This popular mantra from Tony Robbins is an effective way to approach getting things done. But there’s a flip side.
This advice is typically given to someone struggling to accomplish their goals due to a lack of focus, whether it’s a non-existent focus or a focus that’s too wide-spread.
Take for example a common story among creatives: this person feels a desire to be free to do what they want with their lives, to be able to create, whether it’s through writing, music, film, or another art form. They don’t want to be tied down to a job where they clock in and out at 9 and 5 every day, beholden to a boss and a corporate structure. So they leave their job to pursue their “passion”, only to find that the pursuit of passion doesn’t pay very well.
They start a blog, only to be met with low engagement. They make a video, but the view counts never grow. They start working on a screenplay but never finish since no one has been responding in line with their expectations.
If you’re wondering, I’m talking about myself.
These are all things that I’ve been guilty of, some in just the last few years. So how do you make it work? You focus.
Part of that focus means putting more energy and thought into the one thing that you feel will a) make you happy, and b) people are willing and able to pay you for, but the other part is that in order to have time and energy, you’ve got to take time and energy away from everything else.
Want to get stronger? You’ll need an hour a few times a week to go to the gym, so either you get up early or miss out on time with your family in the evenings.
Want to write a novel? 1000 words a day is a good start, but where is that time going to come from? Not just that, but if you spend the rest of the day thinking about your Instagram, your blog, and your Youtube channel, you’re likely not focusing enough to do the novel any justice.
Focusing is equal parts giving and taking, and we have to think about that before we start, rather than jumping off a cliff and trying to assemble a parachute from thin air on the way down.