Make Today Count!
Years ago, my parents were involved with a support group for cancer patients c alled “Make Today Count!” The genius behind the group was that when life got short, the participants got very clear about their priorities.
For many of us, life seems “endless.” We know of course, and that someday our days will end, but on a practical level, we live as if we have forever, as if there will always be another chance, another year, another opportunity. We pretend we are immortal and spend our days accordingly.
The difference between extraordinary performance and run-of-the-mill performance is usually found in the “little things.” We know that education, intelligence, wealth, even personality do not explain the difference between high achievement and failure. It’s not even close!
The truth is that highly successful people use better, smarter, more effective strategies. They know their top priorities and focus their time, their energy, their creativity and all their pow er on their few, top choices.
There is only a slight difference between landing a plane safely and crashing at the end of the runway, but that slight difference is the difference between life and death. In achieving your goals and creating the life you truly want, it’s the small differences that ultimately determine your long-term results.
Winners know and use effective strategies! Highly successful people review their strategies and measure their results to see if they are “on course.” Are they getting what they want? Are they making progress? Every day they ask, “Is it working?”
I have identified about a dozen key strategies in high achievers, but the first and most fundamental strategy is that high achievers MAKE EVERY DAY COUNT!
Cancer patients understand this. They focus their time, they plan their days, they do “first things first” and they GET THINGS DONE. No distractions! When you have limited energy, when you&r squo;re sick and weak most of the time, when your days are numbered, things get very clear.
In his excellent book, Thinking for A Change, John Maxwell details his strategies for organizing his work a month in advance and reviewing again at the start of each day. He is a master of planning and making every day count!
I am not convinced it is necessary to work extremely long hours, or to work extremely hard. Often, we can achieve a full day’s RESULTS with just one action, if it is the RIGHT action at the right time, done in the right way. High achievers do the right things, at the right time, and they do them every day.
Most people rush quickly, thoughtlessly through life. We are all busy, but are we really getting anywhere? Is all that energy and activity moving us forward? With high achievers, day by day, the answer is an emphat ic YES!
Plan your days and work your plan. Before leaving your office in the evening, or first thing in the morning, outline your day. Review your schedule, choose your most important activities, and focus on them! Every single morning, I list the three most important things I want to do that day. They may be work or play or something in between, but they are my CHOICES and once committed to them, I don’t go to bed until they are done.
The first strategy of high achievers is to make each day count! Focus on things you can control. Know your top outcomes and the key strategies for success, and put all your time and effort into those few things. I think it makes a nice difference.
“Be faithful in small things because it is in them that your strength lies.”
– Mother Teresa
“Destiny is not a matter of chance, it is a matter of choice. It is not a thing to be waited for, it is a thing to be achieved.”
– Jeremy Kitson
“We don’t know who we are until we see what we can do.”
– Martha Grimes
“Take the first step in faith. You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.”
– Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.