With the New Year not yet having worn off its sheen, and the promise of a new beginning beckoning one enticingly, a mini workshop on priority management by Bhaavin Shah seemed just the ticket. Happily, the workshop more than delivered, offering a number of insights and tools to achieve our goals with optimum effectiveness.
Beginning with the story of a samurai who wove his way into a force of 64 men, killed them all and escaped unscathed, Shah explained that it was the samurai’s ability to bypass the thinking mind and simply operate at the gut level, keeping his focus unwaveringly on the moment, that enabled him to achieve this feat. Rule no 1, therefore, was to shift from the power of thought to the power of intuition.
Shah’s central insight revolved around the concept of a game-changer. He explained that achieving even the most ambitious goal could be much easier if one could move from milestone-thinking to focussing on game-changers. Drawing upon the dominoes effect, Shah pointed out that one small tile was capable of felling all the tiles behind it. And this was the power of a gamechanger – it had the capacity to bring down all the other tiles. But how on earth were we to identify the first tile? All we had to do, Shah explained, was to keep asking ourselves: “What is the one thing I should do that would enable me to achieve my goal and render all the other goals or considerations either unnecessary or fulfilled?”
Giving an example of a game-changer, he reminded us of how parents exhort their child to focus only on getting a good result in the 10th standard because that would then automatically ensure that he got into a good college, more or less guaranteeing a good job and a comfortable life. So good results in the 10th was a distinct game-changer.
Once having identified the game-changing tile, we were advised to focus all or most of our time and energy on it, putting in efforts every day ongoingly until the tile fell, taking the other tiles with it.
And how were we to do that when life pelted us with distractions, urgent tasks and other decoys? Shah told us to build space and time bunkers. If there are overwhelming demands on your attention at work, consider heading for the nearest coffee shop. And in order to create a time bunker, establish an inviolable period of time given only to the game-changing tile.
Taking most of his inspiration from Gary Keller’s book, The One Thing, Shah deconstructed success into a relatively
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