The Main Thing

Building something great can be hard work, full of set backs and false starts. As you all can see, I’ve been literally driven to the point of pulling out my hair – I’ve starting in the front, working my way back. I cannot afford much more of this, as the supply of this precious natural resource keeps dwindling. I wish my battle scars were not so visible, but I’ll take overcoming adversity any way it comes.

We’ve discussed the need to challenge ourselves, to endure adversity with our minds wide open, and to lead with mutual respect for one another. We’ve touched on determined focus. Stephen Covey, the author of Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, coined the phrase “The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing”.  Its message is timeless – keeping your focus and efforts on the most important goals will help you accomplish them. The natural course of this is to make a bunch of to-do lists related to taking steps towards your goals, and this is great. Today, I’d like to ask you to look at it a bit differently, to find the “uncommon sense” of this message.

Focus means putting your attention on something. The other side of this is that it requires you to take your attention off of something else. In other words, to create time to focus on the main thing, we must take the time away from our less important, distracting things. In most every part of my life, my success has a built in urgency – it always has. I want to be great in everything I do, and I have no problem in putting in the time needed to accomplish this. I have so many people, tasks, responsibilities, and needs that pull me in so many different directions that it can be overwhelming even just to think about keeping things in some form of order. It’s easy for me to slip into the ugly world of feeling like I’m a failure. 

Its been sung “Every rose has its thorn”. The “rose” in this situation is that my confidence is built through these difficulties.  Every difficult situation I overcome, when everything seems hopeless, reminds me that I am resilient, I am strong, and I will overcome. My sense of urgency towards success forces me to remove the unimportant uses of my time, money, and sanity. So I press on, eliminating more clutter to accomplish mental successes that other people cannot even imagine. 

I challenge you to create a “To Don’t” list, a compilation of distractions that take away from you being effective in anything that is important to you, and commit to treating the savings as a precious gift. Find happiness with your success and share this spirit with someone you care about. Find time and spend it on something or with someone important to you. Find appreciation and remind someone of how grateful you are for them. Make a difference in all things important.

Through perseverance, we will continue to learn, grow, and succeed.

Good Luck.