“How many important things did you get done last week? I’m talking about the things that actually brought you closer to your bigger goals and dreams. Take a second to think about it. Chances are zero to none. Why is that? Because of one thing, your FOCUS” (O’Brien, location 138 of 308, 35%).
I had gotten into a rut. I felt not good enough for those around me. I felt roadblocked, unable to get the work skills I desired. I felt doomed to repeat a recent pattern of failures. I felt like I’d lose it all.
And then I read a sample of a book called Lessons for a Happy Marriage. (The first three chapters are free to read.) That’s when the light shone.
The book talks about how to love unconditionally, how to woo your loved one as if it’s your first date every day. In other words, give all your heart, time, energy, and soul. Praise him or her every moment of the day. Show your best side nonstop. See only your own faults, never his or hers.
And then I thought, Why not do the same with friends and family? Within a day, three friends replied to my shows of love with the words, “Awww, that is so sweet!” But then I thought, “I’d be in a better position to do nice things for my loved ones if I earned more income.” In that moment, I set my big goal. Author Alan O’Brien says, “Goals give you focus …. You can have all the potential in the world but without focus, your attempts will be aimless” (O’Brien, p. 13 of 143, 11%).
So, I began to focus on gaining marketing skills. But, “focus will only happen when we have said yes to one option and no to all other options. Simply put, elimination is necessary for focus” (O’Brien, p. 2 of 143, 5%). Elimination, hey? So, I unsubscribed from dozens of emails—all health-related newsletters. Health news had become my addiction but hardly paid the bills. So, I replaced my focus on health news with subscriptions to marketing newsletters. I also subscribed to four marketing podcasts. All in the same day.
I then packed away my well-read nutrition textbook—and shopped online for marketing textbooks to read instead. And rather than watch health documentaries while I ironed clothes, I listened to marketing podcasts. “One of the first things you must do is build momentum. You should do this by establishing new habits and rituals that support your goal” (O’Brien, p. 25 of 143, 19%).
And in that same day, I found what I had been searching for over the past year: marketing conversion strategies. For the past year, employers wanted to know my conversion strategies, but I had little to say. And in one day, I located top-notch courses on the topic.
In that one day, I learned more about marketing than I did the prior year. And, to my surprise, I felt as pumped about marketing as I did about health.
So, in one day, my friendships flourished, and my career hopes crystalized. All because of a single-minded focus based on the value of unconditional love. “In truth, unless your beliefs, values, lifestyles, other goals, priorities, and self-ideals are in line with the goal you want to achieve, then you really don’t stand a chance to achieve it …. You must realign your core values so that they match your goals” (O’Brien, p. 19 of 143, 15%). So, start with your values, and from there, craft your big goal.
I’ve never felt happier. And I wish for you to feel that high, too. So, “what habits do you need to give up? There’s plenty …. You need to figure out which habits are taking you forward and which habits are not” (O’Brien, p. 26 of 143, 19%). In a single day, trash your bad habits to focus solely on your goal.