This Will Help You Succeed At Anything

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If you know me at all, you know that one of the things about me is that I can’t get enough of college football. I love the pageantry, like at USC. I love the pre-game rituals and huge bands, like at USC. I love the giant, noisy crowds with all their customs and cheers, like at USC. I love the long-standing rivalries, like at USC. OK, so I’m a die-hard USC Trojan and have had season tickets since God was little.

All of that said though, there is a particular college coach I really admire and no, he’s not from USC! Like him or hate him, I’m talking about Nick Saban, the football coach at The University of Alabama (I know you’re drafting me hate mail already…).

There’s no arguing with his success. He won his first national championship while coaching at LSU back in 2003. Since coming to Alabama, he’s won national titles in 2009, 2011, 2012 and 2015. He totally dominates college football.

I’ve spent a considerable amount of time over the years studying his success and what’s behind it. While a lot of it has to do with the upbringing he had under a very demanding father, a lot of it also has to do with what Saban has developed that he calls “The Process”. And there’s much within The Process that can help your own success and how you go about your job, career and life.

The whole idea behind “The Process” is simple but profound. It’s way of thinking and breaking down difficult situations or challenges into very small, manageable pieces. The key is, don’t focus on the end result, like in football winning a national championship or in your job, retiring wealthy. Instead, focus on what’s in front of you right now and doing it to the best of your ability. Then do that with the next thing and the next thing.

You see in football, the average play lasts about seven seconds. Saban doesn’t have his players focus on winning the next national championship. He has them focus on winning what’s on their plate right now, the next play. The players concentrate only on winning the next seven seconds in a game or the next drill in practice.

There is no focus at all on the scoreboard or on the end results. Saban has discovered that keeping an eye on the past or future either creates anxiety or dangerous comfort. So he has his players spend zero time or energy caught up in either. Now think about that in relation to your own career.

So how can you translate the undeniable success of “The Process” to your own job, career or even life? Consider doing the following:

*Focus On “Right Now” – We are often affected by both our past and our future. Both can be paralyzing on your progress. Change your focus. Break your day down. Win that next meeting, that next sales call, that next presentation. Execute on what’s in front of you right now to the best of your ability. Then do it again and again.

*Eliminate The ClutterWe all have things throughout our day that distract us from what we are doing now. Phone calls, endless meetings, annoying interruptions. Focus on the things you can control and they way you do your job. Do what you have to do to block them out and focus on the task at hand.

*Don’t Be Attached To Outcomes – Don’t worry about the result. Worry about how you execute on what you’re doing right now and do it as best as you can. As Saban says, the outcome will take care of itself.

*Embrace AdversityDifficulties are going to happen in your career or life. A setback will happen. Everyone gets them and everyone has to deal with them. When that happens, don’t focus on the outcome or where you want to be. Win what you have to do next…this morning. Having to overcome adversity isn’t pleasant, but the achievements in the face of adversity make it all even more worthwhile.

Here’s the bottom line. Decide what you want and the kind of person you’re going to have to be to get it. Ask yourself: “What am I going to have to do consistently in order to achieve what I want” and break it down into bite-size chunks. Then commit to the process and focus on only that. The result will come and will inevitably be a positive one.

It’s about what you can control, every minute of every day. It’s The Process.

As we say at USC, “Fight On”!


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