In our society, some clichés or false myths about productivity are widespread that take us away from the idea of focusing on one thing and having success in what we really want.
There is a common idea that successful people have exceptionally disciplined lives, but the truth is that to achieve success we don’t need more discipline than we have, we just have to learn to manage it better.
More often than not, success is a discipline-fuelled sprint just enough to build a good habit. In essence, success is achieved by doing the right thing, not doing everything right. The trick is to choose a key habit and apply sufficient discipline to persevere: therefore, the discipline you need is only necessary to develop the habit of doing the right thing, no more, no less.
Relying on willpower
Willpower is not an infinite resource, but it is something that is easily exhausted. Every day you engage in activities that drain our willpower, such as making difficult decisions, suppressing impulses, or striving to change our behaviour in order to achieve certain goals. Like any other vital but limited resource, willpower must therefore be managed, so that it is there when you need it, which is when you are doing our only thing and so that nothing distracts you from the right path. So, to keep the many activities of the day from draining your precious supply of willpower, try to do your most important job first, your one thing. Do not fight against your willpower but build your days intelligently by doing what matters when your willpower is at its maximum.
The search for balance
The idea of balance is something very abstract. You hear about it so much that you are convinced that it is what you should aspire to, but in reality, what you must seek is the purpose, the meaning, and in seeking it you will surely live an unbalanced life.
In fact, if you think of balance as being in the middle of two extremes, it is clear that living in the middle prevents you from dedicating yourselves 100% to exactly what lies at the extremes. In an effort to take care of all things, you give nothing full attention and this takes you away from the extremes of imbalance but also from extraordinary results.
Magic happens at the extremes, but living at the extremes makes it difficult for you to manage your lives, because when you focus completely on something, something else will inevitably be overlooked. Instead of seeking balance, try to counterbalance instead, constantly working to adjust your priorities and achieve a balance not in every single moment, but as a whole. Focus on the most important thing while you are doing it (example during tennis training… focus on what you need and want to improve) and then go home and dedicate yourself to the most important thing at home: your life has multiple areas and each requires attention. Let things take precedence when their time is right and then move on to the rest.
In our society we are dissuaded from thinking big, but this is a huge pitfall because it leads us to think small, dream small and reduce our aspirations.
Instead, when you allow yourself to accept that greatness is a possibility you start thinking differently. Thought shapes actions and actions determine results, so avoid incremental thinking that makes you simply ask, “What should I do next?” and ask yourself bigger questions. A rule of thumb is to double your goals: if you want to get ten, ask yourself, “How can I reach 20?” and think about how to get there. Don’t fear failure – it’s part of the journey to success. By setting a goal so above what you want, you will build a plan that will virtually guarantee you your initial goal.