Do the next thing best.
Think about the power of the sentence above — when we put all of our effort into doing the next thing best, only then will our focus be pinpoint, our motivation channeled in the right direction, and our resiliency galvanized and ready to take on stress and adversity. The message, while simple, is incredibly powerful and yields great results to those who commit to it, hence the reason why I am writing about it today.
So many times in life when we fail or come up short, it is not because we aren’t intelligent enough or able to carry out the task, but instead due largely to the fact that we simply haven’t “bought in” to what needs to be done. In other words, we have “taken our eye off the ball” and rather than focus and give 100% to what it is we are doing in the moment, we instead only give it partial attention why simultaneously directing some of our attention to other things. It is in this precise moment where our effort lapses, the results we had hoped for do not happen, and our confidence takes a big hit while we process how we really weren’t good enough to get the job done. This thinking, of course, is not necessarily true as we really might have been capable, only that our own thinking and focus wasn’t where it needed to be.
When I work with clients I often give a homework assignment to have them go through an entire day giving 100% to whatever they are doing in that moment. I am very literal in this assignment, meaning the goal is to do the next thing best whatever that next thing is, including having a good breakfast with family (if that’s what they do), driving to school/work with a clear focus and not being disrupted by phone calls and text messages, and locking in when at school, practice, or work. The goal is to feel what it’s like to be completely immersed into an activity and minimize all outside distractions — this might sound easy, but it is actually quite challenging for most people.
Focus is a really big part of life success, and it may be even more invaluable today with so many things around us constantly battling for our attention (i.e. text messages, social media, etc). Focus is a big part of discipline and mental toughness, and it is one of the best ways to maximize human potential — and the best part is that we can all improve in this area (and yes, even self-proclaimed “ADHD” people can, too). So, make it a point this week to “do the next thing best” and see how fast your game takes off to the next level.