Don’t Feed the Tree
By Rick Ashworth – MSc Applied Sports Science
Is your vision being obscured by the very thing you’re trying to get away from? A huge reason for many of us never making that transition from dream to reality is what goes on around us. Family, work and any number of other commitments present barriers to what we want in the guise of time management and financial need. How good would it be to have the same responsibilities as we had when were kids but without the pressures that we feel build with any potential mistake we make as we get older. The saying is that time waits for no man and without any clear direction or understanding how to change it many of us repeat the same patterns in all areas of our lives, barely noticing the days flying past. We do this not necessarily through any burning desire to do, for example, the job we do but because it provides some financial security and structure, which can become horribly burdensome if we decide we’re not happy and want to do something else. In-stead of fighting for what we really want we use our energy moaning about what we have.
Productivity. This word is the key, it’s your chainsaw, the thing that will give you the ability to chop down that massive redwood that’s cutting out the light from where you’re standing now on the forest floor. In an ideal world every project you ever did would be done at full capacity, full focus and produce the results you wanted in super-fast time but we are never going to have the same dedication for everything whether that’s because of the time available, fatigue, how you feel about the task at hand and so on and so forth.
So what do you need to ask yourself? The first question is which one of your listed goals would please you most to complete? How clear are you on this point, do you have a specific end in mind? If you’re just blindly pouring all your ambition and energy to the wrong direction then you’ll at best end up frustrated and disappointed and, at worst, even farther away than when you wrote up your goals in the first place. Don’t fret about how you have ended up where you are, your past is set ad cannot be changed but your present will shape what’s ahead. Unless it’s an absolute ne-cessity, don’t get up earlier or work through lunch and forgo evenings with family to beat yourself to death working harder if you’re not working in the right way and down the right path. You have to plant a structure to your day and produce the work you want towards the goals you want. Sure, you’ve got a job to do and that’s going to take some of your time but if that’s not what you want then you shouldn’t be pouring your productivity into it for any longer than you must.
So how can you focus better and produce better results? I’ve listed a few points below that I think will help you do just that and carry your plans forward:
* Get a journal and/or make sure you transfer notes from your mobile device into a more concrete note. Clear thinking on a subject seems to be becoming less obvious with the pace of life and
the seamless ability to tune into a wide variety of unproductive media. Studies prove that trans-ferring thoughts onto paper play a significant role in their fruition.
* So you have an idea, switch off the TV and the radio, close-down YouTube and your Facebook account, put your phone on silent and out of reach and give yourself time to think. For some of you that might be a few days out of your normal loop, it might be just sitting in a quiet and com-fortable place, you might even be able to get these thoughts in as you take a run or cycle but it’s got to be ‘you time’ not chatting with others just you.
* With a plan fired up it’s now time to bring in others. Spread the word, help them get momentum; if you’re inclined to pray then go for it, call in any help you can get your hands on, this is when you need it.
* You’ve spent a few days going over what you want, you’re hungry and desperate to start but you’ve got to be honest first and figure out where you are now. If your goals are big enough then this part might hurt because you’ll realise you’re not that close to them right now…but you will be.
* The time has finally come to join the dots. The most important part of the process is to work out what you really want. It can’t be an arbitrary goal, something you’d kind of like, you need to want this thing now, in five minutes, five days, five months and years from now. When you have that down pat, no sway or movement then start acting ‘as if’. Think about it as if you’ve already achieved your ambition. What would it feel like, how would you act? I don’t mean you need to start driving around in a car with blacked out windows (though if that helps you reach your goal as a celebrity footballer then don’t let me stop you) but how confident would you feel, would you smile more, would you approach opportunities more readily?
* This vision needs you to be buzzing, don’t hold it back, don’t be embarrassed, tell others about it. If you harbour enough passion about it then it should be oozing out of you and you should be desperate to tell others.
* Finally, remind yourself about what you’re doing on an at least a daily basis. Life doesn’t al-ways lie down in front of you and simply give you the free time to achieve it. Have your goals available to see, by all means pen them down in a notebook but don’t just close the book and never review them again. Put them in your diary, rewrite them everyday, pin them on your no-ticeboard in the office, stick them on the fridge, attach them to the dashboard of your car and review them so often that you can recite them off the top of your head. Stay on track with your to do list, you’ll deviate off target every-so-often but you’ll be able to get back on again as soon as you get in your car or think about preparing something to eat because the list will be right in front of you. Everyone gets distracted and everyone loses focus and confidence from time-to-time, it’s that getting back that will take you to your goal not the worry about how far you’ve drifted.
Remember, this is for the live you want to live; so…go live it!