Nichiren Daishonin, a 13th Century Buddhist Monk, once said “a mind at cross purposes can achieve nothing remarkable.”  

He was referring to our ability to accomplish whatever we set out to do.  But only when we focus most, if not all, of our resources in the direction we wish to go.

It’s like if you sow apple seeds, you will get apples.

If you sow 75 different types of seeds, you MIGHT have variety… IF anything grows.  

It’s more likely that you will have far less food overall.  You can’t efficiently learn to grow that many crops on your own all at once.  At least not in an amount of time that will keep your family fed.

You might argue that everything wouldn’t need to all be done at exactly the same time, but the likelihood that you would be able to remember what plant needs what when is slim to none.

In the beginning, you would be better served to focus your energy on one crop, become an expert, and grow an abundance.  Then you can trade with others who chose to focus on growing other crops.

 

Stuck In A Rut

If you’ve been running at the same target for any amount of time with less success than you’d like, there might be some limiting or conflicting beliefs at play. 

Whether it’s getting healthy, growing your business, or improving your relationships, your intention, energy, and efforts will be more effective if they are all aimed in the same or a similar direction.

To work through any beliefs you might be dealing with, you’ll need a plan to isolate, evaluate, and eliminate those detours so you can focus as much of your effort as possible on attaining your goals.

To accomplish your goals, follow these three simple steps.

1) Keep it simple

Do one thing at a time at the simplest possible level.  

Don’t make it complicated.

We have this fascination with creating a game that is ‘worthy’ of our efforts.  So many of us don’t feel like we have actually done something worthwhile if the effort we exert feels insignificant.  It’s crazy because the people who accomplish the greatest feats in the history of the world, keep it super simple.  They engage with curiosity and wonder.  They watch, create, and repeat.  Nothing extravagant.  

Keep it boring and simple.  You’ll get much farther.

You might ask why not make it complicated?  It may feel like success has always been so far out of reach that it can’t POSSIBLY be that simple. 

When you look at complicated systems like Amazon or cutting edge technology like Apple, it certainly appears to be the case that complexity is the way to go.

But when you dial it back to the beginning, both of these behemoths started in someone’s garage.  Complexity arose AFTER the idea was proven.  LONG after…

When the money starts rolling in faster than it can be spent, then you can start to design for the sake of design.  But even then you want to be wary.  Unless, of course, you are hell bent on spending all of the extra money just for kicks.

When you keep things simple, only adding in one new piece or part at a time, you can see what adds value to the current structure and what throws things out of whack.  If you toss a bunch of things in all at once, you’ll never be able to TRULY know where the secret lies.

Also, if you’ve not yet been successful in your area of choice, you may have deep seated conflicting beliefs that may have been preventing you from attaining your goals, if you’ve been trying for a while.  When too many things are happening all at once, there is no true way to determine causality.  

But, when you slow down the replay or limit the number of contributing factors, it’s easier to see what comes from where.

To simplify your path:

1 – Research the industry or area for proven successes in the field.

2 – Interview or study 3 – 5 SUCCESSFUL people to find out how they achieved the goal.

3 – Pick the plan or strategy that fits your life and personality best.

4 – Create your strategy using simple, clear, well defined steps.

5 – Make detailed checklists to reliably plan, do, and review the process.

2) Take score

Measurable is winnable.  You probably wouldn’t play a game where you didn’t keep score, would you?  It would be boring and tedious.  Besides, how would you know when it was over?  How would you know what to do next time to improve?  

SMART goals are measurable.  You know how many more dollars you want to earn.  You know how many more pounds you want to lose.  You know how many more cars you want to buy.  You ARE keeping score on some level.  

All the places where I create a game with a score that I can track are the places where I take ground. 

Chances are, you already have an idea of the outcome you would like.  It’s why you want to play the game.

Are you looking for freedom?  For fame?  To house the homeless?

There are tangible, measurable aspects to nearly any goal you hope to achieve.

If your goal is a game you’ve never played before, rely on the research you’ve done in step one to create markers inside of the game.  

Eventually, after your success is repeatable, you will see the benefits accruing in the greater parts of your life at large.

3) Ask for support

Don’t reinvent the wheel.  

Chances are, there is someone out there who has done what you want to do.  Find them and ask for their help.  Get in the room with them and help them do it in their business.  Ask them to teach you.  Pay them to teach you.

There’s an expression you become who you hang around.  Just get in the room and allow successful people to change you.  You don’t have to know how.  You don’t have to understand the process.  Just open yourself to contribution.  Do what they suggest.  Follow their lead.  

Even if you can’t find an official mentor right away, create some sort of a support network.  Ask people you trust for feedback on what you are up to.  

Think of these people like mirrors.  

When you try on clothes, if you just put a piece on without a mirror, you might know if it binds or falls off in certain places.  But will you truly know if it fits?  Probably not.

You want the benefit of a mirror to tell you if there are gaps or bulges or where it might look awkward in places you can’t see by simply looking down at yourself.  

To get an even better idea of the fit, you want one of those dressing room mirrors with the three panels angled around you.  In one of those, you can see the front, the sides, and even most of the back when they are angled properly.  

Having access to views you can trust from people who understand your game is invaluable.  Especially when you are moving into places where you’ve never been before.

When looking for a mentor, support, or feedback, it’s important to ask a few questions to find the right ideological fit.

  1. What specifically do you want to accomplish?
  2. Who else has or does that successfully? 

Remember you are moving into uncharted territory.  Having a guide will cut years off your process.  And even if you don’t know SPECIFICALLY what you need to succeed, you can at least put yourself in the proper arena.  Once there, you will find even more successful mentors.  And up and up you go!

Remember, if you want to make money in the stock market, you wouldn’t ask your Aunt Bessie the coupon clipper who has never traded a stock in her life.

So find support, get feedback, and take it to heart.  When you find mentors, guides, or examples to show you what to do, don’t stop there.  Have people check your progress to make sure your gatekeeper isn’t cutting corners to keep you stuck.

You will be surprised and amazed by what’s possible when you add guidance and support into your plan.