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Focus and Flexibility

Focus and Flexibility

The best way to move towards your goals and objectives is to be focused yet flexible.  While this sounds paradoxical, the reality is that persistence in the face of adversity requires these principles, yet most people turn to a rigid, shotgun approach when going after a goal. 

The rigid, shotgun approach is when someone has a million strategies but refuses to be flexible in how to execute those strategies.  Instead of moving forward and pivoting when necessary they argue that they are moving towards their goals by keeping their options open.  They never really establish a system to accomplish their goal because they don’t know how to focus their efforts.  

Picture a hunter that instead of aiming and firing one shot and then adjusting to fire the second, simply shoots a shotgun in all directions and refuses to aim the gun because they feel they have a better chance shooting as much as possible in all directions.  Obviously they would fire a lot of ammunition and probably not be as successful as the traditional hunter.  

I work with early stage business owners who seem to struggle in this area.  They have a general business idea and a million ideas for the business.  They are not focused at all.  Most of the time, they would be better to focus only on a few tactics rather than try everything.  They try to be a jack of all trades but end up a master of none.  They don’t establish a niche and can’t determine who their target market is.  

Even though they have a million ideas, they are very rigid in their approach.  They don’t adjust when necessary or pivot when the time is right.  They get stuck in an approach that doesn’t work and are unwilling to adjust to fit the market needs.  

I see the same lack of focus and flexibility in personal goal setting.  Instead of sticking with one approach most people half-heartedly use a bunch of methods.  They never really establish a system that will take them towards success.  

If, instead of the rigid, shotgun approach, they choose one method and commit to it, they will probably see better results.  If they remained flexible and made changes when necessary they would drastically increase their ability to reach their goal.

In fitness, the rigid, shotgun approach is equivalent to trying a different exercise routine every week and never sticking with one beyond 3-4 days.  A better approach would be to focus on one approach and after some time adjust slightly if it isn’t working as well as you had hoped.

In nutrition this would equal trying a low cholesterol diet one week, then a low carb diet the next, and always trying a different diet rather than looking make systematic changes to include more healthy items and less unhealthy items.

If you are trying to quite smoking, trying every technique for quitting smoking one after the other would not work.  Instead pick one and use it until you feel you need to try another.  

In personal finance this would be like buying a rental property to build passive income, but then selling it to make sure you don’t have any debt, then investing in stocks but quickly changing to futures trading.  Instead of slightly trying a bunch of techniques, go 100% at one and adjust later if necessary.

Whatever it is that you are trying to achieve, do the work to determine which strategy gives you the best chance for success.  Execute that strategy and don’t change every time something new comes up.  Instead change when you have put enough into the strategy to know that you should pivot.  This will keep you focused but also allow for the necessary flexibility to reach your goals!