“The man who chases two rabbits catches neither.” Confucius
Meet Foxy the Fox. He’s be-bopping along in the woods when he sees two rabbits. One word pops into his mind: “Yummy!”
Then his ego kicks in and he thinks: “I want both of them! I can catch both of them.”
So off Foxy goes – scurrying after the two rabbits that see him coming – one bolts left, the other right. Foxy peels to the left and chases the first one for a good 20 seconds with no luck. He pivots with a U-turn toward the second rabbit, which is already in bigtime flight mode and can’t be caught either. Foxy then returns to rabbit number one but realizes he’s too tired to give chase. Foxy loses. Foxy is hungry. Foxy need focus.
If you take one thing from this article, let it be this: If you want it all, focus on one thing at a time.
Sure, you may not get the first rabbit as fast as you’d like. But when you put your full effort toward that rabbit, you’ll have a much better chance of catching it. And when you do, you’re proud, you’re more confident and most importantly, you’re nourished with enough energy to catch the next rabbit.
Research bears this out. Harvard Business School did a study on what makes American workers happiest in their jobs. The answer? Forward progress. That’s it. Make progress – no matter how small – even a tiny rabbit.
Most of us – when we spot two rabbits – get so caught up with our desire to get both and fail to do what’s really needed: a decision. Yes, deciding can be hard. You immediately realize that by choosing one, you’re going to miss out on both – your original desire. But it’s a critical trade off. It’s been the ruin of many would-be millionaires. Too much greed without thoughtful decision making leaves you huffing and puffing as you watch your rabbits scurry off on their merry little way.
So, what can you do to increase your chances of getting that first rabbit and then the others as they appear? Try these tips:
1. Get Clarity – This is the big one. Get clear on what success is to you. What’s the ultimate goal? Paint a picture of what success looks like to you and keep it nearby where it can always be top of mind. Clarity gets you on the right path.
2. Choose your Rabbits – What activities (rabbits) move you toward the goal you set in tip number one? What are the actions that lead to that goal? And don’t do this step alone. Get feedback with at least one other person. The last thing you want is to choose poorly here. Consider a coach or mentor.
3. Prioritize your Rabbits – Now that you have your rabbits in mind, rank order their importance. You may have heard of the acronym MIT – most important task. Today it’s MIR – yep, the R stands for rabbit! Again, get seek feedback from a trusted source so that you’re seeing things objectively.
4. Commit – The great philosopher Johann Wolfgang von Goethe said, “At the moment of commitment the entire universe conspires to assist you.” Commit by scheduling specific blocks of time and in a place that’s free of all distractions. Then catching rabbits gets as easy as reaching out and grabbing them at will.
I’d love to hear from you: Are you wasting time chasing too many rabbits at once? Can you think of a specific example of where you chased two rabbits at a time? Do you believe more focus in your life could help you in your career?
Bubba Mills is the CEO of Corcoran Consulting and Coaching Inc. (www.corcorancoaching.com/programs, 800-957-8353), an international Real Estate, Mortgage, and Small Business coaching company. Mills is a nationally recognized speaker, coach and mentor to the top real estate agents and mortgage companies. Visit us at www.CorcoranCoaching.com.