If You Want to Be Successful, You Need to Sweat the Small Stuff
Too often, we focus on big opportunities and outcomes in front of us and forget about basic preparation, which ends up reducing or limiting our success.
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I think that Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers is a genius. This is not because of his football skills, which are notable, but rather because he is an advocate for a specific business idea I believe in wholeheartedly. This article is about a key factor that quarterbacks need in order to excel and achieve success, something that Rodgers has been able to do throughout his NFL career. I'm not talking about the so-called "discount double check" -- I'm just talking about the double check. This is not an insurance commercial or a tabloid article; it's a discussion on one of my favorite topics: the subtleties of success.
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Double check for success.
One of the easiest ways to ensure your success is to pay attention to the little things, which is what I call the subtleties of success. Too often, we focus on big opportunities and outcomes in front of us and forget about basic preparation, which ends up reducing or limiting our success. A simple calendar error, for example, can create negative energy before a meeting, causing a routine business agreement to become more challenging. The same idea holds true in our personal lives. For example, your date is not going to be happy with you if you show up 30 minutes late or worse, on the wrong day.
This is why the principle of the "double check" is so critical. Making sure you have every box checked prevents you from getting in your own way and creates efficiency, effectiveness and statistical success. And there are so many different areas in our lives and businesses where the subtleties of success have an impact!
The big tip here is to become a student of your calendar and double check it every day. Just like how you think or say "thank you" before you go to bed and when you wake up, make sure you're checking your calendar before you go to bed and when you wake up every day.
Think like a quarterback.
Realize that you are a quarterback of life. The best quarterbacks, like Rodgers, Tom Brady and Warren Moon (my favorite), are extremely detail-oriented people. They are successful in large part because they create systems in a particular way, in a certain order, ahead of time. Being a perfectionist as an athlete means paying attention to the little things, not just the big goals ahead of you.
The most effective people utilize the AAA strategy to get alignment, take action and prepare for adjustment. Once a quarterback breaks the huddle, having decided on a play, he approaches the line and make checks to counter what the defense is doing, and more importantly, make sure his team is in the right position. Evaluating and adapting to situations, rather than assuming that you called the right play in the first place, will make you more successful (just like our favorite quarterbacks) in everything that you do.
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Plan to double check your plans.
Another tip for achieving your goals is to focus the majority of your effort scheduling time to review your plans and prepare. I advocate using the 80/20/80 Rule, which means that 80 percent of your time should be spent on alignment and you should be taking action the remaining 20 percent of the time. After taking that action, even more effort should go towards preparing for adjustment and managing the vision you created. You aren't perfect, so chances are that the plans you formulate will need to be changed or adjusted. This is why it is important to plan to spend 80 percent of your time after you take action to adjust your strategy and then execute those changes.
You should enjoy the pursuit of your potential while taking the view (or perception) that true perfection is impossible to attain. However, that doesn't mean we shouldn't enjoy the pursuit of it. We all make mistakes that we need to be accountable for, but that doesn't mean we should stop improving our efficiency, effectiveness and statistical success. We need to double check our work in order to recognize our mistakes while we still have the time to correct them. Better awareness can help us spot the patterns in our mistakes, preventing us from making similar ones in the future. Being able to recognize these patterns will save us from paying additional "dummy tax" in the future.
We should strive to be like the great genius, Aaron Rodgers, and make double checking one of our habits for success. Realize that even the greatest quarterbacks make mistakes and if you don't believe it, check out the NFL's career interceptions thrown list. Take charge of your life and your goals, making sure you are in a position to make them happen.
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