Recently, the Wall Street Journal did a great video interview of Jake Burton, the founder of Burton Snowboards. The interview’s purpose was to give insight into Mr. Burton’s journey from starting his company to becoming an international business success story.
Soon after starting his business, Mr. Burton found himself “broke and really down.” Now, he is the most successful person in his field and still makes time to snowboard over a 100 days a year. How did he do it? Simply, he switched from focusing on himself, “When I started it was very much a get rich quick scheme,” to focusing on something bigger “When I started taking care of the sport, it started taking care of me.”
His story is a great reminder of a Core Truth – The only way to be financially and personally successful in the long run is to focus on giving. In an overly busy life, it is easy to forget this lesson. Each and every time I relearn it, it’s a gift. These moments of clarity have felt so good that they have motivated me to learn how to tap into that feeling more often.
If you can answer this focusing question, then you are well on your way:
As a ______________, my job is to ______________, so _____________ can ____________________.
Every morning, before I open my email client, touch the computer keyboard or even look at my to-do list, I reread my answer.
As a work/life balance expert, my job is to answer the universal question, “why do I not do what I know I should,” so you (the busy person who wants more from life) can improve your professional success, health and happiness.
How about you? Do you know your answer? Maybe, but do you use that answer to increase your focus, motivation to do what is important and your ability to say no to the unnecessary stress you face? I don’t, unless I answer that question every day.
Answer that question and then post your answer somewhere that you will see it every morning. Answering this question may be harder than you expect, but forge onward. Once you have it, it will help you every day, plus anytime you feel off-track, frustrated with your day or are wondering, “Why I am doing this in the first place?”
Coming up on my next blog post – How to use this same focusing question to achieve more of your short-term goals.
Andy also wrote the book Change Your Day, Not Your Life, a guide to sustained motivation and more productivity.
See Andy's speaking schedule for an event near you.
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