#1: Their Mental Focus. Without extreme concentration on your craft and “vital few” priorities, you’ll spread your brain’s bandwidth over many things. And, ultimately, end up genius at nothing. By dialling in your focus, you’ll leverage the neuroscientific rule that says “neurons that fire together wire together”. [Write that one down. Please.]
Next, your massive focus activates a certain type of brain cell called an oligodendrocyte which then triggers the production of myelin, a fatty tissue that wraps around the neural pathway related to the skill you’re practicing.
Myelin is “The Material of Genius” in many ways as it accelerates your learning speed and heightens your perception. This is how Wayne Gretzky was able to skate to where the puck was going. And how tennis star Serena Williams has done what she has.
Implementation tactic: Zero Device Days [ZDD]. These are days where you put your phone in a plastic baggie and leave your devices in another room. Carve out a space with no distractions called your Dream Room. Go there. Set an old-school timer for 2-3 hours. And don’t get up until you’ve done real work versus the fake stuff ordinary performers pass off as good.
#2: Their Physical Energy. I was moving swiftly through an airport recently when a woman named Sheila stopped me. “The best thing I ever learned from you Robin Sharma, was your line ‘Energy is more valuable than intelligence.'” She hugged me then kept on going.
It’s true. You can be the smartest person in the room, have a market-making product, carry remarkable talent within you and have a future filled with pure opportunity. But without world-class energy, you’ll never produce world-class results.
You just won’t.
Implementation tactic: Recalibrate your diet. What you eat affects your moods, determines your longevity and drives your energy. No more processed food. Much more vegetables and fruits. Get serious about hydration + supplementation.
If you’re serious about becoming a world-builder, start eating like one.
Oh–and remember: eat less food and you’ll get more done.
#3: Their Personal Willpower. I’ve been doing a lot of quiet reflection on this point. In so many ways, the fundamental trait of outright greatness is self-discipline [the ability to translate your lofty intentions into measurable results].
And all epic performers not only build it each day [because science has taught us willpower is like a muscle: flex it and it grows] but they have discovered how to protect it.
Implementation tactic: Set up “Strengthening Scenarios”. These are situations that you engage in that make you feel uncomfortable for the purpose of making your willpower stronger. Navy Seals put themselves in hard circumstances designed to make them unbreakable. Boxers do the early morning roadwork so they are resilient in the ring.
And all superb producers go to where their discomfort lives. For there your highest power lies.
#4: Their Creative Productivity. Everyone is an artist. Each of us has exceptional levels of creativity within us, longing to see the light of day. But for our finest ideas to show up, we need to set up the conditions for them to come out to play.
Genius-level insights [the kind that cause you to own your field + make history] don’t appear amid stress, distractions, overscheduled days and toxic work spaces.
Make time to get away from your office. Spend more time in nature. Practice daily solitude. Read magazines you ordinarily wouldn’t read. Travel often. Go to art galleries. Prime your creativity. And watch what unfolds.
Then–exploit the creativity that presents itself into high-value productivity. Key move Adrian. Because ideas that are not made into results don’t generate success.
Implementation tactic: Write in a journal for 30 minutes every morning, while the rest of the world is asleep. I’ve been teaching this ritual for years and it’s still one of the best methods I know of to harness powerful thinking, download potent visions and capture the creativity that will make you legendary.
#5: Their Time. Oh–this is such a key one. Billionaires and icons are fanatical when it comes to respecting the 24 hours of their day. The best performers would never stand for an hour waiting in line to get into a hip new restaurant. They would never waste an 8-hour flight playing games on their tablet or sleeping under a blanket. The great ones couldn’t imagine being in a beautiful hotel room in a cool city and using those hours to watch the news.
Simple yet perhaps a profound principle: the hours average performers misuse, the excellent producer leverages.
See Adrian: how can you lead your field + achieve amazing results + live a remarkable life if you’re not using your days well?
Implementation tactic: The Daily 5 Rule. Five “micro wins” done every day with pristine consistency delivers 150 victories after only one month. Run this protocol daily and after just a year, you’ve achieved 1850 little wins. And as you’ve heard me say so many times: small daily improvements when done consistently over time lead to stunning results.
Because a breathtakingly great life is made not by revolution, but via evolution.