WHO WILL CRY WHEN YOU DIE [CHAPTER 26].......Focus on the Worthy


                           26.
              Focus on the Worthy


A while ago a FedEx package arrived at my office. Inside was an envelope with a gold seal placed on the fold and my name carefully written on the front. I quickly opened it and began to read the letter within. It was from the CEO of a major corporation who had picked up my book Leadership Wisdom from the Monk Who Sold His Ferrari at an airport while on his way to a business meeting in Europe. He said he was a lifelong student of leadership and was intrigued by the title, which had brought a smile to his face.
  This executive had been under tremendous pressure as a result of the overwhelming demands placed on him and was hoping to learn some ways to improve his leadership effectiveness so that he could spend more time on the things that really mattered, both in his business life and in his personal world. In his letter, he wrote: As I read your story about this man whose life had become too complex and out of control, I began to connect with a part of myself that I had not connect with for many, many years. I began to think about the people in my organization who look to me for guidance and inspiration. I began to think about my wife who had been begging me to take a vacation for the past five years. And I thought about my three children who had watched their father spend the finest years of their youth climbing the imaginary ladder of success. I consider myself a strong person but as I continued to read your book. I began to sob, quietly at first and then uncontrollably, so much so that the flight attendant rushed over and politely asked if everything was alright.
The CEO continued:
     That moment was a wake – up call for me, an experience I will carry with me until the day that I die. I knew that I had to make some serious changes in the way that I was leading and in the way that I was living. So on that flight, sitting 35,000 feet above the world below, I promised myself that I would commit myself to eliminating the multitude of distractions in my life and concentrate on only the fundamentals, those few activities that really had the power to make a difference in the way I worked and lived. I promised to stop reading six newspapers a day, handling every piece of mail that appeared in my in – basket and accepting every dinner invitation that came my way. I even had the title of your chapter on personal effectiveness, which you aptly called ‘Focus on the Worthy,’ made into a plaque that I keep on my desk to remind me that ‘the person who tries to do everything ultimately achieves nothing.’ I cannot tell you how much better my life has become since I began to live by this simple philosophy. Thank you.
     Time is your most precious commodity and yet most of us live our lives as if we have all the time in the world. The real secret to getting control of your life is to restore a sense of focus in your days. The real secret to getting things done is knowing what things need to be left undone. Once you start spending the hours of your days only on those high – leverage activities and priorities that will advance your life’s mission and legacy, everything will change. Many of history’s greatest thinkers have arrived at the same conclusion. The sage
     Confucius put it this way, “The person who chases two rabbits catches neither,” while the Roman philosopher Marcus Aurelius said, “Let thine occupations be few if thou wouldst lead a tranquil life.” Management guru Peter Drucker made the point of wisdom in yet another way when he wrote, “There is nothing so useless as doing efficiently that which should not be done at all.”




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