Last week, I was with my friend and mentor John Maxwell for 4 days. In those days, he and others poured into those of us in attendance and I must say each day was like drinking from an “amped-up fire hose”! I’d like to share just one of the many powerful lessons learned.
He calls it the “Rule of 5” and it is the 5 things he makes sure he does each and every day. When he does these 5, he knows he will have a successful day, regardless of what happens! The premise is that a few habits consistently applied will eventually have a significant compound effect, much like the effect of compounding interest rates.
Quite frankly, I struggle with narrowing a list down to 5 for me – which is another insight by itself! I’ve often suggested to clients to think into to implications of having more than 7 “priorities”; it really means they have no priorities at all.
The items you select for your “Daily Rule of 5” must be unique to you and must be things you know if done consistently, will contribute greatly in allowing you to live out the potential you have as a leader.
Your “Daily Rule of 5” is best constructed by identifying the strengths you want to maximize and not the weaknesses you would like to improve. Why is that you ask? Simply this: taking what comes natural to you (a strength) and doing what you can to maximize its use will be that secret sauce to achieve extraordinary results.
If you were to focus on your weaknesses, those traits or skills you are NOT naturally gifted in, you will struggle to maintain motivation. Even if you did focus your daily 5 on these, you would, at best, raise your level of effectiveness in these areas to average. Average skills produce average results.
The secret to building motivational momentum is to start small with the simple things you can do. Small disciplines repeated with consistency every day lead to great achievements gained slowly over time. This is the impact of the compound effect.
You have heard of some people becoming “an overnight success” haven’t you? In reality, no one has become an overnight success – they have just been discovered seemingly from obscurity. The more accurate phrase is, “it took him or her 15 years to become an overnight success.”
I’ve been thinking about what my daily rule of 5 will be and have come up with a list of over 10! I thought I’d share some of them with you, ask for your input and encourage you to share what you think your daily 5 will be.
- Read Scripture and Pray – Many of you know I am a person of faith. Nothing gets my day off to a better start than spending some time first thing in the morning reading some Scripture and seeking God’s direction on my day through prayer with Him. I fully understand this may not be for everyone and that’s okay.
- Attend to my Health – I am going to cheat a bit here and have a few subcomponents to this one including:
- staying hydrated by drinking 80 ounces of water each day;
- doing stretching and muscle strengthening exercises
- cardio exercise of 150 minutes per week
- Spend 30 Minutes Reading – This isn’t just any kind of reading; it is intentional reading in areas where I want to grow. Personally, I’m not one who enjoys novels so my reading list tends to include biographies of successful leaders, books on leadership and personal growth, and magazines such as Harvard Business Review and Fortune covering similar topics. It is where I can get ideas that have worked for others to see how they can work for me.
- Finding Opportunities to Serve and Add Value to Others – My purpose is to help leaders become aware of their potential and help them express that potential into their leadership and personal lives. To do this, I look for ways I can serve and add value.
- Writing Something – For me, writing helps me to further clarify ideas and helps me to express my thoughts is a way that can be useful to me, to my clients and others I want to serve.
- Finish the Day on Paper Before Beginning Work – This enables me to plan my day very intentionally knowing if I don’t plan my day, I am allowing others to do so for me.
- Express Gratitude throughout the Day – I struggle with fear and anxiety as do many of you who are reading this. I know that gratitude and fear cannot exist with one another simultaneously, so I will express gratitude throughout the day to lessen the negative impact of the fear and anxiety I may have.
I truly would value your insights and observations to help me narrow my list to 5. If you were me, which 5 would you choose?
Also, I’m curious to know some of the items you would choose to be on your “Daily Rule of 5”. Do take a minute to let me know, would you?