I remember it like it was yesterday. The college coach came up to Walt and asked, “Walter, Do you do anything fast? Walt slowly answered the coach, “Ya coach, I tire fast.” Although Walter seemed to move in slow motion, he was the most exciting college basketball player I had ever seen. He was in the zone.
We called him “Dean the Dream” because our son seemed to do more dreaming than doing, but when he graduated from Engineering School, he had ten interviews around the country. And ten job offers. Was he a straight “A” student? No! but he seemed to do much more with less effort. He lived in the zone.
Years ago, I was called in by an international fast food company to solve a major productivity problem. Prices had increased four fold over the years, but productivity had fallen dramatically. I immediately set out to visit the restaurants with the highest productivity during the highest volume periods. Many were in the northeast part of the country. I started with the very best. In one of the most impressive restaurants, I dropped in during the busiest time of the day; the lunch hour. I sat in the corner and watched for clues. At the end of the lunch period, I was shocked to hear the manager say it was one of their busiest times. There were no lines of people. It was like watching a symphony where everyone knew the score and did their job in perfect harmony. They did more with seemingly less effort. They were having fun. The manager knew it worked, but couldn’t exactly say why. They were in their zone.
Have you ever been in that place called zone? The only law in the zone is the Law of Least Effort. It follows the principle of Economy of Effort. Everyone knows pretty much when they are in the zone because they seem to do so much while using so little energy. In fact, at times, it feels like they are gaining energy by doing things in the zone. The question is: How do you get to the zone without a GPS to guide you? … You need a GPA (Greatest Personal Asset) evaluation.
One answer is that we all have a tool box of natural tools; tools we use that require very little energy. These are skills, abilities, and behaviors that come to us “naturally”. The tools in our toolbox are our Greatest Personal Assets.
Think about the time or times you were “In the Zone”. What were you doing? What tools were you using most? These answers are necessary if you want to be in the zone more often. What would life be like if you were in the zone every day? What would the country be like if we could all live in the zone?
Think about it.
In your search for your Zone…
Most people think they know what they are good at, but they are usually unsure when they have to explain it. More often, people know what they are not good at, but miss the mark here as well. You need to know your strengths to perform effectively. Start here with an article about your Greatest Personal Asset (GPA).