The master constraint...
Wouldn't it be great if we could choose just one thing above all else to consistently improve our performance?
If we could just apply one master switch or lever to take the breaks off and accelerate our performance.
Well you can!
About 3 pounds...(or 1.5kg)
We carry on our shoulders the most amazing resource ever discovered. And as far as we know its' the most complex object in the known universe.
It is of course our brain. Its ability to create knows no real boundaries but here's the snag, it needs the right fuel and it needs the right amount of opportunity.
The brain needs chemical energy from food and oxygen, water and sleep to keep it healthy and education to allow great ideas to germinate. It's really hard for great things to come out of any system if the wrong things go in. Put another way, garbage in garbage out, or what you plant you sow.
Give yourself the gift of doing a little consistent education. There are so many ways these days: books, podcasts, blogs (such as this one), articles and more...
Allow the brain to work its magic by throttling back and slowing down. Your brain needs the opportunity to apply what it learns to current circumstances and come up with ideas. And it can't if you're always trying to be busy.
This seems counter-intuitive. Because everyone else is going so fast, don't we have to try and go faster to get ahead?
Yes we need to execute with effectiveness and often, speed, but executing the wrong idea effectively is a waste of time! It's much better, faster (and cheaper) to start with a better idea.
Warren Buffet and Joe Montana
Warren Buffet has been one of the wealthiest men in the world for several years. Charlie Munger, his key lieutenant was once asked "what's the key to Warren's success?" He summarised it in saying it was his reservation of much time for reading, thinking and reflection. He's currently worth about $84billion.
Joe Montana helped win Super Bowl XXIII (the American Football Championship) for the San Francisco 49ers with an amazing comeback. They were 16 - 13 down with 3 minutes and 10 seconds left to play. They scored with 8 seconds to go and won the game. At a crucial point in the game Joe noticed a famous actor, John Candy, in the grandstand and pointed it out. What was he thinking? We'll probably never know, but my guess is that he allowed a brief moment of pause into his thinking. He allowed himself to settle, focus and execute a winning drive and achieve a famous victory.
Feed your brain continually with the right things. Give it the gift of education and allow it enough opportunities to come up with great ideas.
It's an amazing tool. Use it well.