Many of us run through our day, often mindlessly, tackling our ever-growing to-do list and give little thought to what’s coming down the pike––and never mind even considering what we’d like to see in our future.
We leave far too much to fate.
Rather than set goals and then work toward achieving them, we get tossed around the waters of life, much like an unmanned sail boat.
I’ve long been a student of Earl Nightingale, as you may know from my Earl’s Pearls posts.
According to his research, Earl says we’re using only a small percentage of our brain. But if we used our brains to activate our potential, we’d have great problem-solving capabilities. “It’s an undiscovered gold mine,” he says.
Steps to Gold-Mining
Earl suggests that we set an hour a day aside, five days a week for problem-solving. Here’s how:
Take a clean sheet of paper and write your primary goal at the top of the page. Then, for the next 60 minutes, come up with at least 20 ideas on how you can increase your service and improve what you now do.
Perhaps not all, but many of those ideas will propel you closer to that goal.
This is easier said than done. I’ve tried it at various points in my life. I think about a goal somewhere in the future; and then I work toward solving for the difference between where I am now and where I want to be.
This takes commitment to developing a new habit––and setting time aside in your calendar to accomplish this new task.
Yet, it’s well worth the investment of time and energy. I strive for twenty ideas each day, even though I may not reach that on all five days. I don’t do it consistently, but when I do, I find the gold.
During one session, I found a way to streamline workflow and boost accountability by assigning tasks in Outlook. It wasn’t a million-dollar idea. But it did become a game-changer for our department in how we had visibility into each other’s workflow and performance. It worked wonders.
Earl also reminds us that this practice deeply embeds your goal into your subconscious mind. Think about it (pun intended). For 260 hours a year you’re thinking about your goal with incredible focus. And, as you close the gap between your present and your future by increasing service, you’ll eventually reach your goal.
Like he and many great thought leaders have professed, “You become what you think about.”
Now, you might be thinking, “I can’t imagine setting aside an hour a day to think about what I want in my life. I’m too busy dealing with what’s already on my desk and in my calendar.”
Perhaps you should reconsider your priorities and create the space you need to tap into this vein of gold. It’s been there the whole time just waiting to be activated.
And maybe that’s the problem. When you think about it (pun intended), no one has ever taught us how to think. It seems that the last place we turn for answers is our own brain. It should be the first.
This thought routine is something that reminds us of how we should rely on our own abilities to achieve what we want. We somehow get led astray and turn to Google or other people for advice. However, if we turn to our own brain and our past experiences––we mine our own gold.
Perhaps you can’t find an hour a day right now. This is not an all or nothing proposition. If you start with just fifteen minutes, you’ll find you may end up doing more. You’ll be on a roll.
The decision is yours alone. Your mind is the key to tapping into the gold you already possess. So SPMs, it would be wise to give yourself a little bit of your own attention.
Your mind is yours. You own it free and clear. But it comes with no owner’s manual. Make the time to tap its ultimate potential, and it will make your future.