Monday, July 20, 2009

The Power of Decision and Focus

A now deceased but prodigious author illustrates the power of decision and focus.

Through the years, you could connect me up with a good James Michener novel (saga!) and I'd be a happy guy. I never read a lot of fiction, probably far less than I really would have enjoyed, but on those occasions I did, few came close in my mind to matching the craft and storytelling of this author. He is actually credited with more than 40 titles of both fiction and non-fiction.

Michener was noted for the detailed research he put into his work. He was once asked if he could explain his process for book writing. His explanation: “I begin four or five years in advance. I keep thinking about things, what I would like to do, I make little outlines, and then I come to the moment of decision and I dig in.”

What can a “moment of decision” cause a person to do? Michener explains his strategy for getting things done, “I get up at 7:30 a.m., and work very diligently all morning. I quit about noon. I never work in the afternoons, almost never, and I do this seven days a week, month in and month out until the book is written.”

There is power in a decision. You can feel the change of energy that takes place once clarity is reached and the course set. It is like finally lifting the sail into a solid breeze. Movement begins and predetermined direction becomes apparent. Like Michener, if purpose is coupled with focus and consistent routine and effort, volumes of work can be accomplished. Important things can happen.

It bears asking. Do our priorities receive this kind of decision and focus? To do so could change the course of our life, our business or our organization.

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