In 2012, the New York Giants’ future seemed destined to end without a post-season berth. They were 7-7 and drowning in penalties, sloppy play, and low morale. After a particularly awful game, the next night the players attended chapel. There high school teacher, Gian Paul Gonzalez, spoke to them about being all in. According to Gonzalez, when playing poker and you feel confident in your hand, you go all in. Being all in became their rallying cry to action, and a call for each member of the organization to re-evaluate their commitment to success. Gonzalez challenged them to be their best selves. The Giants’ team players successfully went on to win the Super Bowl. When you know you have a winning hand, you don’t hesitate to take the risk. That’s the feeling leaders should inspire in those around them and in themselves whether they can clearly see the winning hand or not.
Throughout the course of our lives, we lose focus. At those times, we don’t present our best. That loss comes for a variety of reasons. For example, during the last few weeks, many have been tested by the throes of Mother Nature. Hurricanes, wildfires, and earthquakes have left many in our communities feeling harried. In these challenging moments, we have two choices—to present our best or not.
When we shift our energies from a negative focus, we reconnect to our goals. We can do so via mediation, helping others, and utilizing the team around us. When we do, we find success. We are able to rediscover inspiration and reignited spark. We must avoid being swept away in the sea of emotion that forces us to lose sight of the shore. Having a solid team to hold you accountable can help us remain tethered to our being our best.
One of the other ways we can remain focused is to train our brain to be focused on a singular task. According to David Rock, co-founder of the NeuroLeadership Institute, we should train our brain like a muscle. The ideal of multitasking has trained our brain to be unfocused. To train our brains to focus, we should start by spending small chunks of time concentrating on completing a singular task. Practice daily. If your mind wanders, redirect it back to the task at hand. Increase the time as you would when implementing a new workout regimen.
Another way to remain focused, in addition to brain exercises and mediation, is to pay attention to where you do your best work. According to Rock, most people do their best thinking when not in an office. So, pay attention to the location in which you are most focused. These are your touchstones, your focal points. Revisit these areas when you feel unconnected and need to reconnect to your goals.
When you feel unfocused or drifting from your goals, be an advocate for yourself. Seek out your team to help you reconnect and recommit. Getting the help you need when you need it is part of the success. That success can in turn, lead you to being your best. And, keep in mind, your team is generally well defined when you consider work, but in personal matters, your team can be advocates from a wide range of family, friends and even acquaintances that share a mutual concern or interest. Remember to accept your advocates and support from those unlikely sources so you can maintain your Power of Yes.