align your strengths and passion, you will naturally be focused.
Learn to let go
At the beginning of this chapter, we said that most people are controlling. They think that no one else can do better so they do everything. But you can free your time and focus on what you do best.
It’s better to hire a personal assistant. They will do what they do best to free you from boring and mundane tasks. A personal assistant can help you focus even more on your strengths.
Life is more enjoyable when we do what we do best. Get a personal assistant and hire them accordingly.
4 choices that will help you focus
Goethe once said: “Things which matter most must never be at the mercy of things which matter least.”
If urgent tasks occur, you can choose to focus and work on your most important priorities.
You will be given 4 choices:
- Dump It
- Delegate It
- Defer It
- Do It
The power of no
We cannot please everyone and staying focused is crucial. A simple daily dose of discipline can lead you to great success. You can ask questions that will restore your focus.
For example, ask yourself: “What should I be thinking about right now?” “Is what I’m about to do helpful to achieve my long term goals?”
Learn to stay focused by examining three areas:
- Yourself: you have to deal with self-doubts. That little negative voice wants you to stay safe and dissuade you from growing. Don’t listen to it, be your own cheerleader.
- Other people: beware of some people who want you to work on their priorities. They will invite you to ignore your priorities; they will destroy your focus.
- Mail and telephone: Is it productive to check one’s mailbox every two minutes? Cut your internet connection or say no if your phone rings.
A better future is awaiting but it also requires some disciplines. You must get rid of wasteful activities.
It’s also time to create positive habits that will help you get to where you want to go.
Consult my articles about habit building:
Atomic Habits by James Clear
The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod
FOCUSING STRATEGY 3: Do You See The Big Picture?
Peter Daniels’ story
The third chapter of the power of focus starts with Peter Daniels‘ story, a successful Australian businessman. As a kid, his teacher, Miss Phillips would make him stand in front of the class and shout: “Peter Daniels, you’ll never amount to anything”. Despite failures and setbacks, he managed to create a portfolio worth several millions of dollars in real estate.
Peter shared one of his secrets which is to schedule time to think. One day a week, he will just do that.
He also uses exciting pictures of the future that will help him develop clarity. Just like Peter Daniels, we’re going to learn how to develop unusual clarity.
The purpose of goals
By definition, “a goal is the ongoing pursuit of a worthy objective until accomplished.”
Make goal setting a habit. It can drastically change your life. You can consciously create new goals and work on them, write down plans and set deadlines.
The authors then share Top-10 goals checklist:
- Your most important goals must be yours: Are you working on your dreams or working to make someone else’s dream become a reality? Most people let others dictate their life; their goals are designed not by themselves but by someone else.
- Your goals must be meaningful: In the future, would you live a life without regrets? Identify what’s meaningful to you
- Specific and measurable
- Flexibility: Your plans might change over the years so you might as well be flexible.
- Challenging and exciting: Think big and get a reason to get out of bed in the morning. Boredom shouldn’t have a place in our life; life has so much to offer!
- Your goals must be in alignment with your values: What do you value the most in life? What creates in you the strongest feelings?
- Goals must be well balanced and integrated. Live a life without regrets (or minimize them as much as possible). At the end of their lives, nobody wished to spend more time in the office. For example, we want to enjoy life with our family.
- Your goals must be realistic: Brian Tracy said: there are no unrealistic goals, only unrealistic deadlines. Oftentimes, we underestimate the amount of time required for a project, the authors recommend you to double the time to stay realistic, especially if it’s a business venture.
- Your goals must include contribution: you can choose to give time, money or expertise. Pay it forward; it will get back to you in an unexpected way
- Your goals need to be supported: You can choose to share your goals because it creates a lot of pressure. Or you can keep them to yourself. Finally, the best option is to share them but only with the people you trust.
The power of focus: your master plan
Clarity remains crucial if you want to create a better future.
The authors share six steps you can take to work on your big picture.
- Review the top-10 goals checklist above mentioned.
- Find your why after you decide what you want.
- Create inspiring pictures: what you vividly imagine will become true: use pictures, lots of them and look at those pictures often to impregnate your subconscious mind.
- Capture your ideas: write down inspiring thoughts, remember your dreams, record your feelings etc.
- Visualize, think, reflect and review: all great athletes use visualization to achieve their performance.
- Get mentors: it’s the best way to gain more experience within a short amount of time. Their experience will help you to learn rapidly.
When you work on your goals, you might experience sudden enthusiasm. The inspiration from this enthusiasm helps you achieve your tasks almost effortlessly. Obstacles may arise but you will still experience joy.
