Focus

Follow One Course Until Successful (FOCUS)

—Author Unknown

Image from blog.ruzuku.com

Image from blog.ruzuku.com

One of my favorite quotes related to the FOCUS acronym is “If you try to chase two rabbits they both get away.”

In our “faster, faster” world, multi-tasking is a fairly common practice. Although this strategy seems to work in many circumstances, it often has drawbacks, particularly when we are faced with a very important priority. In such cases, even a small bit of distraction or taking our eye off the ball can have considerable undesirable consequences.

EXERCISE:

Identify one or two areas in your life where a lack of focus is having a less than desirable impact. Where would following one course until successful produce the greatest value for you today and in the future?

“The book that will most change…”

“The book that will most change your life is the book you write.”

—Seth Godin, American author and entrepreneur

QC Book Cover

It has been just over a year since I published The Quotable Coach – Daily Nuggets of Practical Wisdom. The process, from my first blog post to published book, took over two-and-a-half years.

I have always loved quotes. I enjoy the inner journey as I look at my own life. The 30 months of developing the book were far different in that I found myself digging deeper, and wrestling more fully than ever before. It was, without question, the extra efforts that resulted in the most profound gains I’ve experienced, professionally and personally.

EXERCISE:

If you were to write a book that would result in substantial growth, what would be the topic? How can you begin this process today? Possible first steps could be a journal entry, a blog post, or a short story.

“Convert your Marketing Strategy…”

“Convert your marketing strategy from a shotgun to a laser.”

—Author Unknown

Image from bigfishmedia.ca

Image from bigfishmedia.ca

Many marketing professionals would agree that if we try to be all things to all people, we almost always miss the mark and become nothing to no one.

Many year ago, when I worked in the pharmaceutical industry, we used an exercise called, “walk the patient across the doctor’s desk,” in order to position our medication in the minds of each physician.

The more specific we were in describing how our medications managed the patient’s symptoms, the clearer the physician was in its utility and application.

EXERCISE:

How can and will you focus your marketing and sales efforts to hit the bulls-eye and better support the customers you wish to serve?

“The first impression may be…”

“The first impression may be the only impression.”

—Author Unknown

image from jimmycasas.blogspot.com

image from jimmycasas.blogspot.com

In our fast-paced world, we generate first impressions in a matter of seconds—sometimes nano-seconds.

What impression do people have of you through your appearance, your spoken words, and even your letters, emails, texts, or social media posts?

EXERCISE:

What efforts can you make today to assure that people get the very best impression of you?  As today’s quote suggests, it may be the only one they have.

“I remind myself every morning…”

“I remind myself every morning: Nothing I say this day will teach me anything. So if I’m going to learn, I must do it by listening.”

—Larry King, American television and radio host

Image from Flickr by Ky Olsen

Image from Flickr by Ky Olsen

Have you ever considered why we have two ears and only one mouth? Why not one of each? Perhaps some higher power—not just Larry King—knew that listening is twice as valuable as speaking.

EXERCISE:

Practice using open-ended questions, including the all-powerful “What Else?” This follow-up & layering technique will help you speak less and learn more, at home and in your workplace.

 

“Life doesn’t have to be…”

“Life doesn’t have to be perfect to be wonderful.”

—Author Unknown

QC #844

I recently finished reading Being Mortal by Atul Gawande. This book focuses on issues regarding aging, the state of affairs of healthcare, and the quality of life—or lack thereof— that often results.

We’ve all heard the statement “no one ever gets out of this life alive.” Gawande points out our ability and responsibility to make sure we make our journey workable and wonderful, despite the imperfections and challenges we face.

EXERCISE:

If you or those you care about are experiencing the imperfection of our healthcare system as it relates to our aging society, consider reading this book. Where can you support yourself and others in having as wonderful a life as possible?

The Person You Want

“Be the kind of person you want in your life.”

—Author Unknown

Image from picturespider.com

Image from picturespider.com

When you got up this morning, brushed your teeth, washed your face, and looked in the mirror, who did you see? What were your thoughts about the person staring back at you? For the moment, leave out any and all references to your physical features and appearance.

Instead, focus only on those inner qualities that make you who you are. Consider the following qualities to start, and add a few of your own:

Optimistic Dependable Cooperative
Honest Respectful Creative
Integrity Open-Minded Courageous
Hard-Working Caring Brave
Loyal Service-Minded Bold
Friendly Helpful Affectionate
Trustworthy Generous Loving
Responsible Productive Kind

EXERCISE:

How will you, today and in the future, become even more of the kind of person you want in your life? Consider sharing your intentions with selective people—those you respect and admire for their wonderful qualities—to help hold you accountable for being the best version of yourself possible.

“Be sure to taste your words…”

“Be sure to taste your words before you spit them out.”

— Author Unknown

Image from behappy.me

Image from behappy.me

Did you know that there are professional tasters for wine, tea, beer, coffee, and even vodka? These discerning taste specialists are charged with evaluating flavors, aromas, and other general characteristics of beverages. Fundamental to the tasting process is actually spitting out most, if not all, of these liquids.

The words we utter throughout our days, too, have various qualities. How sweet, sour, salty, or bitter are the words you use in your professional and personal life?

EXERCISE:

How would taking more time to taste, and perhaps reformulate, your words before you spit them out into the world help you achieve the relationships and results you desire in life?

“If you could kick the person…”

“If you could kick the person in the pants responsible for most of your trouble, you wouldn’t sit for a month.”

-Theodore Roosevelt, 26th President of the United States

Photo from ibosocial.com

Photo from ibosocial.com

Personal responsibility and accountability are two very important qualities of those who tend to be the most successful in a coaching relationship. People who possess these characteristics know they are the proverbial athlete on the field of their own lives, and only they can put points on the scoreboard.

I often observe, to the contrary, many people playing the victim, putting much, if not all, the blame for their lot in life on others.

President Roosevelt’s statement makes it clear: We, alone, control our thoughts and actions. Hopefully we use them to influence our world for the better.

EXERCISE:

Where would a bit more self-coaching and taking greater responsibility for your current place in life make the biggest difference in your professional or personal life?

“I have an existential map. It has…”

“I have an existential map. It has ‘you are here’ written all over it.”

—Steve Wright, American comedian, actor and writer

Photo from Flickr by Zen Sutherland

Photo from Flickr by Zen Sutherland

Steve Wright is a comedian with a very quirky sense of humor who definitely sees life through some unique glasses.

His quote makes me think of the phrase, “wherever you go, there you are.” What makes this useful is that we can take even more responsibility and accountability to influence our world simply because we are an integral part of each situation in which we find ourselves.

Instead of being affected by our circumstances, we can become the cause of them.

EXERCISE:

How can you apply your own presence and capabilities wherever you find yourself to improve your existential world?