Written by: Renée LeMoine
Photo by: V&V
“In a recent interview, an elderly entrepreneur summarized his life’s success. He said that when he was 52 he sat down and estimated that the average person lives 75 years, and thus has about 3,900 Saturdays in a lifetime. By this time, he had lived 2,704 Saturdays, so he realized that he had only 1,196 left to enjoy.
He went on to explain that he bought 1,200 marbles and put them in a clear plastic box near his favorite work area. Every Saturday since then, he took one marble out and threw it away. As he watched the marbles diminish, it pushed him to focus more and more on the really important things, and made every action count.
– Successful people are intentional. They aren’t scattered or haphazard. They know what they’re doing and why. Being intentional starts with a strong sense of purpose. Once you know the why of your life, the what and the when simply become a matter of execution. Success comes most easily to those who seek the shortest and most direct path between two points.
– Specialize in your strengths. Stop beating yourself up about your weaknesses and instead spend 80% of your time and effort on what brings the highest return on your effort. Spend the other 20% of your time improving your weaknesses.
– So many opportunities, so little time! Make a checklist for measuring the applicability of each opportunity that presents itself to you, and evaluate it against your checklist each time you are tempted. Will opportunity x serve as a tool to accomplish your purpose? What are the risks and pay-offs associated with chasing it? Will you be able to manage the increased stress generated by implementing it?
– Commit to long-term accomplishment. Being willing to dedicate yourself to steady long term progress instead of immediate achievements will enable you to be more intentional in all areas of your life. After all, it was the turtle who won the race.
Sources: a) BBC radio news broadcast. Saturday, February 8, 2003. b) The Lessons of Experience, by McCall, Lombardo, Morrison. Free Press, 1988.
Article prepared by Renée LeMoine, Executive Director, LeMoine & Associates