FOCUSING STRATEGY 4: Overcoming Setback
You can experience sudden or unexpected reversal in fortune. We all encounter obstacles that stand in the way of our goals. When we face adversity, we have two choices:
- Do nothing, bury your head in the sand and hope it all goes away,
- Embrace the challenge and overcome the adversity, it can be part of your epic story.
The choice is really up to you, you can relish the challenges and make the best of it, or decide that the problems are way too big and let them overwhelm you.
As W. Mitchell said: “It’s not what happens to you, it’s what you do about it that counts”
Mitchell went from experiencing serious injuries, face burns. His hands were reduced to stumps but he managed to be elected mayor of Crested Butte, host on his own radio show and become a famous writer and motivational speaker.
Cultivate a champion mindset
Underlined in the power of focus, Mitchell admitted that he could no longer do ten thousand things, only nine thousand. He chose to focus on the nine thousand left rather than complaining about the one thousand missing. Many people unfortunately would do the opposite. With lesser challenges, they will whine about what’s missing.
Successful people have big dreams and they set big goals. Just like anybody, they face huge roadblocks. But if you cultivate champion mindsets and hone your bounce-back skills, then you’ll do better than the average performers. Champions think differently, they deliver extraordinary results.
Find another way
Stop complaining; get out of the victim mentality. A motivational passage states: Instead of saying: “Why me?” it’s better to say: “Try me!”
You can find another way, “step back, regroup, refocus and retrain for another opportunity, if necessary”
Surrender to a higher power
Faith can help us overcome almost anything. Some people beat cancer with unshakeable faith. When difficulties arise, believe that it will come to pass; the pain will subside, nothing is permanent. Trust that a divine intervention will help you. But be proactive anyway.
Just like the pilots who ask you to fasten your seatbelts, be prepared for some turbulence. Track your progress and book half a day to think on how you can advance in your projects. Eventually, you will know whether a big storm is coming. Adjust your behavior accordingly.
In the end, you have to make the difference between what you can control and what you can’t. If there is something we can retain from the book, “The 7 habits of highly effective people”, it would be to focus on our circle of influence, to focus our energy on things we have direct control over.
“Overcoming setbacks is an ongoing process”
You will see that setbacks can be turned into learning. There are hidden advantages of adversity. A mistake doesn’t make you a failure and oftentimes, success comes right after you’re about to quit. Work on your attitude every day, cultivate a champion mindset and achieve your best possible self.
FOCUSING STRATEGY 5: Building Excellent Relationships
Your network is your net worth. It’s crucial to cultivate relationships because our network will become our greatest door openers. People with whom we have excellent relationships can lead us to amazing opportunities.
The power of focus: The double spiral
Our life can be seen as a spiral. It’s either an upward spiral or a downward one.
The upward spiral describes time when everything goes smoothly. You have excellent and healthy relationships, you feel good about yourself and your confidence is high.
We need to re-create more upward spiral moments in our lives so that we can reap the rewards. Identify and repeat the process that led you to such moments. The rich relationship you built should be “nourished, expanded and enriched” until it becomes a long-term friendship or business relationship.
Excellent relationships guarantee even more excellent results.
The downward spiral however appears when things start to unravel. Life gets tougher and stress increases. Challenges and difficulties appear on your path to success.
This time, it’s crucial to thoroughly analyze the small steps that caused the relationship to fall apart. I agree that some relationships are down to failures but you can still learn from what happened and apply the lessons in your future relationships.
Say “No” to toxic people
Negative people will derail you from your path. Their only moments of happiness happen when they release their negative energy on you. They complain and whine about everything, even if things are all positive.
We can’t change people but we can change the people around us. It’s always your choice to stay with negativity or let go and move on.
The three big questions
“The true joy in life comes from spending time with people who constantly inspire, nourish, and replenish your soul “
How can you identify the people with whom you should spend time with?
The following three big questions can help you: do you like them? Do you trust them? Do you respect them?
Remember that you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.
Always look for red flags that show their skills, their integrity and trustworthiness.
Be totally open to feedback
Honest feedback and willingness to receive them will invigorate your personal and professional relationships.
I do that with my girlfriend. We usually ask each other to rate our relationship. I would ask her: “On a scale of one to ten, how do you find me as a boyfriend right now?” And again after she answers, I will ask her “how can I get better as a boyfriend (and hopefully a husband)?”
