You need to be inspired daily, if you want to live up to your purpose daily
In a previous article, I discussed about vision to be the single biggest reason why start-ups succeed.
I strongly believe in this, not because it’s a highly discussed topic but because there are plenty of real life examples of great companies and individuals who started with a vision, pursued a vision and still in the game after decades or sometimes even more than a century since they first founded their business or the movement.
General Motors, Southwest airline, Apple, Google, Tesla, Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela, and so many other visionary companies and individuals have proved that regardless of what we do, if we pursue a vision, it’s possible to build something which lasts.
It can be a company, an idea, a cause or anything we could imagine. The key is to be guided by a vision which does not change for next few decades, maybe a 100 years!
To summarize, the following are the ingredients of a vision.
- Values — the beliefs and principles which guide you, and your people
- Purpose — what you stand for, and why you exist
- Goals — a goal set 10 to 30 years in future which sounds crazy for the externals, but you know it’s doable
- The big picture — what you will become, what you will achieve and what you will create when you achieve the goal.
I also discussed how you could articulate values, purpose, goals and the big picture. With this, you could (re)discovered and established your vision, but what then?
Building a vision is easy, living up to it is not!
You might have built a great vision, but what’s important and seems difficult is that how you pursue it. If it was easy, probably everyone would have built lasting businesses and become great individuals who left a legacy behind.
It’s not easy. It’s extremely difficult to pursue a vision which is greater than oneself. This is why there are only few great companies surviving and thriving even after decades. This is why there only few individuals who are remembered by the entire human kind. How do we do this? What does it take?
Companies which are lead by great leaders, seems to thrive. In fact, they do. As individuals who are just starting your first business, it looks impossible to become one of those great leaders.
Those leaders have so many years of experience running businesses and leading people. They are well funded and experiment all the time. They have built personal brands as leaders which attract great people who then go on to further build the company. It seems you are quite not there.
Maybe you are not. Maybe you are, but you don’t know. The good new is, it’s possible to become a great leader without having a great business or a personal brand.
Leaders inspire. They inspire those around them to work for them, not because they need to, but because they want to.
They inspire so much that people go on to inspire more and more. It’s like a ripple on the water. Leaders cast stones which create the first ripple, and the rest happens automagically!
However, one possibly cannot inspire others if they are not inspired themselves. Leaders inspire because they are inspired first. They are inspired to inspire others. Are you inspired to inspire your people?
Being inspired is easier said than done. It takes a massive amount of energy to be inspired daily so you can inspire others daily. Inspiration does not come from what you do. It comes from what you achieve.
It’s like confidence. The more you achieve, the more confident you are. The more you achieve things which push you one step towards your vision, the more inspired you will be. The more you achieve what matters the most, the more inspired you will be.
Achieve what matters the most daily, and be inspired daily.
Eat that damn frog — first thing first
~Your “frog” is your biggest, most important task, the one you are most likely to procrastinate on if you don’t do something about it. It is also the one task that can have the greatest positive impact on your life and results at the moment…~ Brian Tracy
It’s a world full of distraction we all live in. starting from social media, smart phone notifications, emails, to-do lists, meetings and so on take majority of our time that we do not have the time to do the most important things. We do not have time to be inspired. We do not have time to inspire.
The world famous 80/20 rule points the way here. It says that 80% of the work we do accounts only for 20% of the results we aspire for, and 20% of the work we do accounts for a massive 80% of the results we need to achieve.
It’s clear that doing more does not necessarily mean achieving more. One has to actually do less, to achieve more. Get that 20% done the first thing. Again, it’s not easy. It’s difficult because this 20% needs 80% of our energry. It’s not the time but the energy we consume to get this 20% done.
Spending energy on this 20% of work has to be the one and only goal everyday if you want to build a lasting business, or to build a great career if you are employed. This has to be done the first thing everyday.
Why? because mornings are the most efficient and effective time of the day during which our brain and mind are refreshed, recharged and ready to tackle the most challenging tasks. Waste the morning and you will be working on the 80% mindlessly for the rest of the day.
Get in and be in “The Flow”
The flow — the total involvement, the state in which people are so involved in an activity that nothing else seems to matter ~ Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
To be inspired daily, you need to know that you are making progress towards your vision everyday. You need to be sure that you spend your majority of the energy on what matters the most.
