Tag Archive for 'focus'

Focus On Your Gauges

In his book, This Is Your Life, Not A Dress Rehearsal, Jim Donovan said:

One of the chief characteristics of virtually all highly successful people is that they make decisions quickly, and rarely, if ever, change them.

This might seem like a rigid, perhaps even arrogant attitude - to refuse to change a decision - but there is something else at work here.

One of the keys to success is to be able to make things happen. In order to do this, you have to make a lot of decisions. If you know what you are doing, you will make most of them correctly. Incorrect decisions aren’t so much failures, as they are examples of what doesn’t work.

When you learn to fly an airplane on instruments (when you are in the “soup” and you can’t see outside of the plane), as you monitor your gauges and controls, you are taught to make little corrections when you see the plane drifting off course or out of your assigned altitude. You must make lots of little corrections, and you must make them constantly.

My instrument instructor told me, “Focus on your gauges, trust them, and make little corrections - constantly.” The result is that your plane never gets too far off course, or into an unsafe attitude.

Successful people do the same thing in their businesses. They make lots of decisions. And while it may seem that they rarely change a decision, it’s really more a matter of moving on and making the next decision with new information. Little corrections, but lots of them. Constantly.

Sometimes it feels as if we are managing our businesses in the soup. And just like a pilot on instruments, it’s natural to freeze up at first. When you get this feeling, focus on your gauges - the decisions that have to be made. Then make lots of decisions, and trust them to either lead you to success or the next decision.

Good flying.

Personal Horizons for small business owners

A horizon is such a useful thing; it helps you have perspective.

There is more than one kind, you know: The old standby that meets the sky as you drive down the road or sail on the water; in aviation, there is an artificial horizon that pilots use as one of their gauges to keep the aircraft in the desired attitude when they are “in the soup” and can’t see horizon #1; and then there is your Personal Horizon.

Your Personal Horizon is your perspective on future prospects; where you’re headed in your personal and professional life. Do you see a bright horizon with clearly defined features, or do you see a dark and hazy horizon and are not sure of what’s ahead?

When you’re on the ground if you want a better view, you have to physically move higher in the hopes of gaining a better perspective. But you can improve your Personal Horizon by moving to higher ground in your life through education, new goals, a new attitude – you get the picture.

If you don’t like what you see on your Personal Horizon, what are you going to do about it? I’m not saying personal change is easy, but you have to admit, it is convenient. You don’t have to physically go anywhere to change your Personal Horizon. You can do it right now, right where you are. Here are three Personal Horizon thoughts from three big thinkers:

Renaissance man, Michaelangelo: “The danger is not that you will reach too high and fall short, but rather that you will aim too low and achieve it.”

Twentieth century entrepreneur extraordinaire, Henry Ford: “Whether you think you can, or whether you think you can’t, either way you’re correct.”

And finally, this from English philosopher and author, James Allen: “You will become as great as your dominant aspiration… If you cherish a vision, a lofty ideal in your heart, you will realize it.”

Allow your “aspirations” to become “dominant”. Give your “vision” a chance to work by acquiring a new Personal Horizon. Where do you look for your Personal Horizon? James Allen says it’s in your heart.

Now go aim a little higher.

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