In our limited sphere of observation, there is one such characteristic we have encountered over and over again; wholehearted engagement. Enduring achievement, whatever the nature of the pursuit, always seems to be a passionate affair; heart-and-soul efforts – a triumph of enthusiasm.
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You are right, nothing excellent comes from a scattered effort. In fact, few things add more value to your success than concentrating your energy on a limited set of targets.
The constellation of attention consists of five essentials. Each of these must be honed in order to gain the kind of focus that is truly valuable:
Many talented individuals are big-picture people. It’s a great asset to be visionary and to have strategic flair. It inspires people and gives momentum to an idea.
Both magic and misery, however, will often be found in getting the specifics right or wrong. The impact of the apparent minuscule is vital in any design. Execution shines when the specifics are in place. It’s easy to call detail tedious or boring, but the fact of the matter is that any whole is made up of these important, yet often invisible parts. Great products and experiences – Apple, Disney, Ferrari, Amazon – succeed because of their investment in the ‘small things’.
Progress depends on both conformity and creativity. I would therefore refrain from viewing my management responsibility as the nemesis of creativity. Allow them to co-exist. The world is a better place because of both; procedures and standards – and improving on them through novel ideas. Consistency and originality need to live in harmony with each other if we want to make reliable headway.
Perseverance is a vital ingredient of success, because ideals without purposeful execution normally do not move past fantasy phase. But there is a thin line between fruitful determination and irrational insistence – and the difference is not always that clear.
Typically, valuable determination is marked by three qualities:
One that consists of a healthy interplay between creation and avoidance. That guides you to a destiny of choice – as well as protect you from the perils along the road.
We are raised by a system that obsessively rewards progress, not so much preservation. It measures outperformance over short intervals, to a lesser degree the ability to limit your losses over time. From an early age, we are tutored that success is mostly about breaking new ground – and to breathlessly explore the possible. They encourage us to build and create. And to top it all, they teach us that accomplishment is primarily a matter of taking risks – braving the jeopardies of the unfamiliar.