Here’s the best way I’ve ever found to pull the best performance out of yourself. It’s an extremely simple method. Not easy, simple. First, hang copies of these twelve words where you’ll see them at work, in your car, and at your home base:
I MUST DO THE MOST PRODUCTIVE THING POSSIBLE AT EVERY GIVEN MOMENT.
Now comes the important part:
Dedicate yourself to living that declaration.
It doesn’t change anything to look at those words once in a while and think, “That’s what I’m going to start doing just as soon as I can get myself together.” If you really want to achieve, start living by those dozen words now.
Doing so requires only four steps. Imagine – only four steps to all the success you want – nothing could be more simple, could it? But let’s get one thing clear at this point: Doing the most productive thing possible means just that – the most productive thing. Not “make work.” Not “look busy.” Not “get by.” Not “put off.” But doing the most productive thing possible at that given moment, no matter how distasteful, hard, or worrisome the thing might be.
This often means tying into a knotty problem, facing up to an unpleasant task, or heading into a likely rejection. It means shooting for the top when you know you should, but are afraid to. It means preparing when you need to prepare and doing when you need to do. That’s why I say it isn’t easy, and why so few people follow it. It is simple, though. Anyone can do it – you just have to want to. Here’s how.
Consciously repeat these four steps minute by minute until they become second nature:
1. Tell yourself, “I must do the most productive thing possible at every given moment.”
1. Decide what the most productive thing is.
3. Do it.
4. When you’ve pushed as far forward as you can right now, go back to Step 1 and start over.
But don’t become a fanatic. Sometimes the most productive thing you can do at a given moment is to sit down with your favorite person and spend an hour watching the sun go down.
Sometimes the most productive thing possible will be exercising, sleeping, or taking a well-deserved vacation. And, very often, the most productive thing you can do this minute will be the last thing you want to do right now. The edge between winners and losers cuts sharpest at this precise point.
We live moment by moment, not year by year. Do the most productive thing you can think of with each and every moment as you live it and your future is assured. Do that all day every working day and your progress will soon astound everyone who knows you. More importantly, you’ll be astounded, delighted – and justifiably proud of yourself.
Within minutes after you dedicate yourself to this plan and put it to work, you’ll notice a difference. Within hours after you make this plan yours and start doing the most productive thing possible with every given moment, you’ll project a new aura of confidence and capability.
Within days, people near you will sense the difference and start upgrading their opinions about your abilities and prospects. Within weeks, you’ll be reaping substantial rewards from your new willingness to pay the price of success. Within months, you’ll be living on a higher level than you now believe you can achieve in so short a time.
Once you’ve tasted what living by this credo can do for your life, you’ll find yourself quickly shaking off every temporary lapse of determination. After every slip, you’ll immediately review your reasons for wanting success. You’ll re-affirm your dedication to doing what you know you must do to achieve that success. Then you’ll push your engines back up to maximum thrust again by putting that moment, that hour, and the rest of that day to the most productive use possible.
No secret, no skill, and no method can be as valuable to you as the firm and constant application of The Golden Twelve. No lucky break, no inherited advantage, and no found opportunity can for very long balance your failure to consistently do the most productive thing possible with every given moment.
Since it creates a dramatic effect after only a few days, imagine what the total cumulative result will be after you have lived by this credo for several years. I know what will happen.
The Golden Twelve can revolutionize your life. It can send your accomplishments, happiness, and career soaring. It will do all these things if you’ll apply it moment after moment, hour after hour, and day after day. How do I know it will?
Because that’s what The Golden Twelve did – and is doing – for me.
* Excerpted from Tom’s best-selling book, “How to Master the Art of Selling,” published by Tom Hopkins International, Inc.
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