You can’t spend your energy on what matters the most if you are distracted by shallow work. You need to deep work to create the best possible value. You need to deep work on the 20%.
If you are distracted by the notifications and emails and meetings and people and so on, you can’t deep work. You can’t deep work unless you are totally involved in what you do. You need to get in to flow and be in flow for a longer period of time in order to deep work. how do you get in and be in flow?
One could follow the simple few steps to get in to flow and be in flow to deep work.
- Wake up before 6am. Do not use your phone, emails and internet for the next 4 hours.
- Spend 5mins soon after waking up to reflect on your vision and goals. Write them down on your journal or note book daily. Become the person you want to be now!
- Start an activity which helps to focus ( I listen to music which helps me get in to flow. I listen to about 5 songs in repeat. Same songs, every time, everyday).
- While you are gaining focus, start working on what matters the most. the work that accounts for the 20%.
- Be in flow and deep for for at least 90mins in a stretch. Do not use phone, email and internet for this 90mins.
- Take a 30 mins break and repeat.
- Repeat daily!
Reflect and Recharge
Once you have done deep work, you know that you worked for what matters the most. Since deep work always produce results and create value, it gives you a sense of achievement. If you deep work daily, you get this sense of achievement daily.
This daily sense of achievement gives you the inspiration to go on and inspire the people around you for the rest of the day. It inspire you to inspire daily. Be inspired everyday, Do inspire everyday!
While eating a frog today is crucial, it’s important that you get ready to eat another frog tomorrow. You eat another frog tomorrow to be inspired tomorrow. To do this, you need to recharge all the energy you spent.
How you end the day determines whether you recharge and eat another frog tomorrow or not. If you want to be inspired daily, you need recharge daily.
Eat…eat well… nurture your body. Having the right food can do wonders. Eat so well that it does not make you sleepy but put you on fire.
Learn…learn to gather insights. Insights which can be applied to further improve your own life and the business. Don’t worry about collecting information, knowledge and data for the sake of it. Gather useful insights.
Sleep…sleep tight…. and sleep for at least good 6 to 7 hours everyday. But make sure you go to bed and wake up at the same time everyday. The daily routine is important in ways we would never imagine.
15mins before bed
However, before you go to bed, spend 15mins to prepare your self for tomorrow. The first 5mins of the 15mins should be to take a step back and see where you stand.
You should remind yourself that you are in a pursuit of a vision. You should remind yourself what you are aspiring to become, achieve and create because no-one else would do…
Next few minutes; plan what frog you will eat tomorrow and how you will do it. This saves a ton of energy in the morning. When you wake up, you don’t want to spend time wondering what to work on.
You don’t want to spend the precious energy on making decisions because you have a limited energy to spend everyday. You need to make sure you spend that energy first to eat that frog, not trying to figure out what frog!
You should also run the day quickly in your head just to see if at least the majority of your energy was spent on pursuing the vision.
If you find out that you were wasting time doing shallow work, give yourself a pinch as a reminder to avoid them tomorrow. If you indeed were in flow mostly, pat yourself.
P.S: Deep work doesn’t mean you always work only on your business or career. Success and happiness do not come only from building a great company.
It comes from building great and lasting human relationships as well. Don’t forget to deep work on your relationships. with you spouse, with your parents, with your siblings, with you friends and those around you!
Building a vision for yourself and for your business is easy. However living up to it and doing what matters is not so easy. It’s easier said than done. To be able to live up to it daily, you need to be inspired.
You need to be inspired daily to inspire those around you. To be inspired daily, you need to know that you achieve results which push you towards the vision you pursue.
It’s not easy to achieve results everyday, and this is why you need to get in to “flow” and be in flow to deep work. Deep work to achieve results that matters the most. To deep work, you need to first know on what you deep work. Find that damn frog and eat it daily.
We all have a limited amount of energy everyday. To be able to deep work every day, you need to recharge and reflect and recharge everyday. Learn insights, eat well and sleep tight to recharge everyday.
Take a step back and see where you stand in the pursuit of your vision. Reflect what works and what doesn’t. Learn from them. Finally, plan tomorrow so that you can eat another frog and be inspired once again!
BE inspired, DO inspire!