Majoring in the Minor

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If you’ve stumbled across the blog over the past few days, you’ve seen an absolute nightmare. I’ve changed the site design more than five times over the course of the past week. I just couldn’t make up my mind on how I wanted to present myself online.

Meanwhile, I haven’t actually created a piece of original content in over a week. I’ve completely missed the point.

It’s really easy to get lost in the details of a project instead of keeping your eye on the actual mission. As of late, I’ve been terrible with refocusing my efforts back to the original goal. So, I started posing this question to myself:

What’s going to matter ten years down the road?

It helps to refocus my attention on the big picture so that I can accurately direct my effort to what really matters.

Take this site for example. I’m not planning on becoming a theme developer any time soon. The purpose of this blog isn’t to showcase my design skills. It’s to have a canvas where I can share thoughts and ideas that matter to me.

A similar mistake happens in the fitness arena. I’ve seen coaches and athletes bicker back and forth about the perfect exercise for XYZ. They have lengthy discussions about what exact rep range is optimum for muscle growth.

In the long run, unless you’re trying to be a competitive athlete, it just doesn’t matter. In 10 years, you’re not going to look back and wish you did ten reps during your workouts instead of eight.

What will you look back on and wish you had done differently? Probably things like paid more attention to your nutrition instead of drowning in fast food or learned how to combat stress.

It’s a variation on the Pareto Principle, which loosely suggests that 80% of the results come from 20% of the effort. Often times, we focus on the rest of the 80% that has a far lower yield.

The next time you feel stuck or that you’re making little progress towards your actual goal, ask yourself what elements of your project you’re going to look back on in ten years and appreciate. Refocus your efforts on the 20% versus letting your time get sucked up by the 80% that yields minimal results.

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