Monday, January 2, 2017
Moving Into the New Year with the Power of Focus
As we start the New Year I want to share some thoughts from a book I think is perfect for moving into 2017. I could mean my book, Living More Than OK, as it is a thought provoking positive book to begin the New Year; but that would be rather self-serving of me. Of course you then can say, why mention my book with a link to the Barnes & Noble site for it? Maybe because I am a little self-serving and I believe in what I wrote in my book. Back to the topic at hand – what book do I want to share thoughts on? It is Bull’s-Eye: The Power of Focus by Brian Tracy. It comes from one of my favorite motivational companies, Simple Truths.
Tracy’s book came to mind while reflecting on a church service we attended on January 1st. The pastor had his minister team share their objectives for the coming year. A recurring theme was to write down the goals and plans that you have for the New Year. What the various ministers there were saying fit so well with what Brian Tracy is saying in Bull’s-Eye. The beginning for the book states the importance of writing down goals that we want to obtain along with the plan to accomplish the goal. As he states in the book, “A person with a goal and a plan is like an archer or a dart thrower with everything they need to step up to the line and hit a bull’s-eye” (p27).
He makes an important point in creating the goal to make it personal, positive and present. So write the goal as if it has been completed in the present sense of the moment. For example for the PhD I am working on using his thinking I would write down “I have my PhD in Psychology”. It is like making a declaration that the mind can visualize. Imagine your goal has already happened. It is a different concept than the traditional future tense goal with a timeline. Of course it is then important to create an action plan to reach the goal otherwise it is simply a Pollyanna wish. The idea is similar to Stephen Covey’s Habit 2 “Begin with the end in mind”. He follows up the goal thoughts with a solid section on building a personal mission statement.
He moves into the importance and hard work of being focused and building up concentration to reach the goals by following your plan. Many people don’t reach what they want due to not following basic time management principles or are too easily distracted in our distracting world. We need to manage time and social media or they wind up mismanaging us and stopping us from getting what we want for our lives.
Tracy also in the book shares the importance of building up a mindset of excellence. He brings out an important research point from a professor at Florida State University, Dr. K. Anders Ericsson, “According to Ericsson, people in the bottom 80 percent will work during their first year of employment to learn their particular job or craft. After that, they slow down, level off, and never get any better. They don’t read any books, listen to any audio programs, or take any additional courses. They simply flatten out.” (p.77). This relates well with my thinking in my book, Living More Than OK, as I emphasize one problem in our life journey is that we settle for the plateau of OK living and just getting by. So Tracey encourages an excellence mindset along with the discipline of skill building and lifelong learning.
Those are just a couple of key thoughts that helped me as I am looking forward to new goals and readjusted goals for the New Year. There are many other fine points in his book to help with your life. As usual I want to simple peak interest so you can look for the book in your local library for purchase a copy for yourself. The beginning of a year is a time to gain a fresh start and begin moving on goals you want to accomplish.
Reflection: Has your life leveled off? What area of your life do you want to improve in 2017? How can you move towards being a seeker of excellence?