I was listening to a tape the other day about this person who went on a tree planting job up in Northern Ontario. The job was to last for a month and each person would be responsible for their assigned area to plant as many trees as they could. They would get paid 3 cents a tree.
Upon starting the person in charge of the new tree planters set a goal for them to plant 2000 trees per day.
It seemed like a lot but it was doable he said.
So the first day was done and the person I am referring to had planted 500 trees. The next day 550 trees were planted and so on. After the first week the most this person could do was 650 trees. He was exhausted and despite his best efforts could not get anywhere close to a 1000 let alone 2000 trees.
Meanwhile this other guy was planting on the average 2500 trees daily. He was by far doing better than anyone else.
Finally the guy who is having trouble ask him what is his secret to planting so many trees? He must be doing something different he added.
He laughed and said not really. I just plant more trees. This person thought he was joking. What do you mean plant more trees! Is that it he shot back with his mouth agape.
He said come and watch me and I will show you what I do. The next morning he watched him plant the trees not so quickly but at a steady pace without stopping. He didn’t stop till it was lunch time and then when he ate he took the time he needed and headed back out. When he finished for the day he ate and rested and went to sleep and did the same the next day.
He said to the person quite simply that when it came time to plant the trees he didn’t talk or waste time. He just focused on what he was doing.
A couple of weeks later this other person who was having trouble planting a 1000 trees was now planting 2600 trees a day. Fatigued like no tomorrow he had succeeded in focusing on the goal of planting more trees than anyone else. He stopped worrying about how to plant them and just did it. No distractions.
So when I think now of whether I can do better at something I will just remember to plant more trees. I had my son listen to the tape and told him that is basically the secret to life. If you want to do better just plant more trees and stop thinking and worrying about things. Just do it like Nike says.
Have a good day!