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The ‘X’ Factor


A New Ending Starts With A New Beginning

Do you ever ask yourself: “How can I get control of my life and manage my time?” “How can I maximise my potential in my career, or grow my business and still have time for my family and personal life?” “Where do I begin so that I can become better at what I’m good at and live a better life? You may be earning and doing better for yourself than ever before and yet you often find yourself overwhelmed with the demands of your job and your personal life.

You may be working harder and harder than ever before and yet you are getting less and less personal satisfaction and enjoyment from what you do. Perhaps you had a similar experience like my client, Molly, a single mum, who was suddenly made redundant and had to quickly consider her options to continue providing for her kids.

From Purpose to Impact

These are real situations that can impact on our lives at any time. Like so many other people we work with, Molly’s case was special. She needed help and needed it fast! We sure helped her, and Molly is well on her way to success. She found her “X” factor! Below is an adapted excerpt which I have extracted from Brian Tracy’s Focal Point book. This simple story, which we so often use in our coaching, illustrates and summarises the most important single principle of success, achievement and happiness in life. Your ability to determine where you put the “X” in each part of your life is the critical determinant of everything that you accomplish or fail to accomplish.

The 'X' Factor

Once upon a time, so the story goes, there was a major technical problem at a billion-dollar atomic power plant. This malfunction was slowing energy generation and reducing the overall efficiency of the entire operation. The plant’s engineers could not identify and solve the problem. So, they brought in one of the nation’s top consultants on atomic plant construction and engineering. The consultant arrived, put on a white coat, took his clipboard and went to work.

For the next two days, he walked around, studying the hundreds of dials and gauges in the control room, taking notes and making calculations. At the end of the second day, he took a black felt marker out of his pocket, climbed up on a ladder and put a large black “X” on one of the gauges. “This is the problem,” he explained. “Repair and replace the apparatus connected to this meter and the problem will be solved.” He then took off his white smock, drove back to the airport and flew home. The engineers disassembled the apparatus and discovered that, sure enough, this was the cause of the problem. It was soon repaired and the plant was back up to full capacity.

About a week later the plant manager received a bill from the consultant for $10,000 for “Services rendered.” The plant manager was surprised at the size of the bill, even though this was a multi-billion-dollar nuclear facility and the problem had been costing an enormous amount of money in lost generating capacity. After all, he reasoned, the consultant had come in, stood around for a couple of days, written a black “X” on one of the gauges and then returned home. $10,000 seemed like a high fee for such a simple job. The plant manager wrote back to the consultant. “We have received your bill. Could you please break down and itemize your charges? It seems that all you did was to write one “X” on a single gauge. $10,000 appears to be excessive for this amount of work.”

Some days later, the plant manager received a new invoice from the consultant. It said, “For placing “X” on gauge: $1.00. For knowing which gauge to place “X” on: $9,999.” This simple story illustrates and summarises the most important single principle of success, achievement and happiness in life.

Can you determine your 'X' factor?

Your ability to determine where you put the “X” in each part of your life is the critical determinant of everything that you accomplish or fail to accomplish. This “X” is your focal point. This is the one thing that you can do, at any given moment, to get the very best result possible for you in that area. Your ability to choose the correct time, place and activity to place your “X” has more of an impact on your life than any other factor.    

Author: Harry Nathoo. Business Growth and Performance Strategist. Harry is helping small business owners scale up and grow faster than they ever imagined. Personal Success Coach. CEO.

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