Imagine your boss, mentor, or business leader called you at 3am and woke you from a deep sleep. They asked you “What is your goal?” How would you respond? Consider this the acid test of focus. If you can answer in the dead of night, you might be accused of being very, very focused.
On any given day, we could walk down the main street of any major city in Canada and ask “What is your goal?” to a hundred random strangers. Imagine the response! Mostly, people would look like a deer caught in the headlights of an oncoming truck. They’d have no idea how to answer! Would you? You might think that the people are the street won’t share that with a stranger. Far enough; but even if we were colleagues or acquaintances, if I asked you what goal you are passionately pursuing in your life, would you have the answer on the tip of your tongue? If I asked you “What did you do last week to move your life forward?” what answer would you offer up?
In contrast to most people, picture someone who is intently focused on a goal in their life. It could be to lose 50lbs of weight, quit smoking, finish their MBA at night school, raise money to go on a missionary trip to Kenya, magnify the passion in their marriage, erase their mortgage in 5 years, launch a computer software firm, get a black belt in judo, reform the culture of their workplace, train for an upcoming marathon, write a book, eliminate drunk driving in their neighborhood, or any other worthwhile endeavor. If you asked them “What is your goal?” they would answer immediately. They would have the answer on the tip of their tongue. In fact, you probably wouldn’t get the chance to ask, because it would come up in conversation within the first few minutes. They are focused and dedicated. They think about how to train, improve and move forward. They juggle time, energy, money and attention to keep their goal a priority. And they make it happen.
I’d like to suggest that all of us can improve in this area. Why? Because, based on my anecdotal impression of the tens of thousands of audience members I address each year at business conferences, most people are going through the motions of life, rather than passionately pursuing their dreams. Most people are living a “settle-for” life, telling themselves that they will accomplish their goals “one day”. Today is that day! We never know how many tomorrow’s we have! Take action now! Set a meeting with your boss today to discuss your career plan. Go into a gym and sign up for a spinning class. Take your child to the library and pick out books to read together. Launch that entrepreneurial venture you’ve always dreamed! And pursue your goal so passionately that if your spouse wakes you at 3am, you’d be able to answer what you are chasing with every breath.