When she replies, I practice active listening and never judge what’s been said. It requires a high level of awareness and maturity to receive feedback but it works.
How to find great mentors
I’ve always thought that I would succeed alone. That was so immature. There are two options: think that you can do everything alone or decide to get help and work with other people.
The second option is by far the most effective. It’s one of the 7 habits of highly effective people.
As highlighted in the power of focus, great mentors can dramatically change your life. They will help you avoid the same mistakes they did thanks to their large experience.
The key is to identify the important people in your life. Take time to water your relationship and do it regularly. Sincere interest in people’s wants and needs make all the difference.
FOCUSING STRATEGY 6: The Confidence Factor
Just like a muscle, you can strengthen your confidence with practice. Take it as a process where you’ll encounter lots of worries, fear and uncertainty.
Life is a constant struggle and your only way out is to win it if you want a life filled with abundance.
Remember that fear and worry kick in where you lack confidence.
Here are a few tips that will help you get the confidence factor.
Resolving unfinished business
“Unfinished business is a term describing all of the messes in your life that you haven’t dealt with.”
Oftentimes, fear stops people from dealing with their unfinished business. But the more you let fear control you, the more self-doubts you’ll have, and the more you lack confidence.
You can either deny your unfinished business, you can go into limbo or you can take it as a challenge and face everything.
Forgive and forget
There’s a dormant power within you that if awaken, will help you overcome any challenge. The only thing you need to do is to break through the wall of fear. Peace of mind will be yours. Whatever you set your mind will soon become your reality. Dealing with your unfinished business will give you a surge of new energy. The more you practice this, the more confidence you’ll have.
“Confidence grows by doing, not by thinking”
Forgiveness will help you release so much tension from your past. Ultimately, we can’t change our past, we can’t do anything about what happened, but we need to be free and let go. We also have to forgive ourselves.
Think about it, you don’t drive a car with the handbrake on. Yet, we live our life lifting heavy baggage of the past.
Learning forgiveness will release the real person within you. Only then will you live a fulfilled existence. It takes real courage but the sense of freedom will be worth it.
Check my article “How to let go of the past: a powerful exercise”
A winning attitude
Your attitude will determine your altitude in life. Attitude conditions our success.
Six confidence-building strategies
1- Recall everything you did well and remember them every day
2- Read Biographies and autobiographies
3- Practice gratitude and be thankful
4- Surround yourself with winner, create a supporting environment
5- Challenge yourself and focus on winning short-term goals
6- “Do something good for yourself every week”
Iron confidence also stems from believing that you are capable. When you believe in yourself, you are likely to take massive actions. It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy. We can have positive or negative beliefs. They can lift you up or tear you down. Negative beliefs limit our success.
They can be beliefs about us, about what it takes to succeed or our beliefs about others.
Why not think that you are capable? You can do it if other people have already done it before. Re-assess your limiting beliefs and ask yourself where they came from, are these beliefs really yours?
What to do if you hit a slump
- Acknowledge that you’re not performing well
- Remind yourself of your past major accomplishments
- Get back to the basics
When the authors say “get back to the basics”, their recommendation consists of focusing on one goal, something simple. That single goal will create a butterfly effect. It will give you enough momentum to keep going and deal with other bigger challenges.
Make it a habit to regularly write down your past accomplishments, remember that you are a success!
You survived up to this point, no matter how big the challenges in the past and whatever you had to deal with. Realize that you overcame all of them. If you survived adversity, you can survive the current or the next one.
Stop whining and focus on what you can do and what is under your control.
“If you hear a voice within you say, ‘you cannot paint,’ then by all means paint and that voice will be silenced.” —Vincent van Gogh
FOCUSING STRATEGY 7: Ask For What You Want
Ask and receive
“Ask and you shall receive”. Kids know it because they ask persistently. Children stick to what they want until they receive it. Unfortunately, we lose that ability as we get older.
It might be risky to ask for what you want. If you get rejected, you will get back to the same old situation: nothing has changed. Yet, you will receive a lot more if it’s a “yes”.
Think about it, you might ask a 10% raise. You have nothing to lose because you already managed to live with what you have. Yet you have much more to gain if your boss accepts the 10% raise. We don’t get anything without risking anything. Asking won’t kill you.
The authors of the power of focus propose a useful acronym:
Knowledge alone isn’t enough; the use of knowledge is power. It’s not what you know but what you do with what you know.
Why people are afraid to ask
Most people are afraid of rejection, that’s why they don’t ask for what they want. They don’t even try but reject themselves in advance. How can we expect to receive if we don’t even ask?
