Is your life an antelope hunt or a rabbit run?
A former world leader is credited with an analogy of goal setting that saw him as the head of the pride of lions – and all of the opportunities in his life as either big prey like antelopes or small prey like rabbits.
Unless a lion is absolutely dying of hunger it won’t chase smaller animals, like rabbits, that offer a quick kill. Why?
Because even if he caught one it wouldn’t fill him, never mind his family. And there’s always a chance that he’d fail to catch the rabbit and end up even more tired and hungry.
However, even when weakened by hunger to the extent that the effort could kill him, the sight of an antelope shimmering into view miles away across the plain moves the lion to commit to a hunt – because success would fill his pride’s bellies and assure their survival.
A single-minded focus upon clearly defined antelopes characterizes all successful businesspeople.
Look out across the plains of your life and spot your own antelopes:
- Think about your life & business. Would you like to drive your turnover up to $10M, $100M, or even higher? Want to write a book or tramp up the Himalayas? Write down everything you’d ever like to achieve.
- Identify the goal on that list that gets you most excited and passionate when you consider achieving it. This is your first antelope – shimmering in the heat of day miles out on the plain of your life.
- Focus on this first antelope. How will you feel when you catch it? How will it change your life? Will it satisfy you? Is it worthy of your effort? Get a clear mental picture of exactly how you’ll feel at the end of that successful hunt.
- Write down everything it will mean to you to run this beauty to ground – the more benefits you write down the greater the passion you’ll bring to the hunt.
- Write down everything that might prevent you bringing your antelope down, and work out precisely how you’ll deal with each of those obstacles – this will enhance your confidence, sense of purpose, and vision.
- Set clear deadlines. What’ll you have to do first and how long will it take (realistically)? What has to happen next, and when will that stage be complete? Your target deadline is the earliest date the last stage of your hunt could be complete.
- Now go back to your goal list and select your next antelope – and work it through to the deadline stage. Don’t target an entire herd – single out one or two prime candidates. Later, as each is run to ground, you can replace it with a new antelope.
- Finally, take an old fashioned ‘3×5’ card and note all of your antelopes as succinctly as you can (including your deadlines). Laminate it. Keep this card on you at all times. Read it at least once daily – and ensure you schedule some daily actions to take you closer to your antelopes. Long tech – but there every time you put your hand in your pocket.
Be honest with yourself. Are you spending your life running after rabbits or have you committed to hunting antelopes?
Don’t waste yourself chasing easy-to-catch but ultimately unsatisfying rabbits – focus your efforts on antelope.
How do you get yourself focused on your life’s priorities? Use the comments facility below to let me know