A family of four – father, mother and 2 children were on an African safari . It was not exactly a safari but close – It was the African section of the Walt Disney’s Animal Kingdom in Orlando Florida which displays wild animals in original settings.
As their train was rumbling through this animal kingdom , the father saw a Lion standing majestically atop a rock on a high Hill. He was totally awe struck. He could’nt control his excitement. Turning to the tour guide, he said – “Aww we are so lucky to be able to see this majestic lion – right when we are passing by.”
The tour guide was amused, just gave a smile and replied – “The Lion is always there”.
That was not exactly the response the dad was expecting. He was mildly taken aback. How is that possible ? he wondered – is the lion stuffed? Is it made of wax? .to which the tour guide just said “No”.
But the father was very curious. His prestige was at stake as his two young children were eagerly following the proceedings. He gave another try - Well then how come is it possible ? – have you nailed the lion to the rock? Have you tied it up somehow ?
To all his questions the tour guide responded with a “No”. Finally the guide could’nt take any more of the questioning and revealed the secret. The Rock apparently, was temperature controlled.
When the temperatures soared the rock was cool & when the whether was cold the rock was warm.So, the lion chose to stay on the Rock.
How ingenious. Yet so awfully simple.
They did not have to train the lion, they did not have to force the lion – they just made the Rock the place the lion wanted to be.
They modified the Lions environment in such a way that he preferred the Rock over his immediate temptations – perhaps socializing with the other lions and lionesses.
So how does this story have a bearing on our work life.
Can we modify our environment in such way – that we prefer to do certain things.
What is our Rock? What is the rock that we face? The one that we want to but don’t particularly enjoy standing on.
Perhaps we could call this Rock our Focus areas for the Next year or so. Our mid to long term goals. Things we want to achieve or habits we want to develop.
How can we structure our environment today so that we prefer to work on this “Rock” over the various other distractions that we face daily.
The Solution is Simple & it lies in Planning your day.
There are a number of tools available online and offline that help us in achieving this purpose , a few are even listed below.But for the tools to be effective - they have to become an integral part of our work life. Only then will they have an impact. And the rewards can be immense.
For those who already have mastered the art of planning the day – congratulations! That is one behavioral tool which can make a huge difference to your career. For those who are yet to master it – a couple of months of dedicated effort to master this tool can have an immediate impact on your work place rewards.
This post is based on Peter Bregmans wonderful Story