There are three reasons that explain this behavior:
1- Their belief system holds them back, as if it’s not right to ask
2- Their lack of confidence
3- Fear of rejection
As the saying goes: ask and it shall be given to you. The Bible highlights: “Ask and you shall receive, seek and you shall find, knock and it shall be opened unto you.”
The power of focus: How to ask
- Be clear on what you want and ask clearly: focus on what you want, not what you don’t want, choose wisely the words with greatest impact, preparation is key.
- Work on your confidence: Hesitation won’t get you anywhere, ask confidently
- Ask consistently: be an “ask-hole”. You might be three-feet from gold, quitting too soon will prevent you from achieving real success.
- Ask creatively
- Ask sincerely
More tips on how to ask
You can ask as if you expect to get it.
See yourself already in possession of what you ask for.
Assuming you can get what you want in advance increases the odds of you getting it.
And finally, ask someone who can give it to you.
FOCUSING STRATEGY 8: Consistent Persistence
Consistent persistence is a habit that all successful people have in abundance. Consistent and persistent actions are the main ingredients of success: without them, you’ll amount to anything big in life.
The benefits of consistency
The authors of the power of focus share Cal Ripken’s history, a professional baseball player who played for Baltimore Orioles. He was called the Iron Man of Baseball because he always showed up for every game, always practiced consistency.
“Let’s put this into perspective: To equal Cal Ripken Jr.’s consistency, an employee working an average eight hours a day, five days a week would need to work eight years, one month and twenty days and never call in sick!”
What characterized him the most was his love of practice, his sense of responsibility and his solid work ethic. The rewards materialized and his legend lives until now.
Embrace you greatest power
Realize that everything we do is based on the choices we make. Life is all about choices.
Your power lies in your ability to choose and not to undergo the circumstances.
When people say: “my Boss upsets me”. They actually chose to be angry. In fact, they are under no obligation to be upset because they could’ve chosen a different response. The same happens when we complain about our “toxic relationship” or when we whine about our “low-paying job”. You don’t have to stay there, it boils down to choices.
Oftentimes, complaining is a sign that you can do something about it to change the situation. We never complain that the sun is too distant from Earth, simply because grumbling won’t change anything. If we object, it’s because deep down, we can take action and change the situation.
The power of focus: The Double-A FORMULA
Solid relationships are based on trust. The authors highlight the importance of agreements and accountability.
If you consistently keep your agreements, people will trust you more; you’ll respect yourself by honoring your words and people will feel that integrity.
I remember when I had an appointment with a friend. She waited for me even if was 15-minute late. I apologized as soon as I arrived and she accepted. One week later, we had another appointment and I was still 10-minute late, again she accepted my apologies. But as I kept being late for the next few weeks, she no longer listened to my apologies. As Emerson put it, “What you are shouts so loudly in my ears I cannot hear what you say.”
The series of broken agreements led to a lack of trust.
“When you break an agreement once, you will probably be given a second opportunity. And when you repeatedly break agreements, your stock and value in the marketplace rapidly diminishes—people go elsewhere. When you develop the habit of constantly keeping your little agreements, the big ones will look after themselves.”
The integrity factor
The authors of the power of focus recommend a three-part formula to cultivate your integrity.
- “When you always tell the truth, people trust you. “
- And “When you do what you say, as promised, people respect you. “
- “When you make others feel special, people tend to like you.”
It’s up to you to practice consistency persistence. There’s no obligation, only choice to be made.
FOCUSING STRATEGY 9: Taking Decisive Action
The power of focus: Stop procrastinating
Do you usually put things off? It’s Monday and you know you have to finish a report by the end of the week. But you wait until the last day to wrap up everything. Chances are high that you promise not to do it again but you slip back to your old behaviors again and again. It became a habit, that’s it, you’re a procrastinator.
In procrastination you have the word “castrate”, which by definition is to remove the testicles of a male animal or a man! When you procrastinate, you’re actually impoverishing your future.
Most people live in an imaginary world; they call it “someday I will”.
They end up whining about things they don’t have. Those are the people who regret everything at the end of their lives: “If I only had the courage to live more courageously” they say.
4 good reasons you procrastinate
Why do people procrastinate in the first place?
- Boredom: to fight against inertia, you need to admit first that you’re bored. Ask the “what, why and how”. Why are you bored? What kind of activities would give you more energy?
- Overwhelmed with work: with too many activities in mind, we easily get overwhelmed and prefer doing nothing instead of taking a small step.
