Are you pointed in the direction you want to go?
So often we try to figure out what we are doing wrong. Analyze every mistake. Try to improve. Become better spouses, friends, parents, co-workers, …. Do a better job – at everything. Your focus is on your mistakes, your shortcomings.
Have you heard the adage: “Where you focus, there you go”? If that is true, then where you’re headed is to more mistakes and shortcomings. Try changing your focus.
Story: Practice what you don’t yet know how to do – often
I decided to take up a new hobby: dancing on wheels. Well, for starters, staying on my roller skates and not falling is an intermediate goal. In order to learn balance you have to practice things that get you out of balance. So my instructor, Roger, said something brilliant recently: don’t focus on your mistakes. Analyzing your mistakes just gets you more of them. The only mistake you have made is that you haven’t done 5,000 of them yet. Practice more. Focus on what you are supposed to do. When you get one right you’ll feel it. It feels good. Over time you’ll get more of them right.
I tried to take that to heart and practice it. Practicing what Roger just taught us about turning and going forwards and backwards on my skates, I observed my mind. If I focused on what I did wrong and stopped to analyze, I didn’t practice as much. If I kept doing it again while still focusing on my last mistake, I started to lose my balance even worse.
Then I used an old trick I learned while playing Volleyball in college: When someone on my team made a mistake during intercollegiate matches, we’d say, “shake it off”. In other words, chances are the other team is going to exploit your state of mind. If you made a mistake and are still focused on it, you are more likely to miss the next ball that comes to you as well. “Shake it off”, reminded us to focus on the next ball coming at us and be fully present for the next chance to get it right: score a point or prevent the other team from scoring a point. How quickly we were each able to REBOUND mentally from a mistake often determined whether we won or lost a game. How quickly can you rebound from a “mistake” and refocus on your goal or next task?
Call to Action and Why This Matters
What does it take to achieve mastery in an area of life? The number I have heard is 10,000 hours. It takes 10,000 hours to be a true master, 1,000 hours to be good at something and 100 hours to get basic proficiency. So taking action is the most important step towards mastery. But there is a catch: not all hours are created equally. You can do the same things over and over or you can be open to new ideas, try new things, learn and grow. In order to grow and find the best ways of doing things, you need to find what works and what doesn’t. Make mistakes, get messy, and eliminate what doesn’t work. Keep practicing. Keep doing it ‘til you have some aha’s and you’ll get to a new level. Get a teacher. Get a coach. Read a book. Talk to a friend or mentor. Bring in new ideas to try. Ask someone who has successfully done what you want to achieve. Observe what others do. Then try it yourself. JUST DO SOMETHING. REGULARLY.
Choose a goal to focus on. Something you really want and are willing to take action to move forward with. Block out time on you calendar, regular time to take actions towards your goal. Example: I decided to write these weekly tips every Thursday from 8-10am. During the week I make notes of ideas for my next tip. Wednesday night I decide what I will write about. Thursday morning I write. In the afternoon I review, edit, fine tune. By evening I create the newsletter and send it out. Your turn: What goal do you choose to focus on?
Taking it Farther
• Choose a BIG dream. Something you really want. Not something you think you should have. Not something that your spouse or your parents or neighbors say you should have. Not something you think you can achieve fairly easily. Choose a goal that is audacious, that get’s you excited to get out of bed in the morning. One that is worth living for. One that is years in the future.
• Decide what you can do THIS YEAR to move closer to that goal.
• Decide what you can do over the next 90 days to move closer to that goal.
• Create action steps for the next 30 days and put aside time on your calendar to get them done.
• Every time you take one of the actions, pat yourself on the back. Yeah! You are moving closer to your dream. Every time you miss, don’t beat yourself up, but decide to recommit to taking that next action step and by when.
Robert Kiyosaki, the author of “Rich Dad, Poor Dad” says in one of his books that it took him 10 years to learn to be a successful entrepreneur, the next 10 years were about making a LOT of money, the next 10 years after that were about giving back and doing good with the money.
May your goals be worth trading your life for.
And what’s your favorite charity?
Want more help? I’m here for you. Tired of holding yourself back? Get relief! Call to schedule some coaching sessions. Have questions? Call to get answers. Edith at 847.913.3900