I was not feeling well a while back, so I wrapped myself in a blanket and curled up on the couch with a good book in hand and a cup of tea. From there, I could see out the window and observe our front yard and front porch. It was spring time and the birds were very active, particularly one very determined Robin.
Just inside the edge of our front porch, is a spot where the support pillar meets the roof. The pillar is wide enough that, as the roof starts it’s incline, there remains a small ledge right in the corner. It’s well protected from the elements and almost completely hidden from view, except if you happen to be at my vantage point in the living room…our split level house puts you right at eye level with this particular spot. And that is the spot this Robin decided to build her nest.
Every year a robin attempts to build a nest here. I don’t know if it’s the same robin or not, but every year, as soon as a nest starts to appear, we try our best to keep knocking it down. The birds make a huge mess of our front porch and often an egg or baby falls from the nest, which is heartbreaking to me, so we try our best to keep the nest from being built.
But the robin does not give up easily…she is determined to finish the job she started and thus begins a battle of wills. She works tirelessly to complete her task and we work tirelessly to keep it from being built. She is single minded to the task at hand and knows what the outcome of her labor will be. We however have many other things on our mind and are constantly distracted from our task of thwarting her efforts. In just 24 hours, that robin can have her entire nest built and her eggs laid and once that happens, I don’t have the heart to knock it down.
As I watched her fly back and forth, over and over again, I realized she was 100% focused on her ROI (return on investment). She knew that the small twigs she was bringing one at a time would add up to something worthwhile…something necessary to the survival of her family. Her persistence and hard work paid off and by the end of the day, she was sitting comfortably in her new nursery ready to start her next task of raising her family.
We all have one thing in common…24 hours in a day. What varies, wildly, is how we choose to spend that time. I’m learning, from that robin, to single-mindedly focus on the one thing that will bring me the greatest ROI. She was not distracted by our efforts to stop her or by what the other birds in the yard were doing. She remained focused until the task was complete and her reward was a perfectly crafted nursery for her soon to arrive family. When the nest was complete, she shifted her focus to the next ROI, nurturing her eggs, and then her family. Her focus remained on her ultimate ROI…a new flock of robins who were healthy, knew where to find food and knew how to fly. She wasn’t distracted with other things like how pretty her nest was, what the latest and greatest building materials were or what other birds were doing, ..she just hunkered down and got the job done.
We all have that same opportunity…
To be singleminded
To focus on what will bring us the most return on our investment of time and energy
To complete a task and move on to the next one that will move us closer to our ultimate goal.
To keep our end goal In mind through the entire process…and THAT is the driving force behind any success.
What is your driving force? Are you getting a ROI for the tasks you are doing today? Are those tasks getting you closer to your end goal or are they simply spinning your wheels and wasting your time? Is your end goal important enough to you to keep you’d focused and motivated? Answering these questions can make a huge impact on literally anything you set your mind to…
What do you have your eyes fixed on? Are you making progress or just spinning your wheels?