“To succeed in your mission, you must have single-minded devotion to your goal.” ~ Abdul Kalam
I have to admit I am a focus-person. Even my girlfriend told me so lately. And I believe that’s a good thing. The power we have when we single-mindedly focus all of our attention on just one thing is pretty amazing. On the other hand when we split our attention on several tasks it gets increasingly more difficult to reach an outstanding result. Additionally this kind of “over productivity” raises the stress level.
The problem today is that we live in a world of constant distraction, especially social networks like Facebook and Twitter shorten the attention span. In the case of Twitter we get used to messages below 140 letters. So I think our daily lifestyle is more often than not “anti single-minded”. I know people who aren’t able to concentrate on something anymore at all…
Sometimes I fight over myself with the wish to do something new and interesting vs. the need to focus myself on what is most important for me right now. It can be a real struggle and a mental drain. Just this week I decided to say no to a new, very promising project – at least for now. I took me almost a whole week to make that decision, but at the end I was sure I want to have single-minded focus for my main project right now, which is of course this one. Here are the reasons:
The number one reason why single-mindedness prevails is that only then you can reach real depth in what you do. I am personally astonished by the level of depth I can reach with single-minded focus and what a difference it makes for me. The same is true when I don’t focus, soon or later something is missing. Only when you reach a certain depth of a topic you will have a thorough understanding and you’re able to get new and innovative ideas.
For me one of the main benefits of single-minded work is that I actually can appreciate and enjoy what I do much more. I love to have something where I can put all my attention to and that also pays off because it creates extraordinary results. Results that wouldn’t be there in the first place if I wouldn’t have been able to reach the depth that is needed.
For Real Success You Need Single-Minded Focus
I think in todays world we need more and more specialists tightly focussed on one single purpose. This also includes businesses. If a business is not focussed enough I think it will have a very hard time to compete. You simply can’t expect any kind of success when you only put in 80%. Splitting your efforts too much is the fastest way to fail.
And in order to truly create something valuable, maybe even something outstanding that can inspire others, you need to concentrate yourself at one thing at a time. I do that mistake myself all the time. I want to take on a new project, follow a new idea, start a second blog etc. But eventually this would backfire. I would lose the power of my main project and consequently the quality that is needed to be remotely successful in what I try to do. Of course the important thing is to determine the RIGHT project or goal for yourself.
Simplicity is the art to reduce something to it’s essence… so that you couldn’t take anything away without making it substantially less. On the other hand simplicity is only reached, if you have taken everything away that is not essential.
Being single-minded makes your life simpler. And a simple life is a life focussed on what matters most to you, and nothing much else. If I do to much my life gets more complicated than it has to be.
Less Stress and a Good Work/Life Balance
Since single-mindedness creates a more simple life it also effectively reduces stress. One of the main reasons for stress is taking on more than you can actually handle.
Having your work structured on a single-minded goal will give you more time; more time for your family, hobbies, travels and whatever you can do to create balance.
Make the Right Decision
So next time you have to decide whether you take on another project or make a commitment think if you are still able to work single-mindedly on your main goal. You can feel it in your gut if the extra load is helpful and makes you grow or if it’s really just splitting your energies. By no means I’m saying you should say no to every opportunity that presents itself, but have a strong yes to what is important for you.