If You Chase Two rabbits, You Will Not Catch Either One
This Russian proverb about rabbits is where I feel like I am today. Except chasing two rabbits sounds easy! I feel like I am usually after five at a time — or more. My life has many demands: my businesses (coaching, training, speaking, building, and writing along with several others), my family, and that one we all seem to put at the end – myself (working on improving and making sure I am the best I can be so I can help everyone else around me). The image of being drawn and quartered sometimes comes to mind. How can I go in all the directions I need to? How can I satisfy everyone?
It reminds me of a simpler time in my life. When I was about 10, one of my favorite things was to ride my bike to the batting cages. I would bring the quarters I had saved, my Houston Astros hat and my gold aluminum bat (I tell you, there was magic in that golden bat!). One fine summer afternoon, I arrived ready to tear it up – I even had a wad of Big League Chew gum tucked into my cheek.
I visualized that I was Jose Cruz (for those from Houston at that time, “Cruuuuuuzzzz!”) waiting for my first pitch. And then… whiffffff. The ball flew by! I must not have been ready. I sharpened my focus and watched for the next ball… whiffff. I got the bat around this time, but not even close. Whiffff. Again, I missed! “What’s the deal?!” I finally spat out, with damaged pride and a look of confusion.
And then I saw the sign: VERY FAST. I had stepped into the wrong cage! I was trying to hit 85mph fastballs when I could barely hit 60mph slow balls. I quickly grabbed my remaining quarters and moved into the slower cage. Ok, now I was ready… back to being Jose Cruz. Back to being ready to knock the cover off of the ball! Out came the first pitch, and Whoa! It threw two balls at once! I looked like I was swatting flies! I didn’t know which ball to hit so I just flailed between both of them.
Sadly, today, I still struggle with the VERY FAST machine, but I am figuring out that double pitch! Recently, a good friend of mine gave me a great book by Gary Keller on this very subject, titled The One Thing. Gary’s driving mantra is:
What’s the ONE thing you can do (now, today, this week, this month, etc.) such that by doing it everything else would be easier or unnecessary?
This is a focusing question that forces you to decide what is the priority. In fact, as he points out in the book, that word didn’t even have a plural form (priorities) until very recently. By definition, if you have priorities, you don’t have a priority. So what are you working on today? Is it leading you to the destination you dream of or is it just allowing you to survive another day?
I see clients all the time that would tell me that only two baseballs flying at them would be great! How many are you trying to hit? My advice is to pick the one that looks the easiest to hit and swing for the fences. Surround yourself with people that can help with the others. Find the thing that you do best, that energizes you and makes you feel fulfilled, and do it full force.
Oh, and find a coach to help you with all of it. We specialize in making fastballs look like softballs. As Babe Ruth said, “Never let the fear of striking out get in your way.”
Burk Moreland is a featured speaker and coach with the John Maxwell Group on topics ranging from sales and leadership to personal and company development. For information on coaching, training sessions or other questions please email him at [email protected] or leave us a note here.