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“Will it make the boat go faster”

I have a new question I ask myself at least 20 times a day-  ‘Will it make the boat go faster?’

This question-mantra is odd because I have little to nothing to do with boats.
Like, ever… but this question has helped me reframe my life.  

Let me explain. In 1998 The Great Britain’s Olympic Rowing Team were training to win a gold medal at the Olympics.

The team mantra became ‘Will it make the boat go faster?’ and they applied it to every area of their lives. When faced with a decision, they asked themselves this question.

If the answer was yes, they did the thing. If no, they didn’t do the thing. It was very very simple.  They committed for two years to only do things that would make the boat go faster.

Invite out to go drinking for the night. ‘Will it make the boat go faster?’
No, thank you.

Should I go to the gym? ‘Will it make the boat go faster?’
Yes.

All aspects of their lives were put in this simple test. Spoiler alert: they won.

For me, and likely you also, I don’t have a boat and I am certainly not entering any races involving them. But I like the question because it made me measure if the things I was actively doing supported the life that I wanted.

Something as simple as nutrition or exercise, we often choose things that are not in our own best interest. The one off action against our own best interest, is rarely the problem. It is the sum of those ‘one off’s’ stacked together to make seven in a week and 365 in a year.
We’ve all had nights where we have skipped brushing our teeth for one night. This will have NO impact in my life whatsoever. But if I repeat that action every night for a year, we have a big big problem.

This week I have been framing every decision making process around this idea.

Should I be on the 7am Business coaching call? Yes.
5km walk? Let’s go.  
Fast food for dinner? Nope.
Nap? Yes. I am tired and I’m not focusing.

Putting this lens over my actions allowed me to draw very simple lines between my goals and my actions.

So my question to you is this – are the things you are doing making your boat go faster?

Big love, JA x

 

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