If you find that you’re spending too much time thinking about what you should do or how you should do it, that’s a sure sign that you need better productive instincts.
When you have productive instincts, your natural reaction is to do the thing that’s most productive.
And that, my friend, is a powerful thing.
Learn from the Lion
Do you know why the lion is called king of the jungle (even though they don’t actually live in the jungle)?
It’s because of their raw power and strength.
Lions aren’t afraid of anything.
And they don’t need to be.
They’re at the top of the food chain.
And the really cool thing about lions is that they act like the kings and queens of the jungle by instinct. They don’t have to learn how to be strong or powerful. It’s built into their DNA.
When they see a gazelle and they’re hungry, they don’t stop and wonder if it would be ethically appropriate to eat today…
They don’t spend a week plotting the best line of attack…
They don’t stop to analyze whether this gazelle would taste as good as the gazelle twenty yards away…
And they don’t wait around to see if other lions are eating gazelles first before they pounce.
When a lion is hungry, it finds a gazelle and attacks.
And it eats.
It’s pretty simple.
But it’s effective.
Find Your Inner Lion
People are a bit more complicated than lions.
Yes, we have productive instincts. But we also have a whole bunch of other things that can sometimes cloud those instincts.
A lot of the time, we know exactly what we should be aiming at.
We know the promotion we should prepare for…
We know the client we should call…
We know the article we should write…
We know the sales numbers we need to hit.
But, unlike the lion, instead of doing what we know we should do, very often we wait around to see what everyone else is doing first.
Or we spend a week thinking about the other 594 other things we could be doing instead.
And so, results take longer to achieve.
Opportunities pass us by.
And we feel like we’re constantly pressed for time.
The lion is already enjoying his post-meal siesta, and we’re still debating between Helvetica or Arial for our PowerPoint presentation next week (thank God we’re not considering Courier).
One of the things I often help my clients with is learning how to train their inner lion.
There are certain instincts you should trust.
And there are some instincts you shouldn’t trust.
If you want to maximize your productivity (and, let’s face it, you wouldn’t be reading this if you didn’t), one of the most important skills you can have is being able to know which productive instincts to trust without question.
For a lion, instincts are the difference between eating and going hungry.
For us, it can be the difference between success and failure.