- The work you’re doing gives you no enthusiasm: successful and unsuccessful individuals all have to deal with dull activities, but successful people do them anyway. If you are stuck in an unfulfilling job, move on and find something more interesting to do. You’re going to spend most of your time there and you’d better choose something you love doing. Would you let your need for security kill you slowly?
- You’re unfocused and are easily distracted
Most of the time, procrastination is caused by a lack of motivation. Why do today what we can do tomorrow? Or why not just cancel it? Procrastination for most people is better than a decisive action.
To motivate you, think about the negative consequences of procrastination. You can also choose to focus on the benefits of proactivity. Does your current action lead you to where you want to go? Do you want to have a life full of regrets?
Why not motivate yourself with a feeling of accomplishment? As Theodore Isaac Rubin said “Happiness does not come from doing easy work but from the afterglow of satisfaction that comes after the achievement of a difficult task that demanded our best. “
The power of focus: The TA-DA formula
If you want to make a major decision, the TA-DA formula can help you have a clear mind. To some extent, it can even push you to stay focused.
- Think: Ponder every option, the more you take time to reflect, the better the outcome.
- Ask: an important decision requires a detailed assessment
- Decide: the most successful people decide quickly and they stick to their decision. Unsuccessful people on the contrary dabble around and never commit to anything.
- Act: Action! Feel the fear but do it anyway. Create a snowball effect where you slowly gain momentum until you manifest your dreams.
Let’s talk about money
A lack of clarity about personal finance can result in procrastination. It’s important to set clear financial targets.
Ask yourself what money means to you. Sometimes we think that money is the root of all evil. We inherited that from past false beliefs about money.
Indeed, money can be dangerous just like anything in excess: power, sex and greed.
The authors propose a list of must-read books in the areas of money and wealth creation:
Allowances, Dollars and Sense: A proven system for teaching your kids about money by Paul Lermitte
Crush It by Gary Vaynerchuk
Get Rich Click! by Marc Ostrofsky
Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert T. Kiyosaki with Sharon L. Lechter
Ten Golden Rules for Financial Success by Gary Moore
The Greatest Salesman in the World by Og Mandino
The Millionaire Next Door by Thomas J. Stanley and William D. Danko
The One Minute Millionaire by Mark Victor Hansen and Robert Allen
The Richest Man in Babylon by George S. Clason
The Success Principles by Jack Canfield
The Wealthy Barber Returns by David Chilton
Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill
FOCUSING STRATEGY 10: Living and working on purpose
Finding your purpose
It’s crucial to have a life purpose. We’ll see how we can create a clear purpose so that every action we do on a daily basis makes sense.
It’s mostly at the end of our lives that we ask if our lives had a meaning. Collecting material things isn’t enough; there has to be a higher purpose.
Learning to live on purpose
Do you feel that you experience a fulfilled life? What contribution do you make? Are you making a difference in this world? Does your job consist only of repetitive and boring tasks?
To help you identify your life purpose, ask yourself this question: “What are the ten or fifteen times I’ve felt the greatest amount of joy in my life?”, “When was I happiest?”
Three key points
There is a difference between goals and purpose. Your purpose can be seen as the big picture that encompasses your goals. Goals are the different steps that take you along the way. When you align your daily actions with your higher purpose, you will enjoy peace of mind and a wonderful sense of being alive.
3 steps to help you activate your purpose
- Find your natural talents and align your purpose with them
- Stay true to your purpose, be persistent: it’s easy to get sidetracked. “Living your purpose requires single-mindedness—a resolve to do whatever it takes. It separates the weak from the strong, the procrastinators from the truly committed. It inflames a deep passion and creates a feeling of significance. When your purpose is clear, your life will have meaning. You’ll sleep at night fulfilled, instead of worrying about all the day-to-day stuff that creates stress and tension.”
- Maintain a humble attitude: beware of your ego who seeks solely greed and power.
Read my article on “How to find your life purpose”
The power of focus: Statement of purpose
The 3 authors of the power of focus finally shares their personal purposes as follow:
Les Hewitt: My purpose statement is: “To use my God-given talents to positively impact as many people as I can during my lifetime, in a way that significantly improves their lives.”
Jack Canfield: My purpose statement is: “To inspire and empower people to live their highest vision in a context of love and joy, in harmony with the highest good of all concerned.”
Mark Victor Hansen: My purpose statement is: “To help kids of all ages to love free enterprise and business profitability, using inventiveness, creativity and innovation. “