Posts Tagged ‘Do your best work’

The Sword Crafter’s Parable: A Quick Story About Productivity

Tuesday, June 12th, 2012

 

 

Transcript of The Sword Crafter’s Parable

Hi, it’s Robin Sharma. Welcome to my hotel room here in New York City, one of my favorite places on the planet. I want to share a story with you. It’s called the “Swordcrafter’s Parable.”

Many, many years ago, there was once a sword crafter, and he was known worldwide by his reputation for creating these swords that were genius level. People revered this man. He was the master crafts-person of sword people. He was BIW, he was best in the world at what he did.

One day there was a great king, and the great king had heard about this sword crafter, who was playing at Picasso level, and he said, “I must meet this man.” So the king’s people went out and found this sword crafter in a very small village, and they brought the sword crafter to meet the king. The sword crafter came in and he was very humble and he was very gentle. The king, in return, was also very gracious and welcoming.

Then the king asked the sword crafter his favorite question when he would meet a master. He said, “Sword crafter, what is the secret to your extraordinary excellence at what you do?” The sword crafter said, “Well it’s very simple, King.” He said, “Ever since I was a young child, I was exposed to the craft of making swords.” And he said, “I fell in love with it. It didn’t only speak to my head and my logic, it spoke to me at the most deep and soulful level. It spoke to my heart.” He said, “When I was a young child, I made a decision that I would be the master sword crafter.” So he said, “As I grew up, I read books on sword crafting, and if something did not relate to sword crafting, if it did not have the word sword in it, if it did not look like a sword, if it had nothing to do with the art of sword crafting, I did not spend my time with it. That is the secret of my mastery.”

Well, that parable, I call it the “Sword Crafter’s Parable,” I invite you to wrap your head around it, because in many ways it’s the secret of being world class. We do live in a world where so many of us are pulled in so many different directions. We are, to use the cliche, we are time starved. The only way you can win in your work and the only way you can win in your personal life and the only way you can get to the last hour of your last day and say, “You know what, I was a master,” is if you devote yourself to focusing on the few things that are most important.

I’ll actually challenge you. What are the five things in your life that are most important? One is your career. Second may be your family. Three may be your personal development. Four may be art. Five, I don’t know what it is for you, but build your life obsessively – obsession is not a bad thing unless it’s a bad thing – but obsessively focus your time and your energy on the five things that are most important. Then, go about stripping away all the noise and all the complexity and all the things that don’t relate to your five swords.

There are a lot of people who are really bored, and so what they do is they spend their best hours playing angry games, looking on Instagram, and checking their Facebook notifications, and just doing all these things.

Then, they argue, “Well, I’m really, really busy. Look at all the things that I do,” without divorcing themselves from what they do and stepping back and looking at what they do and saying, “I’m wasting my time on all these things that are seemingly important in the moment, but they’re really trivial. They’re just these shiny toys that I’m giving my best hours of my best days to.”

So, please remember the sword crafter’s metaphor. Please devote yourself. Be one of those 1% people who really focus on the few things that matter. Have the courage to say no to the people who are calling for your time. Have the courage to say no to those activities that are just really attractive, but you know they’re not valuable.

From New York City, I wish you great focus. Keep Leading Without A Title and playing at your absolute best. Bye-bye.

Please share this post:

35 Fast Tips to Make This Your Best Year Yet

Monday, January 16th, 2012

Best Year YetI’m sitting on an airplane thinking about what the best performers and most successful people do to continually outperform everyone around them.

As we enter what I hope will be the single best year of your life yet, I’ve come up with 35 Tips that I invite you to concentrate on. Share these tips, reflect on then, post them where you can see them – and allow them to infuse your mindset:

  1. Remember that the quality of your life is determined by the quality of your thoughts.
  2. Keep the promises you make to others – and to yourself.
  3. The project that most scares you is the project you need to do first.
  4. Small daily improvements are the key to staggering long-term results.
  5. Stop being busy being busy. This New Year, clean out the distractions from your work+life and devote to a monomaniacal focus on the few things that matter.
  6. Read “The War of Art”.
  7. Watch “The Fighter”.
  8. In a world where technology is causing some of us to forget how to act human, become the politest person you know.
  9. Remember that all great ideas were first ridiculed.
  10. Remember that critics are dreamers gone scared.
  11. Be “Apple-Like” in your obsession with getting the details right.
  12. Take 60 minutes every weekend to craft a blueprint for the coming seven days. As Saul Bellow once said: “A plan relieves you of the torment of choice.”
  13. Release your need to be liked this New Year. You can’t be a visionary if you long to be liked.
  14. Disrupt or be disrupted.
  15. Hire a personal trainer to get you into the best shape of your life. Superstars focus on the value they receive versus the cost of the service.
  16. Give your teammates, customers and family one of the greatest gifts of all: the gift of your attention (and presence).
  17. Every morning ask yourself: “How may I best serve the most people?”
  18. Every night ask yourself: “What 5 good things happened to me this day?”
  19. Don’t waste your most valuable hours (the morning) doing low value work.
  20. Leave every project you touch at work better than you found it.
  21. Your job is not just to work. Your job is to leave a trail of leaders behind you.
  22. A job is not “just a job”. Every job is a gorgeous vehicle to express your gifts and talents – and to model exceptionalism for all around you.
  23. Fears unfaced become your limits.
  24. Get up at 5 am and take 60 minutes to prepare your mind, body, emotions and spirit to be remarkable during the hours that follow. Being a superstar is not the domain of the gifted but the prepared.
  25. Write love letters to your family.
  26. Smile at strangers.
  27. Drink more water.
  28. Keep a journal. Your life’s story is worth recording.
  29. Do more than you’re paid to do and do work that leaves your teammates breathless.
  30. Leave your ego at the door every morning.
  31. Set 5 daily goals every morning. These small wins will lead to nearly 2000 little victories by the end of the year.
  32. Say “please” and “thank you”.
  33. Remember the secret to happiness is doing work that matters and being an instrument of service.
  34. Don’t be the richest person in the graveyard. Health is wealth.
  35. Life’s short. The greatest risk is risk-less living. And settling for average.

I genuinely wish you the best year of your life.

Stay Great.

Robin Sharma

All green lights.

Please share this post:

15 Ways To Do Your Best Work

Monday, February 14th, 2011

Do your best work15 Ways For You To Do Your Best Work

  1. Do your best work by challenging the way you did things yesterday.
  2. Do your best work by allowing your passion to see the light of day.
  3. Do your best work by becoming part of the solution versus growing the problem.
  4. Do your best work by expecting nothing less than you playing at world-class.
  5. Do your best work by giving away the credit (especially when you crave it)
  6. Do your best work by practicing your skills so you become a virtuoso.
  7. Do your best work by releasing excuses and doing important things.
  8. Do your best work by getting up when you’ve been knocked down.
  9. Do your best work by keeping your promises; to others and to yourself.
  10. Do your best work by showing integrity.
  11. Do your best work by delivering more value than anyone could ever expect from you.
  12. Do your best work by making time to refill your well.
  13. Do your best work by having a strong foundation at home.
  14. Do your best work by becoming as fit as a pro athlete.
  15. Do your best work by doing work that makes a difference and inspires others to do the same.

As Chuck Palahniuk once said: “The goal isn’t to live forever. The goal is to create something that will.”

I’d love to read your comments on the lines I’ve shared above.

Keep Leading Without a Title.

Robin Sharma
Please add your comments below so we all can learn from you.

Please share this post: