The Home of Steven Barnes
Author, Teacher, Screenwriter

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Musashi #8: Pay Attention Even To Little Things

In the final analysis, it is both the ability to take the big picture AND the ability to manage the small important details that defines the path of mastery. Whether the arts, sciences, family life, fitness and sports, or the spiritual disciplines, it is critical to develop the capacity to move back and forth between the forest and the trees. Long view...close view.

This is so true in so many arenas, that an entire library could be written just on the small "differences that make the difference." Let's just focus on one.

In goal setting, for instance, it is important to have "long term" goals--five year, ten year, lifetime goals. They help you to see the major paths you must take, the allies you will need, the broad strokes of your actions.

But you also need a daily "to do" list, a structured catalog of the things which must be accomplished by the end of your work day in order to stay on that larger path. Most people make the massive error of thinking that the only value of a goal is achieving it. NO. More valuable is the clarity of creating it, the courage of declaring it, the self-knowledge gained by analyzing failures, the discipline that results from repeated commitment to a difficult path.

Keep a journal, and keep track of what happens as you attempt to reach your goals. And, of course, re-read your goals every day. At the end of the day, what went wrong? At the end of the week? Month? Year? If you keep track of what happened, how you reacted, the obstacles the universe threw at would begin to see the patterns behind the patterns. The way small details add up to major discoveries.

And will be on your way to creating the life you truly desire.




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1 comment:

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