There are plenty of experts out there touting their one “secret” to success. It’s usually networking or reading books or waking up at 5 am.
All are common habits of successful people but they’re not the secret.
The truth is something much different.
And, to be honest, much simpler at the same time.
So simple, in fact, that most of us will never do it.
We’re too busy.
This secret began to emerge after interviewing my first dozen or so guests for the Success Through Failure Podcast. As I write this, I’m approaching 150 episodes with guests ranging from astronauts and pro athletes to billionaires and best-selling authors.
And the secret to success is unmistakably clear.
I ask my guests the one habit that’s most responsible for their success.
- Working with a coach.
- Going on a retreat.
- Planning their day in advance.
None of these are “doing.” They’re the opposite.
They’re pauses. They are the very thing that we all say we’re too busy to do.
By hitting the pause button, ultra-successful people are more effective.
A pause allows them to be more productive.
Hence the term I’ve coined:
Definition of Productive Pause ™️
– A short period of focused reflection around specific questions that leads to clarity of action and peace of mind.
Clarity of action and peace of mind. After all, that’s what you want, isn’t it? To know that you’re making progress toward what you want?
So what are some examples of these Productive Pause questions?
Here are a few…
What am I not doing that, if I were, would most move me toward my goals?
What would _______ do? (someone who’s already done what you want to do)
What’s most important right now?
We’re so busy “doing” that we are often digging our hole in the wrong spot. Head down. Frantically trying to get it all done. Too busy to stop.
When you get off the treadmill of life and allow for a Productive Pause™️, you will find yourself with clarity of action and peace of mind.
You’ll find yourself with more time, not less.
You’ll find yourself working on the right things.
You’ll find yourself making progress toward your goals.
You’re just about at the end of this article and you could go back to “doing.”
But that’s the opposite of what you should do. You need to do a short pause. Right now.
Set a timer for 30 seconds right now and answer this question…
What’s the number one thing I can do at this moment that would most move me toward my goals?