Jun 012017

How To Find Success: Drill Down Deep Below The Surface

If you want to find success in life, you need to go deeper than most people do.

I guess this should be fairly obvious, but in the world we currently find ourselves navigating, most people do no more than scratch the surface of anything!

Think about your typical day. If you’re like most people, you probably spend both your work and leisure time bouncing between activities and “putting out fires”.

How much time do you spend drilling deep into your work or your other pursuits? Be honest. If you’re like the majority of the people in our society today, it’s likely that your answer is: Not much!

What are the implications of only scratching the surface of anything you’re involved with? Well, they are numerous, and unfortunately, they are almost all quite negative.

First, let’s take relationships, a place where most people would like to enjoy as much success as possible. How rewarding and meaningful will your relationships be if they’re constantly undermined by the time you spend looking at your phone, for example? Again, no judgments here, but food for thought.

Example: You finally carve out time to take your kid fishing, but you spend a good bit of the time with your head buried in your phone screen. Or, you turn your phone off for a couple of hours and give your kid your full, undivided attention, taking the opportunity to teach him/her all the fishing tricks that you learned as a kid. Which approach accomplishes the presumed goal of building a better relationship with your child?

Next, let’s take your business (or your job, if you haven’t taken the entrepreneurial plunge yet).   How likely is it that you’ll grow your business and ultimately achieve your goals and dreams if all the time you spend on your business is constantly interrupted by other competing activities? Those competing activities could include all forms of social media, phone calls that could wait until “after hours,” television or radio broadcasts that only serve to distract you, and so on. How much do such activities stand in the way of your business reaching its true potential?

Example: You’re just getting into a groove in writing copy for an ad that you’re putting together. You’ve been mulling around ideas in your head for a while, but now it’s all starting to come together. Just then a call comes in from your friend, who you know is mainly going to want to talk about and plan for a party that’s coming up the following weekend. You take the call, as you don’t want to leave your friend hanging. Or, when you sit down to write the copy for your ad, you commit to yourself that for the next hour, or another time period that makes sense given the situation, you will not be taking any interruptions unless they’re true (like emergency room kind of true) emergencies. Which approach will move you along toward your goals?

Let’s even take a look at your leisure activities. How much rest, rejuvenation, and relaxation are you actually getting if you’re taking phone calls, answering texts, or posting to social media while you’re out supposedly having fun?

You get the idea – whatever you are doing at a particular moment in time is ALL that you should be doing. If something is worth doing, whatever it is, then it should be worth blocking out other distractions, so you can do it well and achieve the maximum benefit and growth from it!

So, let’s get back to the notion of “drilling deep down below the surface”. If you’re distracted while you’re doing or planning a particular activity, what are the odds that you’re going to be able to drill down or do a “deep dive” (as the saying goes) in that activity? I’d have to say they’re pretty low.

On the other hand, if you are completely focused on the task at hand, whatever that task may be, how much more likely is it that you can dive deep and achieve true growth, enjoyment and/or learning from that activity? I’d have to say the probability of being able to go deep improves considerably!

Having the attention span of a gnat will not cut it!

So, if you are seeking success in your life generally, and in the specific endeavors you choose to undertake, don’t be a dabbler and don’t let “short attention span theater” enter the scene. Focus. Commit yourself completely to the task at hand. Then, and only then, will you be able to compete in a world where the spoils of success, monetary or otherwise, go to those who are not content to just flit from one activity to another, but rather drill down deep below the surface. That is where most of the gems can be still found! The gems that sat on the surface are long gone, grabbed up by those who arrived before you.


Paul Morin