Focusing Your Efforts
In the past year, a lot has changed. One challenge that was not so apparent until just a year or so ago has been the difficulty of saying no to different opportunities.
I’ve realized that saying Yes is much easier. And have gotten myself into many situations that are not only inefficient, lacking value, and not super fun — but also just a waste of time.
So then…how should we go about focusing our efforts…I thought this quote was really good:
“Unfocused hustle is WASTED energy. You can beat Usain Bolt in the 200m if he runs in the wrong direction for 5 secs.”
The most successful people will not only have tremendous amounts of determination and passion, but they will also learn how to harness that in and make the most of it. They learn how to maximize their value by applying themselves in the right directions.
Growing up, I had always worried about the opposite problem. I think many of us do. We think about the challenge of finding opportunities.
I have found, in just my last year or so, that that problem is rarely the big one. Opportunities are there and alive if you just go for them.
The hard part is figuring out which opportunity to go for.
Sam Altman, in his latest reflections on the New Year, shared this handy framework:
I think the best way to pick what you want to do is to find the intersection of what you’re good at, what you enjoy, what the world needs, and what the world values.
It’s not easy to figure out what you actually care about– there are so many directions you can go. But rather than listening to where other people might push you, it’s worth trying to figure this out for yourself. Don’t chase other people’s ideas of what matters. The best way to succeed long-term is to deeply believe that what you’re doing matters.
Most people just fall into things that come their way. That can work — people sometimes just have to try stuff to figure out what they like — but I think it’s worth being more deliberate. Try to develop and carefully refine strong convictions about what you want to accomplish.
The framework I’ve found most useful for helping people think through career decisions is to consider both impact maximization and regret minimization — a decision that scores well on both is likely to be a good one.
There is no “right” way to live. There is no “right” career. But I think being deliberate with your actions, at least partially, will help you set yourself up to be in a place where you are happy (or whatever your goal may be).
Originally published at Jordan Gonen.