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The Path to 2017 Productivity

Posted by Douglas A Wick on Thu, Jan 5, 2017

You’d like to make 2017 more productive.

The One Thing Book E to P _2014_P1 (Crop).jpgMy first suggestion would be to read my last blog, What’s Your One Domino for 2017?  If you’re a detail person, and like to learn even more, pick up The One Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results, by Gary Keller with Jay Papasan

The first thing to do to make 2017 more productive is to review the SIX LIES BETWEEN YOU AND SUCCESS.

Here’s a quick review with links to learn more in our blogs:

  1. Everything Matters Equally
  2. Multitasking
  3. A Disciplined Life
  4. Willpower is Always on Will-Call
  5. A Balance Life
  6. Big is Bad


Can you honestly say, “This is where I’m meant to be right now, doing exactly what I’m doing?”  If so you’re achieving success, simply by being appropriate in the moments of your life.

Have you ever felt that way?  Do you frequently get lost in what you are doing and lose track of time? Do you spend dedicated time to living and working on your passion?

You may have heard the quote, ““If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got.” ~ Henry Ford

In the book, Gary Keller describes how he became unclenched.  He got in shape physically and spiritually and then started to do less.  Intentionally and purposefully less. 

One Thing - 80-20 Rule (Crop).jpgHe offers, “Here’s what I found out: We overthink, overplan, and overanalyze our careers, our businesses, and our lives; that long hours are neither virtuous nor healthy; and that we usually succeed in spite of most of what we do, not because of it. I discovered that we can’t manage time, and that the key to success isn’t in all the things we do but in the handful of things we do well.”

I’m a great believer in accepting responsibility and meditation.  It’s my belief by accepting responsibility, consciously or unconsciously for my AML I tapped into the universal power (I call God!) through meditation. In doing so I changed.  This completely transformed and reversed the 2% outcome I had for survival.  I’m not saying that without a Higher Power I achieve this.  What I’m saying is that this Higher Power can only work through us when we accept our responsibility and work to change.

In Joe Dispensa’s book, Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself, he reveals a secret few accept and recognize.

This may be a bit deep without more explanation for this blog, however Dispensa explains what our purpose should be in life, along with how we can change:

“Purpose of life is to express this Intelligence through us, and until we look at those negative emotions that we’ve memorized that cause us to keep returning back to the same self, we can never create a new personal reality being the same personality. We have to unmemorize those emotions and when how we appear is who we are is completely transparent, the energy that has been existing in the body as the mind is now liberated energy for us to create with.

So right on the other side of our fear is courage.  It’s the same energy.

Right on the other side of our doubt is certainty, transmuted energy.

Right on the other side of our anger is compassion, just liberated energy.

Right on the other side of our insecurity is wholeness. Just a greater expression of energy.

So when we reach this point in our life the innate desire then is to realize that there is some aspect that really wants to change. And to look outside of us for change is to live separate from this great Intelligence.  When we look inside and begin to unmemorize and recognize those habituations and those emotions that drive us to familiar attitudes and we begin to prune them away and unmemorize them and release the gene that is beginning to cause our body to become physically changed, that’s the moment that the mind and the body reorganizes itself to change destiny.”

Have I figured out how I can do this consistently?  Emphatically NO!

However If this is true, and I believe my Spontaneous Remission strongly suggests it is, then whatever negative emotion is holding you or I back, we can conquer it!


June 23, 1885, Andrew Carnegie, addressed students at Curry Commercial College.  He would later become the 2nd richest man in history behind?  Who else but John D Rockefeller.

“And here is the prime condition of success, the great secret—concentrate your energy, thought and capital exclusively upon the business in which you are engaged. Having begun on one line, resolve to fight it out on that line, to lead in it, adopt every improvement, have the best machinery, and know the most about it. The concerns which fail are those which have scattered their capital, which means that they have scattered their brains also. They have investments in this, or that, or the other, here, there and everywhere. ‘Don’t put all your eggs in one basket’ is all wrong. I tell you ‘put all your eggs in one basket, and then watch that basket.’ Look round you and take notice; men who do that do not often fail. It is easy to watch and carry the one basket. It is trying to carry too many baskets that breaks most eggs in this country.”

Keller provides great insight by adding, “I don’t think it’s so much a secret as something people know but don’t give proper weight or importance. Most people are familiar with the Chinese proverb ‘A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step.’ They just never stop to fully appreciate that if this is true, then the wrong first step begins a journey that could end as far as two thousand miles from where they want to be. The Focusing Question helps keep your first step from being a misstep.”

The One Thing Book E to P _2014_Page_15 (Crop).jpgTHE FOCUSING QUESTION

You may be asking, “Why focus on a question when what we really crave is an answer?”

It’s simple. Answers come from questions. The quality of any answer is directly determined by the quality of the question.

Ask the wrong question, get the wrong answer.

Ask the right question, get the right answer. Ask the most powerful question possible, and the answer can be life altering.

Voltaire once wrote, “Judge a man by his questions rather than his answers.” Sir Francis Bacon added, “A prudent question is one-half of wisdom.” Indira Gandhi concluded that “the power to question is the basis of all human progress.”

Great questions are clearly the quickest path to great answers.

Every discoverer and inventor begins his quest with a transformative question.

Questions engage our critical thinking. Research shows that asking questions improves learning and performance by as much as 150 percent.

How we phrase the questions we ask ourselves determines the answers that eventually become our life.

The challenge is that the right question isn’t always so obvious.

How do you come up with uncommon questions that take you to uncommon answers?

You ask one question: The Focusing Question.

Anyone who dreams of an uncommon life eventually discovers there is no choice but to seek an uncommon approach to living it.

The Focusing Question can lead you to answer not only “big picture” questions (Where am I going? What target should I aim for?) but also “small focus” ones as well (What must I do right now to be on the path to getting the big picture? Where’s the bull’s-eye?). It tells you not only what your basket should be, but also the first step toward getting it. It shows you how big your life can be and just how small you must go to get there. It’s both a map for the big picture and a compass for your smallest next move.

Extraordinary results are rarely happenstance. They come from the choices we make and the actions we take.

The Focusing Question always aims you at the absolute best of both by forcing you to do what is essential to success—make a decision. But not just any decision—it drives you to make the best decision. It ignores what is doable and drills down to what is necessary, to what matters.


It leads you to the first domino. Again see What’s Your One Domino for 2017?

ANATOMY OF THE QUESTION The Focusing Question collapses all possible questions into one: “What’s the ONE Thing I can do / such that by doing it / everything else will be easier or unnecessary?”


Life is a question.  Next blog we’ll look at how to ask great questions, how to build a success habit, and finally get great answers.

Topics: productivity, Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself: How to Lose, The One Thing, Focusing Question, First Domino, AML

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Doug Wick, President

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The Strategic Discipline Blog focuses on midsize business owners with a ravenous appetite to improve his or her leadership skills and business results.

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