One of my favorite books is called A Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren, and in it he says, “If you want your life to have impact, focus it! Stop dabbling. Stop trying to do it all. Do less. Prune away even good activities and do only that which matters most. Never confuse activity with productivity.” Do you see how much more there is other than these words? Short, impactful sentences, and then pointing out exactly what we all need to consider – are we just going through the motions, or are we truly being productive with our time
Think about your favorite game. If you’re competitive do you think about taking your time before owning the most property, getting to the finish line first, or putting someone back to home while you cruise around the board? At the same time, do you also consider how impactful the game will be if you make it so the other’s don’t have fun playing the game with you? Of course, because we want to have fun, and for others to have fun with us.
If you think about it, although we’re all driven to win, we don’t want to cause others to be impacted negatively by our actions – at least you shouldn’t.
Think about it this way. You have a professional or personal goal, and are motivated to make it happen. You work so hard, that other’s feel motivated as they see you achieving more and want to ride on that same wave. One day they ask if you want to hang out, but you can’t because you don’t have time. Then your BFF asks if he can get some ideas on how he can be successful, and you reply you’d be happy to when you have time. Some may think this is perfectly appropriate behavior, and they should understand. This is your time – go for it! Go for what? To the extent it will cost you relationships?
We need to learn that being active, does not make us “productive”. We will lose what matters most by acting in this fashion. Motivation is driven by attitude – a positive attitude. Motivation when used appropriately becomes a form of energy that feeds on itself. It does not require going somewhere for more fuel, the fuel will come to it. Motivation causes small groups to become organizations.
The next step as you work towards your goal is to consider not only how you achieve the goal, but how you influence others. I would rather be a part of something upbeat, energetic, and positive. I don’t know too many who want to get to the finish line, and find out they ran the race alone.