“Your priorities determine your progress.”
The story’s told of an overweight man who wanted to shed some pounds. So he decided to change his route to work so that he wouldn’t drive by his favorite doughnut shop. He told his co-workers about his decision. Then he arrived at work one morning with a huge bag of doughnuts. When his co-workers asked him about it, he said, “These are not ordinary doughnuts. These are miracle doughnuts.”
Amazed, they asked, “What in the world are you talking about?”
He replied, “Well, it’s simple. On my way to work I accidentally drove by my favorite doughnut shop and saw all those wonderful pastries sitting in the window. I knew I had to pray for strength so I said, ‘Lord, if you want me to have any of these you’re going to have to give me a parking place right in front of the doughnut shop.’ And sure enough, after eight trips around the block, there was a parking space right in front!”
A miracle? I doubt it. The man SAID his priority and his purpose was to lose weight. That’s easy enough to say, but putting feet to your words is another reality. The man didn’t want to DO any of the things it would take to lose the weight. In reality, his REAL priority … whether he knew it or not … was to keep on eating doughnuts.
If you’re going to make 2014 your Best New Year ever, I suggest two things.
1. Get the “secrets” training you need.
First, get yourself into my two-day “Journey to the Extraordinary” experience coming to Dallas on May 1-2, 2014. As Clare Schreiber, a wife, mother, and teacher said, “No matter what field of work you are in, you will be transformed by Dr. Zimmerman’s seminar. I was inspired and rejuvenated by his words and practices.”
You see … everybody’s talking about the “secrets” of success, but very few have found them. In fact, most people don’t even know what they are.
That’s a shame because the secrets of success don’t have to remain a secret anymore. I’ve studied successful people for 30 years and I reveal their secrets in my two-day “Journey to the Extraordinary” program.
Of course you’re wondering if those secrets are for real. You’re wondering if those secrets really work. The answer is “You bet!” Gordon Thomas, the Service Director at Tyco Healthcare, said, “Dr. Zimmerman’s Journey program was the best two days I have invested in training in my entire business career.”
If you’d like to take a free guided tour of the JOURNEY to learn more about it … or if you’d like to sign up now and grab the Early-Early-Bird $300 Registration Discount, click here.
And then, to make 2014 your Best New Year ever,
2. Harness the power of focus.
The efficiency expert Ivy Lee knew all about that and he knew the steel mill badly needed his help to not only survive but thrive. So he pitched his services to the company’s stone-faced president, Charles Schwab. Lee said, “Mr. Schwab, if you allow me the chance to help, I’ll teach you and your executives to manage better. You’ll know how …”
Schwab cut him off. “Look, Mr. Lee, I’m sure your services are great, but we don’t need them. We don’t need any more ‘knowing’ around here. I don’t manage as well as I know how to now.” He shook his head. “We already know what we should be doing. If you can show us a way to get it done better, I’ll pay you anything you want.”
For a moment, Ivy was almost flustered. A lesser man would have run, but Ivy forced himself to remain cool and confident. After all, he had an idea.
Ivy stepped toward the president’s desk. “What if I could give you something in the next 20 minutes that would raise your efficiency by 50%?” Schwab raised an eyebrow and tilted his head slightly. “Go on.”
Lee smiled to himself. This was a good idea. He bent down and rifled through his briefcase for a moment, then pulled out a small blank piece of paper. He put it on the large desk and slid it towards Schwab.
Schwab looked slightly confused. He glanced up at Ivy Lee and then stared at the paper. Lee took a half step back. “Do you see this paper?” Through a furrowed brow, Schwab looked up again. “Of course.”
“Take that paper and write down the six most important things you need to do tomorrow.” Schwab thought for a couple of minutes and scribbled down six items. After he finished, he tossed his pen back onto the desk. “Now what?”
Lee folded his arms and looked down at the paper. “Now number them in order of importance.” Schwab reached across the desk to grab the pen he had just flung. It only took a moment to put them in order. This time he laid the pen on top of the list. He gave a nod. “There.”
Lee smiled again. “Now, tomorrow when you get to work, I want you to work on the first item until it is done. Distractions will arise. Ignore them. Only work on number one until it is done. Then move on to number two, then when that’s all finished, number three, and so on. At the end of every day, make a new list. Don’t worry about the things that don’t get done. You will know you have been doing the most good possible for your company, and if you can’t get all items done using this method, you couldn’t get them done using any other system either. Once you’ve had time to prove to yourself the value of this, have your people try it out as well. In fact, try it out as long as you like. Then, you send me a check for whatever you think it is worth.”
The steel mill president stood up and extended a hand, but he looked lost in thought. They shook hands and Lee left, confident his idea was a winner.
Several weeks later, Ivy Lee received a letter in which Schwab informed him that his “list of six most important things” idea was the most profitable thing, from a money standpoint, that he had ever learned. Enclosed in the letter was a check for $25,000.
It has since been said that this simple idea was largely responsible for helping the obscure steel mill grow to be one of the largest steel producers in the world. In other words, to Bethlehem Steel, this idea was literally worth millions.
How much will it be worth to you?
Start your list of the “six most important things to do” for each day this week and continue doing this until it becomes a habit.