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Inner Game

Equality is a LIE

inequality“Equality is a worthy ideal pursued in the name of justice and human rights. In the real world of results, however, things are never equal...”

This is an excerpt from Gary Keller, multimillionaire real estate agent/investor and founder of the largest real estate company in the U.S., Keller Williams. I pulled it from paragraph one, Chapter 4 of his latest book, The ONE Thing, which is subtitled, “The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results”




I've been reading it myself the last week or so, and it's a real paradigm rattler. Very powerful stuff.

So the main idea behind the book is that we are systemically disadvantaged by our natural, default tendency to do too much simultaneously -- to focus on trying to accomplish too many “good things”, rather than really masterfully executing just one thing at a time with true greatness.

That's a bit of an over simplification of the book really. There's just a heck of a lot more to explore in and around this concept, and some really in-depth application to this statement itself. But that's the concept from 10,000 feet.

It's based upon Keller's personal epiphany that, where he had enjoyed huge success (in business, relationships, life, etc.) he had pretty much narrowed his concentration down to one thing. And conversely where his success had varied, his focus had too.

antAnt or Achiever?

Anyways, back to why equality is a lie, I realize this is a bit of a controversial statement to toss out there, especially today. But hang with me for a second and I think it’ll make perfect sense to you. Let's gel this idea with one more slice from Chapter 4 that really smacked me between the eyes while reading it this morning. I'm hoping it'll do the same for you.

Consider this...

“When everything feels urgent and important, everything seems equal. We become active and busy, but it doesn't actually move us any closer to success. Activity is often unrelated to productivity, and busyness rarely takes care of business. 

As Henry David Thoreau said, ‘It's not enough to be busy, so are the ants. The question is, what are we busy about?’

Knocking out a hundred tasks for whatever the reason is a poor substitute for doing even one task that's meaningful. Not everything matters equally, and success isn't a game won by whoever does the most. Yet that is exactly how most play it on a daily basis.”

Take some time to chew on that today. 

And then ask yourself – really challenge yourself with this question: “What can I do today to:

  1. prioritize awesomely - not just dealing with the "urgent" stuff only, 
  2. clear my plate of "busyness" work, and 
  3. focus intensely on what matters most, that will make the biggest difference in my business/life?

For me today, that means not going through the rest of my email until tonight (perhaps not at all today) and focusing hard on about three main things (rather than fifteen) that will have the biggest impact on my bottom line and in moving my business and life forward right now.

That's what you should do too. Starting now.

imbalanceBalance is Also a Lie

“But what about balance?” you say. “If I focus mostly on one, or only a few thing(s) today, won’t that throw everything else off kilter? What about all the other stuff on my plate that won’t get done? I just feel like I need more balance.”

Wrong. What you need is greater focus, accompanied by better counter-balance. That is, the ability to selectively prioritize when and how you go off balance and hyper-focus, then counterbalance it all off again.

Here’s another solid slice of Keller the Great on this one:

“When we say we’re out of balance, we’re usually referring to a sense that some priorities – things that matter to us – are being underserved or unmet. The problem is that when you focus on what’s truly important, something will always be underserved. No matter how hard you try, there will always be things left undone and the end of your day, week, month, year and life. Trying to get them all done is folly. When the things that matter most get done, you’ll still be left with a sense of things being undone – a sense of imbalance. Leaving some things undone is a necessary tradeoff for extraordinary results. But you can’t leave everything undone… that’s where counterbalancing comes in. The idea of counterbalancing is that you never go so far that you can’t find your way back or stay so long that there is nothing waiting for you when you return…

…The question of balance is really a question of priority. When you change your language from balancing (your life, business, time, etc.) to prioritizing, you see your choices more clearly and open the door to changing your destiny. Extraordinary results demand that you set a priority and act on it. When you act on your priority, you’ll automatically go out of balance, giving more time to one thing over another. The challenge then doesn’t become one of not going ‘out of balance’, for in fact you must. The challenge becomes how long you stay on your priority. To be able to address your priorities outside of work, be clear about your most important work priority so you can get it done. Then go home and be clear about your priorities there so you can get back to work.

…To achieve an extraordinary result you must choose what matters most and give it all the time it demands. This requires getting extremely (temporarily) out of balance in relation to everything else, with only infrequent counterbalancing to address them…”

I hope you let all that ooze into the cracks and crevices of your brain matter. It’s really powerful stuff. Read it again if you need to, so it really sinks in.

Bottom line, your to-do’s today (or this week, etc.) are very UN-equal in importance. Treat them as such. Remember, exceptional results come from learning how to hyper-focus on the most important ones first.

And achievers always work from a clear sense of PRIORITY, not balance.

Now go make it happen, and here's to having an epically productive, hyper-focused, unequal day :-)

Keep it real,

...jp moses

PS - Do yourself a favor and take 5 minutes to go snag a copy of The ONE Thing by Gary Keller. Trust me on this, you'll be glad you did.


Do It To It! Immediate Action Steps

Feed Your Intellect – Give your brain some healthy food by checking-out Gary Keller’s latest book, The ONE Thing.

Ask Yourself #1 – Ask yourself, “What can I do today to prioritize awesomely – not just dealing with the ‘urgent’ stuff only?

Ask Yourself #2 – Ask yourself, “What can I do today to clear my plate of ‘busyness’ work?”

Ask Yourself #3 – Ask yourself, “What can I do today to focus intensely on what matters most, that will make the biggest difference in my business/life?”

Remember – Remember, exceptional results come from learning how to hyper-focus on the most important ones first.

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