When our home burned down one of the many great losses we experienced included four full-sized book shelves packed.
We had books on books, behind books.
I call it a great loss but something weird happened too –
Each day I had walked by those shelves, full of potentially life changing information and I felt –
Guilt. Shame. Confusion. Wasted opportunity.
I didn’t realize it until those books were gone. All that potential locked up and mostly unused, and every time I walked by it I sunk a little.
When they were gone a massive weight had been lifted off – a weight I wasn’t aware existed.
After the fire I decided I would own 12 books. I would read them. I would master them. And only then would I add new a one.
Why 12? No reason, that’s just the number.
Of course my information lust turned out to be stronger than my will-power but there’s an important lesson I’ve hung onto and I share it today because it’s something that’s again resurfaced.
Recently, I’ve become acutely aware of every little distraction. When I listen to music, often a tune continues in my head – it occupies space that would otherwise be a thought moving me forward.
I would rather have the thought.
When I play games, my secret addiction, I’m thinking about game strategy instead of business strategy.
When I watch twaddle TV, same deal.
We gain some value but ultimately these are distractions. They eat precious bandwidth. They make me less than I want to be.
Think about it: You too?
If you want to get great at something, immerse yourself in it.
Do it, obsess about it. Eliminate everything else (that you can) while you’re on that mission.
I’ve started turning the Internet off for 4 hours per day. We unplug the router. It’s hellish because the Internet is a habit – when I have to think hard and I get stuck, that’s my cue to check out Facebook, ESPN or play a game.
So I stay stuck by putting some new distraction in my head that has ZERO direct, POSITIVE impact on my life.
Right now I’m re-immersed in my work. My random thoughts about nothing are starting to replace themselves with lightbulb inspirations at the strangest times.
I am forcing obsession through immersion. And while the “life balance” folks might be uncomfortably squeamish at the thought, I’m great and I’m on my way to crushing their asses.
Decide. Today. Tommorrow. As soon as you can, what you REALLY want to be good at – what you really want to experience in your life, and immerse. Obsess. Master. Thrive.