Narrow Your Focus to Improve Your Results

It’s not unusual for me to have someone approach me to write a program for them. When I ask them what their goal is, the conversation will often go something like this,

“I’d like to press a 32, get a little bit leaner, maybe put on some size, get a new car, find some extra friends, learn to cook Italian food, and convince two South American supermodels to be my co-wives…”

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People don’t know exactly what their target is, or why they want it, and that makes programming pretty difficult.

Ok, maybe it doesn’t go exactly like that, but the start of that sentence was not unusual. People don’t know exactly what their target is, or why they want it, and that makes programming pretty difficult.

Imagine for a second that I’m about to throw you a tennis ball. Give yourself a rating out of 10 for your likelihood of catching it. Now imagine my buddy and I are each going to throw you a tennis ball at the same time. Now what is your rating? Now run through the same mental drill for 3, 4 or 5 people… What happens to the rating each time a ball gets added?

The chances of catching all of the balls thrown at you goes down each time, and more importantly, the likelihood of you catching any of them goes down dramatically as well - especially if you try and catch them all.

You might be able to catch one just about every time though.

How? Simple.

If you stay focused on me and the ball that I’m throwing to you and ignore the rest of them, then you dramatically increase the likelihood that you’ll manage to hold onto that ball. In other words, by narrowing your focus, you are spiking your chances of success.

So what was the relevance of that digression? Goals are like tennis balls. Focus on one, and your chances are pretty good, focus on five, and you’re probably not going to achieve any.

Piers Kwan1 Comment