Squirrels amaze me. They instinctively make the decision to save up for winter. They store nuts in their nests – large amounts. It requires them to stay focused on a goal. At the same time, squirrels in the middle of the road with an oncoming vehicle cannot seem to make a decision about which side to run to. They start one way, change their mind, change again, and again, and…SPLAT!
Focusing on the outcome is hard for some of us. Our world is full of a lot of distractions. Like squirrels, we can focus on doing one thing while having trouble with other things. Like the squirrel, we can get run over because we’re not actually focusing on the outcome.
How do we maintain focus over time? I wish there was an easy answer to this. Keeping the outcome in mind is vitally important. It is also really important to understand there’s probably more than one way to get to the outcome we want. For the squirrel, either side of the road will work – just pick one and GO! If you just go, you are unlikely to get squashed!
We get paralyzed by indecision. I agree – sometimes it is certainly hard to pick the best path. As a result, we lose focus on what we were actually trying to do. The squirrel needs to get out of the way, but gets hung up on which side of the road is preferable. The desired outcome – not getting smashed – actually got set aside because of a minor, distracting detail.
Jim Rohn said, “Learn how to separate the majors and the minors. A lot of people don’t do well simply because they major in minor things.” How very true this is! We get caught up in details that don’t impact the outcome. This causes us to stop focusing on the outcome and get distracted by minor details. I did this just yesterday on a very unimportant thing…
We have to keep paper records for one of our payers. Plus, they have to be in these heavy duty, divided, reinforced folders with fasteners. I have no idea why, but these things cost way more than they should. Anyway, there was a sale on blue ones – like more than half off. But we typically use green. Seriously? Was I really having this conversation with myself over the difference between blue and green? Was a few shades up the rainbow really worth more than double the cost of an item that we use a lot? Is there a file police that is hung up on file folder fashion that is going to arrest me?
The difference between green and blue is irrelevant scenery. It was a minor detail that caused me to stop focusing on the outcome. I ran back and forth between green and blue, majoring in the minors, to the point a half hour was squashed in the middle of the road! Place the order and do something productive!
The scenery can be tricky. As we go along any path to a destination, there is no shortage of things that could draw us off course. We get so caught up in the scenery, we forget what the goal was in the first place! We stop focusing on the outcome we were going for and…SPLAT…we end up stuck. Fortunately, we are able to get back up…
Answer these questions…
- What really is the most important thing to you?
- Why are you doing what you are doing?
- Why did you start?
- How does your reason for starting match up with your reason now?
- Have you lost focus of the outcome and gotten distracted by the scenery?
Getting focused on the outcome rather than irrelevant details will help us get moving instead of getting squashed. Don’t get caught up in the scenery. Get moving toward the outcome!
What about you? Do you have a time when you had trouble focusing on the outcome and got caught in the details? Comment below and tell us about it. We would love to hear from you!