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The Now Habit at Work: Perform Optimally, Maintain Focus, and Ignite Motivation in Yourself and Other by Neil A. Fiore

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Chapter 5. The Power of Focusing

It's easy to have faith in yourself and have discipline when you're a winner, when you're number one. What you've got to have [to be a champion] is faith and discipline when you're not yet a winner.

Vince Lombardi, Football Hall-of-Fame Coach

One Sunday afternoon, Ellen, in search of interesting subjects to photograph, came upon a young man dressed in leather standing next to his motorcycle. When she asked if she could take his picture, the young man snapped open a switchblade in her face and shouted, "Is this what you want to see, lady?" Ellen was so focused on taking his photo that—without experiencing any fear—she reached for the hand holding the knife and said, "Yes, would you tilt it like this so it reflects the sun?"

At her job, Ellen was the one who seemed to be brandishing the switchblade. She had been angry at her boss for months because he refused to promote her to supervise an all-male department. Each morning she would shoot daggers at him because of his prejudice, and she started procrastinating on key projects and coming to work late.

She was even angrier at herself because she had lost control over her behavior, which was now validating her boss's opinion of her. But her experience of focusing on getting that gorgeous photo—regardless of fear or intimidation—helped her solve her problem with her boss.

I simply pointed out to Ellen that when she focused on a goal, such as taking that photo, she refused to be defined as the enemy or the ...

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