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The Point of Impact

Jan 25, 2021

"The point of impact is where the ball makes contact with the racket.  It's the split second in which your intention collides with the outside world.  If you look at freeze-frames of top professional players in this critical moment, you will most often see their eyes on the ball as it smashes into their strings."

This quote is from Tim Ferriss from his book Tribe of Mentors.  It's part of a story about his having the opportunity to learn to play tennis from a world-class instructor in just five days.  And how, once he switched his attention and focus from where he wanted the ball to go to what was right in front of him, everything changed for the better.

This seems like a lesson worth reflecting on.  How often are you fixated on the destination, the BHAG (big, hairy, audacious goal) or the lifetime dream -- even when it seems impossible, overwhelming and unreachable?  What would happen if you shifted your focus to the point of impact -- the opportunity right in front of you to make a difference? 

One thing we've learned over the past year is the difficulty of planning for the long run in the face of unanticipated challenges.  However, those who were able to effectively adapt and "pivot," were still able to have an impact.  They were able to focus on what was right in front of them and deal with that reality.  From there, they were able to "figure it out."

This is a leadership trait that I value more than any other.  It is confidence to know that, even when you don't have all the answers, you still have the ability to figure things out.  It includes the belief that you can rise to the challenge, that there will be others to learn from, others to support you.  This kind of self-assurance is very valuable in a world in which the pace of change seems to increase exponentially each year.

Think about the opportunity that's right in front of you.  What can you do today, this week or this month to make a difference in your life and in the lives of others?  Is there something you can learn that will help you be more effective in your current role or prepare you for a future role? 

Today, I want to challenge you to figure that out.  And, I'd love to hear what you will focus on as your point of impact and how you will leverage it to make your world a better place. 


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