Retrace your steps today. You probably had a plan. You’ve probably read about those planning tips in which you should end the day by writing down the list of things you need to get done the next day. You know those work, and you use them, until you end up collecting daily lists in which not everything was crossed out. Then you’ve probably considered better focus. You probably read about how you should focus on the 2 or 3 tasks that you should accomplish TODAY. You should have a list like that for every day, you’re told. Then you start thinking about how big or detailed these list items should be. You could really go crazy thinking about this and thinking about how to plan efficiently and effectively.

I’ve tried all these things myself and have helped other people go through this. One thing I have learned in the process is that everybody is different. I’ve also learned that everybody who is writing about this or giving advice on how to become more efficient is basically telling you what has worked for them. It may work for them, and it may work for a lot of people, but again, everybody’s different. On top of that, we are all different from ourselves at different times in our lives and even at different times during the day. The experiences of a day change us, sometimes in the short term, and sometimes in the long term. Our ability to deal with change and manage the entropy sent our way constantly will help us get to where we originally planned, based on the components of our lives that we are able to control and make as constant as possible. And that is hard. The good thing, as I say for the third time now, is that everybody’s different.

We can learn from reading about how to be more efficient, or we can learn by observing others be more efficient. Since everybody’s different, there’s an infinite amount of learning to be had by just watching how other people go about managing their day, their lives. There is obviously not enough time to be observing everybody in detailed ways, and just doing that, but we can certainly tune our senses to be on the lookout to learn from others skills we lack that we perceive they have, or in which they outperform us, and resolve to adopt them. Maybe they are habits, maybe they require practice or dedication.

Retrace your steps today.  You had a plan. You met obstacles, and you met tools. You may have met tools and come into contact with obstacles. It’s a trick argument, you may have turned obstacles into tools, or encountered a tool you did not know how to use to move forward. It all depends on your perspective, on your capacity to distinguish negative from positive, or turn negatives into positives. A lot of people have been able to do that. The cases are documented. The big stories have been told. Did the people that accomplish the most do this out of sheer brute force? I contend no. I think they accomplished the most by playing a game of reciprocity and building trust, always interacting with the most people they could. And it worked for them because everybody’s different, and that is the reason there is infinite wealth to be gained the more you try to learn from others, good and bad, and the more you find those you can trust, and make yourself trustworthy to others.

Our View from the Top – July 2nd, 2019