Don’t you just love trains? My mom loved them because she said they seemed mysterious to her. Every single time we’d see or hear one, she’d get a far away, dreamy look in her eye – even if one was
holding us up and making us late. She said you never knew where all they’d been or the sort of people they’d carried. She’d get pretty creative thinking about the different scenarios of individuals heading off for exotic places.
When a group at her work got together and planned a trip, she was like me in Starbucks: Beside herself with anticipation and excitement, talking a mile a minute with a glimmer in her eyes. When she got to her destination and called me, I asked her if it was as wonderful as she thought. My mom, who’d talked about trains all of my life said, “No, I’ve never been so bored. I’m flying back.”
The thing about trains that appeals to me is their power. They power along as though nothing in the world could stop them, and to even attempt to slow them down would be foolish.
If we adapted a similar mindset, what all could we accomplish?
Personally, I’ve often been guilty of creating too many tracks. A train will travel on one track at a time. What’s more, it travels in one direction at a time. It would be completely impossible for one train to travel on two tracks at once, and it couldn’t head to San Francisco and to New York City at the same time. I often wonder if the same should be said about people. Granted, we can multi-task, and we often do. It’s a necessity most of the time. However, isn’t our best work done when we choose one track and stick to it? Don’t we give a task our best when we keep traveling forward with it, until we arrive.
I’ve begun setting aside certain days for certain tasks and have benefited from it greatly. Trying to test out a new recipe for my food blog, while working on an article for Self Help Daily, while researching Alzheimer’s Disease for Out of Bounds, while doing dream interpretations and reviewing books is madness. When too many things are going on at once, I don’t enjoy anything except the end of the day.
One track at a time is the way to travel in style (and keep your sanity). If it means some of your cargo has to go, so be it!
When we specialize in this manner, it’s so much easier to stay on track. When trying to finagle two and three tracks at once, we constantly look for the next “off ramp,” which leads to incomplete work and/or shoddy work. But if we allow ourselves the privilege of focusing on one task (or track) at a time, we can stay on course until we arrive.
This sort of focus, or lack thereof, is why a lot of restaurants that once focused solely on burgers and made KILLER burgers now only make so-so burgers. They’re trying to do too much – fish, chicken, potatoes, salads, etc. Can you imagine how great a burger would be if that’s all they focused on?
Take a look at your own life. Are you loaded down with so much cargo that you can’t even enjoy the trip? Are you splitting yourself, and your efforts, in half by trying to negotiate two tracks at once? When we split ourselves in half, anything we endeavor gets HALF our best.
Choose your tracks wisely and approach them one at a time. Then…. Full steam ahead!