Changing Things

by Francisco Saez

This chapter is a free excerpt from The Pursuit of Mastery.

November 26, 2012

As Steve Jobs says in the brief interview linked below, we all have the ability to influence our world, to make things happen, to make improvements, and to succeed. I could not agree more.

Some people don’t believe this, though. They think that only people with a lot of power or a higher intelligence have the ability to change things. That’s simply not true. To change things, we just need to focus our efforts productively on what we want to achieve, be persistent, and stay motivated.


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November 26, 2012

As Steve Jobs says in the brief interview linked below, we all have the ability to influence our world, to make things happen, to make improvements, and to succeed. I could not agree more.

Some people don’t believe this, though. They think that only people with a lot of power or a higher intelligence have the ability to change things. That’s simply not true. To change things, we just need to focus our efforts productively on what we want to achieve, be persistent, and stay motivated.

In times like this, as economic difficulties hit a number of countries, companies, and individuals, we must question and think critically about almost everything we’ve been taught in the past. In fact, the more complicated a particular situation, the more things we can do to change and improve it. It is precisely during difficult times that we have the greatest opportunities to deepen our thinking, reassess what we are doing, and decide what we really want to contribute. Or we can continue to spend our energy complaining about politicians, bankers, companies, or the unfairness of life in general.

Do you want to change things? Your chances of success depend on how fast you are able to accept that there is a new game. And to begin with, you need to achieve clarity about two things:

  1. You must know what your objective is. What do you want to achieve? Why? If you do not know why you are doing what you do, your actions will have no meaning, clarity, or direction.
  2. You must determine what the next move is. Figure out what you need to do next to achieve your objectives, and then work hard to make it happen.

If you want different results, you must be able to quickly change your focus from one goal to another. To do that with perspective and without getting overwhelmed, you will need a good personal productivity system (at this point, I recommend something like GTD). From there on out, it’s a matter of organization and discipline.

“When you grow up, you tend to get told that the world is the way it is and your life is just to live your life inside the world, try not to bash into the walls too much, try to have a nice family, have fun, save a little money… That’s a very limited life, it can be much broader… And you can change it, you can influence it, you can build your own things that other people can use. Once you learn that, you’ll never be the same again.”

—Steve Jobs

Watch: Steve Jobs: Secrets of Life

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