On Your Big Goals First And Stay Focused!
Editorial by Robert
recently read an interesting book which was written by Eileen
Shapiro and Howard Stevenson. The name of the book was “Make
Your Own Luck”.
The book was based on the fact that every action we
take during the course of our life is a ‘bet’. In other
words, the actions we take today and the decisions we make are
based on the expectation or hope, but not the certainty, of
achieving certain desired results in the future.
Human beings we bet all of the time. We cannot avoid
it. Everything we do in life is a bet. It is a bet that the
time and resources we invest now through our actions will
achieve some desired benefit as a result of those actions.
Even the act of driving our car is a bet that the choices we
make along the way will get us to our destination point.
Sometimes we lose that bet if our car breaks down or we get
involved in an accident. When we drive over the speed limit,
we are betting that there won’t be a police officer around
the corner. The list of daily bets is endless.
What amazed me most about this book was the way the
authors were able to explain how easy it is for us to gain
control of our life simply by becoming more focussed on the
“big goals” instead of all of the smaller ones. We
can dramatically improve our odds of achieving our desired
results and therefore go from depending on dumb luck to
actually taking more control over our own destinies.
This message really hit home in one of the early
chapters when the authors were relating an experience they had
one day while conducting a job interview for the position of
manager of one of their companies. A man named Dean Kamen was
one of the candidates for the position and he was asked a
number of questions during the course of the interview. One of
the questions was, “Imagine you are stranded on a deserted
island. If you could choose one person to be stranded with
you, who would it be?”
The authors expected Mr. Kamen to give one of the
typical answers that people usually give to this question,
such as, “your spouse, a great philosopher, an athlete, a
famous religious figure, a sexy movie star, a story teller or
a close friend or family member.” What would your answer be?
Mr. Kamen surprised the authors with his answer. He
thought for a moment and then said, “The world’s best boat
Mr. Kamen realized that his ‘big goal” was to get
off the island. He could have selected a companion who would
make life much easier for himself while he was stranded on the
island waiting to be saved. Instead, he selected a companion
who would be able to help him get off the island and thus
control his own destiny.
Needless to say, Mr. Kamen got the job.
The message for all of us is that as long as we keep
our big goals in mind and take actions that will help us move
towards those big goals, we will increase the odds of
achieving our desired outcomes. Our chances of ‘winning’
most of the bets we make in this ‘game of life’ will be
much greater if we think more like Mr. Kamen. If we want to
‘get off the island’ on which we are ‘stranded’ , then
we should be thinking about finding a ‘boat builder’, not
someone who will merely make us comfortable in our misery.
If life truly is a series of “bets”, then I want to
increase my odds of winning every time I place a bet. By
focusing on what I need to achieve the “big goals” in my
life those odds will be improved and I will be in control of
my own destiny.
Have a good week!