Monday 15 October 2012

Are you focused on goals or standards, results or rituals?

On the recommendation of my colleague Maria Carlton who is a best selling author and publisher I purchased a book by Derek Mills The 10 Second Philosophy®.  Derek is known as The Standards Guy®

Derek’s book is about having standards instead of goals.  It is a very refreshing read and I have added his book to my recommended reading list.

For many years my focus has been about following rituals, what Derek calls standards.  I know that if I follow the right processes for me then the outcomes take care of themselves.

Is your focus on outcomes or processes, goals or standards, results or rituals?

Some people live in the past, stuck usually with intentions, feelings and a mindset about what has happened.  We can’t change the past.  We can view what has happened with different feelings and new eyes.  We can see failure as a learning opportunity for example rather than as a negative.

Some people live in the future, stuck usually with intentions, feelings and a mindset about what might happen.  We can’t guarantee the future.  We can vision what is possible and take one step at a time towards possibility.

The most successful and happy people who I know live in the present.  We can change the present.  We can control what happens within the sphere of what is in our control, our intentions, feelings, thoughts, and actions.  Sure it is important to have direction, goals, targets, to begin with the end in mind.  The trick though is to focus on the now.  This is what processes, standards or rituals can do for us.

The author of another great book, The Power of Now, Eckhart Tolle provides the following wise advice: “Stress is caused by being 'here' but wanting to be 'there'.”

Be crystal clear about where you want to go and who you want to become, then focus on where you are now and on being the best you can be right now.

My rituals one pager may help you.  Please download it here and then create your own or something similar.  In his book Derek Mills provides a template for setting standards in personal health and fitness, environmental, relationships, family, emotions, career, and time. Get his book and check it out. 

Whatever tool you use the point is this: Have something that helps you to maintain your focus in the now.

The Chinese philosopher Laozi is quoted as saying - "The journey of a thousand miles begins beneath one's feet," often translated “a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”  Focus on the single step you are taking right now.

I have very clear goals in all aspects of my personal and business life written down.  The key is not my goals.  The key is my execution plan to achieve them and sticking to the plan. Rituals/standards/processes help immensely.

What execution plan are you following?

And in your business what execution plan are your employees following?

Is it their own piece of the puzzle?

Most strategies fail to get executed because employees, the chief executors of strategy, haven't yet bought into the strategy or as is more often the case, they don't yet understand or own their unique piece of the execution map.


Some people live in the past.  Their focus is on what happened.

Some people are future focused. Their focus is on what might happen.

The most successful and happy people are crystal clear on where they’re going and their focus is on what will happen in the present.

Keeping standards or following processes or rituals are what the most successful and happy people do.

What modifications/changes will you make to be more focused on the present?

Be the difference you want to see in the world.

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