In a telling story of our priorities, James Carville and Paul Begala share the story about the lion and the mouse.
As the story goes, the lion is more than capable of hunting the mouse. He possesses the required strength, agility, and intelligence. In fact, it requires very little effort on the part of the lion. The problem is that the energy received back from eating the mouse is not worth the lion’s effort.
This is why the lion hunts the zebra, antelope, and gazelle. Though it requires significantly more strength, agility, and cunning intelligence to do so, the energy the lion receives back is well worth the investment.
The story of the lion and the mouse reminds us to stay focused on chasing big goals.
The BIG Goals
One of the questions I ask myself every day is, “What can I do today that makes the biggest difference?”
- When I’m feeling overwhelmed, that focuses my attention on the single biggest task that needs to be done.
- Whenever I’m tired, this question reminds me that the best thing I can do might just be to take a nap or practice some extraself-care.
- In those moments where I’m conflicted about how to invest my time, asking about difference-making forces me to look at my calendar. Typically what I find is that I’ve been too work-focused and not enough family focus.
- When my anxiety creeps up, I can remind myself that doing one thing today to make progress on a goal of significance and meaning helps to lower it.
Then, I invest my energy into the needed area. That frees me up to then say, “What’s next.”
The story of the lion and the mouse reminds me to invest my energy in things that really make a difference. My focus and attention go to things that only I can do for myself and my business.
Business and Life in Balance
What about you? Have you asked those questions in your life?
As a business owner, do you work intently on areas that only you can invest in?
With your spouse and your kids, do you focus on being fully present and turning off your “work brain” or do you only give them the nutritional equivalent of a mouse?
As a leader or community member, do you invest in your projects with the same intensity and vigor you do in your sales and marketing?
One of the first things we do in coaching is to give your calendar a time analysis. We make sure that you spend your time hunting antelopes, not mice.
Far too often, what I see with leaders is that they spend time on the unimportant. The temptation is to become distracted by the urgent instead of the significant.
To counteract this, we work through a priority matrix to make sure you get the most return on your time, your energy, and your passion.
Right now, make sure you’re invested in the right areas. Ask yourself the above questions and spend time on the right priorities. Invest in areas that give you the greatest return on your investment. Ask questions. Quit bad habits. Keep growing. Seek help.