My older brother Leon put me on to an excellent audio course that I’ve been listening to in my car called, “Famous Romans.” The course consists of about 30 lectures recounting the lives of Romans (and their enemies) from founding to collapse who were… famous. They made their mark on history, and changed it for good or ill forever after. This includes household names like Cicero, Cato, Hannibal, Julius Caesar, Octavian, Trajan and Hadrian (to name a few).
After spending hours listening to the lives of these world-changing people, one quality stands out above all the others.
Even more than perseverance, or ambition or aggressiveness (which they certainly had), they shared one quality that allowed them to achieve beyond their peers by orders of magnitude:
Cato was entirely focused on guarding the republic, Caesar was entirely focused on dominating it. Hannibal had only one single life focus: killing Romans.
What can we learn from the example of these ancients?
MULTI-TASKING IS NOT A STRENGTH!
Do you have 11 top goals? Or none? Do you spend your days in a flurry of activity, and wonder what you accomplished when you go home at night?
I remember Verne Harnish (author and founder of YPO) once remarking that he tried to recruit Fred DeLuca to speak at one of his events. He refused. He didn’t care what he was paid or how big the crowd was, because he had a single focus for the entire year for his company: increasing per store wallet share per customer.
Anything that didn’t contribute toward achieving that goal he had no interest in doing.
Why not take a minute right now to write down your focus for this week, and for today. What one thing do you need to accomplish that will make a 50% difference in your results? Write it down, tape it to your screen or your bathroom mirror, or the headliner of your car.