The Results To Achieve Approach Rather Than The Noisy Running Commentary Approach

Great workers focus on the results to achieve and cut out irrelevant noise. This sounds easy in theory but it can be harder in practice.

Observer critics, the press, bloggers and many others want to provide a running commentary. They want to express their views about what is happening.

Sometimes this can be helpful and provide a reality check. But sometimes it is possible to get diverted by people who have other agendas, especially they are provocative.

Looking back, can you recall a time when you focused on achieving a specific goal and cut out the running commentaries? You may have aimed to pass an exam, launch a web site, complete a project or do another activity.

What did you do right then? How did you maintain your concentration? How did you keep focusing on the picture of success? How did you filter the running commentaries? What happened as a result of taking these steps?

Imagine that you want to do a piece of work in the future. Let’s explore how you can stay concentrated and not be side-tracked. One approach is to focus on the following themes.

You can clarify the
results to achieve

J.K. Rowling focused on her specific vision in her writing. She did this even when experiencing severe difficulties during her twenties. Recalling her early years of writing, she said:

“I had a daughter I adored, a typewriter and a big idea.”

She aimed to produce an epic for young readers that chronicled the adventures of Harry Potter. She was clear on the road map, the milestones and the feelings each book should evoke. She explained this in the following way.

“I just wrote the sort of thing I liked reading when I was younger and still enjoy now.”

Certainly there were ups and downs along the way but she pursued her daily disciplines to reach the goal. J.K. Rowling chose to focus on the things that were vital in her life. As she later wrote in Harry Potter and The Chamber of Secrets:

“It is our choices that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.”

Looking ahead, can you think of a piece of work you want to do? You may want to write an article, do a creative project, build a prototype or do another activity. What are the real results you want to achieve?

How motivated are you – on a scale 0-10 – to achieve the goal? What can you do to maintain or improve the rating? How can you encourage yourself on the journey?

Imagine that you have explored these questions. You can then move on to the next theme.

You can clarify the potential
noisy running commentaries

Great workers are dreamers who do and deliver. They are, by definition, extremists. They focus on a few things and do these extremely well. But doing great work sometimes creates waves.

Some people will appreciate their efforts but others will criticise them. This is especially so if their work is in the public eye – such as in sports, the arts or other fields.

Great workers learn to focus on the results rather than get distracted by other people’s running commentaries. One entrepreneur expressed this in the following way.

“Customer feedback is vital because I want to a reality check and keep improving. I also like to learn from people I respect. They give me honest suggestions about how to get results.

“I have little time for observer critics or those with other agendas. It is

vital to listen to constructive suggestions. But it is important not to get dragged down by complainers.”

Let’s return to the piece of work you may want to do. Are there any potential running commentaries that may occur? Who might give these running commentaries?

What might such people be saying? Will they be constructive, critical or a combination of both? What might be the agendas of such people? What might be the other kinds of commentaries, noises or diversions?

You can clarify how to focus on
the results to achieve rather than
the noisy running commentaries

Great workers seem to exist in their own space – their own zone, tunnel or bubble. Some athletes, for example, often have physical rituals they use to brush off criticisms, heckling, mistakes and other disruptions.

Concentrating on the concrete results to achieve, they cut off other distractions. They keep following their chosen principles towards achieving the picture of success.

Wise people seem to have an inner compass they follow rather than get caught in other people’s agendas. The Dalai Lama, for example, aims to follow his philosophy in many situations. He explains this in the following way.

“My religion is kindness. I find hope in the darkest of days and do not judge the universe.

“Our prime purpose in this life is to help others. And if you can’t help them, at least don’t hurt them.”

Let’s return to your chosen piece of work. How can you keep focusing on the results to achieve? How can you listen to people you respect? How can you get reality checks and keep improving?

How can you encourage yourself on the journey? How can you avoid getting distracted by unhelpful running commentaries? What will be the benefits of taking this approach?

If you wish, try tackling the exercise on this theme. This invites you to complete the following sentences.

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