Spaghetti and Focus: What on earth do they have to do with each other?
A lot of entrepreneurs in the professional service world are looking for their unique mission and purpose for their business and we deal with them when they face cross roads or changes of directions. In this economy it even is a case of crisis management or changing old ways because they no longer work or deliver the results from the past. Yesterday I heard a very apt saying in your quest for your mission in life don’t get run over or sidetracked by others in search of theirs. Hence I decided to write this post about staying focused and how I work with clients around this topic.
Obviously the starting point is finding out what is you want to stand and be counted for. The very headline statement level, which if you were to have the misfortune of leaving the planet people will remember you for and they would say: ‘Remember him…. he was totally focused on achieving….. or she was exactly this kind of person…’. So I guess if you don’t know what you want to be remembered for, then this is the starting point and this goes for entrepreneurs as well as employees.
Once you have chosen your one headline that you want to be remembered for and for some of my clients that means becoming the best in their chosen field, some want to be recognised for expert knowledge others want to win coveted awards. Whatever it is for you, make the bold statement to someone you trust and write it down in your private goal book and then work backwards what actions are necessary to make sure you are recognised as that person. What in your words do you need to achieve in order to have 100% proof that you have hit your mission. So you can actually rest in peace or move on to the next challenge.
If this all sounds a little bit morbid, it’s only intended to make you think. In my view we all arrived on this planet to share some of our talents and achieve something, what that is we have the liberty to decide on which is a great opportunity or some people’s biggest fear.
Let’s now assume that you have worked out your mission and ambition in your business life and now staying focussed on doing the tasks that will get you to your ultimate goal becomes your next mission, should you choose to accept it. In my business coaching work I often get asked how entrepreneurs can really remain more focused on their core goals as opposed to getting distracted and pulled away into other interesting projects. Most of the time my answer would be different depending on the person, because ultimately we all create focus in our own unique ways.
I did wonder all the same if I could come up with a visualisation or metaphor to help people get rid of distractions and remain completely laserlike in their mission to achieve. This is were my old favourite spaghetti comes in and if you can create this image just by reading this blogpost then I would say use it to your own advantage and let me know if it works for you as well.
Imagine yourself surrounded by all your distractions as if they are all planets floating around you in a magical solar system. Distractions can be people, annoying habits you have or others have, e-mails, phone calls, unhealthy habits, etc, etc. Just make sure the distraction can actually take a visual shape or form even if it is only a feeling, just have it represented in the physical imagery.
Now, imagine all those floating distractions attached to you as the centre of your universe with little strings of spaghetti, the more attached or annoyed you are the more spaghetti you have attached to that distraction. Then when you can see the attached spaghetti straps consciously cut the spaghetti straps with razor sharp, industrial sized kitchen knives and see all teh distractions disappearing like fireworks in the sky as if you were tying them down and now they have been released to splash their colour one last time and then they are gone. If you need to repeat the cutting of spaghetti ties to get rid of all of them, then do the same again.
You are left with a bowl of neat spaghetti ties which you fully own and control and this becomes your bowl of focus, you and only can decide what shape, what form or what time this bowl needs in order to develop into your goals. The bowl represents your business mission, your reason for existing and again your core focus that will ultimately get you were you want to be.
See yourself bringing the bowl to all the successful meetings you will have, all the conversations that need to happen in order to hit your target, all the e-mails, the contracts, the presentations, etc, etc that ultimately make your bowl the success gift from you to you. In order to be successful most of us need other people and that’s why the bowl travels with you to share but only on our terms, in your time and with the people you consider to be of help.
I sure hope you enjoy spaghetti…. do let me know the results of your bowls of focus. Failing any better headlines, maybe people might just remember you for the person that enjoyed spaghetti analogies.