Sometimes, the toughest thing to do is to not do anything.
A common, thoughtless phrase goes something like this: Don’t just stand there, do something. Almost always, this is bad advice.
Our brains are hard wired to “do something,” much in the way that a deer runs across a busy road when he hears a random noise behind him. This impulse to “do something” may have helped us survive in the wild, but it no longer carries the same wisdom. “Doing something” tricks us into thinking we have control of the situation, and probably makes us feel less regret later, should things turn out bad. Unfortunately, doing something can get you into trouble.
If you have the courage to “not” do something, to stand still, you’ve just increased your chances of success.
This is Warren Buffett’s 5/25 Rule.
Now, I can already sense the eye-rolling, and eye-rolling rates has been linked to a marriage’s chance of success, so I take your eye-rolls seriously. Plus, I realize that invoking Buffett’s name will make some of you yawn, in the same way that talking about quantum physics at a gathering will bore everyone to tears (guilty as charged).
That being said, the 5/25 Rule requires you to write down 25 things you need to do, and place them in order of importance. Go ahead and write down your top 25 goals. Then, circle the top 5.
Next, cross out the remaining 20 things.
These 20 things that you’ve crossed out are still pretty important, right? Well, under the 5/25 Rule, they’re gone. They’re out of your life. Buffett says these 20 things just became your “Avoid At All Cost” list. You can’t do anything on this avoidance list until you succeed on your five most important things.
And that, my friends, is the 5/25 Rule. And that, my friends, is what we call FOCUS.
Yes, Bill Gates and Warren Buffett were asked what they thought the ONE TRAIT that made them both rich. Everybody wants to be rich, or skinny, or both, right? They both answered with the same word: FOCUS. Continue Reading