There are thousands of self help ideas out there each touting a specific thing that you need to do in order to alter your life.  Many refer to motivation, focus, goals, overcoming fear, and an assortment of other variables which ultimately create success.  Overall, I would say these are wonderful topics to discuss yet are only part of the equation.

In order to change our lives, we need to determine what is wrong.  There is an age old reference that identifying the problem is half solving the problem.  Hence, if we can isolate the problem, then we are half way to achieving the result we desire.  That is the one point that all the other concepts miss.

So what is the problem?  My answer is very simple: productivity.  People quite simply are not productive enough to be successful.  This reveals itself in two ways.  The first is that they are focusing upon the wrong thing.  In other words, the path they are traveling is complete against what they need to do to achieve.  The second way is to exert only minimal effort when tending to a particular activity.  Either of these two reasons will end up leading to failure.

Being on the wrong path is a self explanatory idea which does not need much attention.  Doing something that you despise rarely will lead to long term success.  While it might achieve a particular end such as generating a lot of money, it will not net one things such as fulfillment.  Obviously, it is up to each person to decide what success is.  Nevertheless, a lot of money does not replace the emptiness which comes from not being fulfilled in my book.

The second avenue is the one most people commonly take.  Even if they are on the proper path for their life, they seem to fail because of the effort they exert.  Productivity is the measure of action versus time.  It is a concept that few make the effort to understand but is crucial in life.  Failure to grasp this realm is what leads to people achieving mediocrity.

Time is the great equalizer.  We are all granted the same 24 hours each day.  Someone told me the other day that "it was a long week".  My response was, "no, it was 168 hours just like every week".  Time is the one constant in our lives.  There is always 60 seconds in a minute and 60 minutes in an hour.  That was true before we arrived on this planet and will be in operation after we depart.

Everyone knows we are granted only so many years on this planet.  Life ultimately comes to an end.  While some will live longer than others, the truth is today in terms of time, we are all on an equal basis.  The difference is how we use that time.  This is where productivity enters the picture.

I will use exercise as an example.  When one studies this arena, there are a few differences between the top athletes and the average person.  To start, the top people in this arena spend more time than the average person.  This is a choice they made and might not be in keeping with everyone else.  I can accept this.  Most are not in a position nor have the willingness to work out 4 or  5 hours a day.  People who opt for this path obviously need to sacrifice in other areas.  This tradeoff is something we are all confronted with.  There is a saying, you can do anything you want, you just can to do everything.  Time is, again, the great equalizer.

That being said, in exercise have you noticed that the top people make better use of the time they are there?  In a nutshell, they achieve a greater amount of productivity.  For each hour they spend, they attain greater results than the average person.  A professional weight lifter, as an example, will do his rep, rest, and then do the next rep.  Once that exercise routing is complete, he goes to the next one without delay.  Contrast this with the average person who delays getting started, does a set, goes and gets a drink of water, talks to the cutie working out on the way back, and then does the other set.  As you can see, this person is not going to achieve anywhere near the same results even if the same time was expended.  His or her productivity is much lower.

Success people are simple more productive than unsuccessful people.  In the time they are allotted each day, they create better results.  It really is that simple.  The effort they put into each task creates a better outcome in less time.  They understand the penalty for not doing something right which is a wasting of time.  Their approach is such where the goal is to do the very best the first time through.  Mistakes happen but not from a lack of effort or focus.  Whether the task takes 5 minutes or one hour, maximum effort is given to achieve the desired result.  In this regard, washing the dishes is the same as running a Fortune 500 company.  To look at it another way, how can one expect to run a Fortune 500 company if he or she is not even able to wash the dishes properly?  One who understands that success in life is being able to do the best job possible in the least amount of time by giving maximum effort to each and every task.  If you can do this, success is guaranteed to result.

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