Discover how to master motivation and focus: lessons from Steve Chandler
Steve Chandler is the author of 30 books that have been translated into over 25 languages. His personal success in coaching, public speaking and business consulting have been used by CEOs, top professionals, major universities, and over 30 Fortune 500 companies. He has twice won the national Audio of the Year award from King Features Syndicate. A popular guest on TV and radio talk shows, Steve Chandler has recently been called "the most powerful public speaker in America today".
In the following interview, Steve discusses the role that focus and motivation played in shaping his success. He also tells us a bit more about the non-linear management concept at the center of his last book 'Time Warrior'.
Do you think it’s easier or more difficult to find motivation and focus in a highly connected world?
There are now so many sources of motivation... so many inspiring blogs, YouTube channels, and Internet classes... it's a huge treasure out there. If I'm getting discouraged about how to play a certain song on the guitar, there are free YouTube tutorials to walk me through it and restore my motivation. So I think it's easier than ever to stay motivated, especially if you are motivated to be motivated! Focus is different. Focus requires real discipline. That's why I recommend meditation to my clients. Now more than ever, now more than even 50 or 230 years ago, meditation is a must because it trains the mind to relax and settle into pure focus. So many communication distractions out there now!
Many of our readers are freelance workers. In your opinion, what are the main challenges of staying motivated when you’re working on your own?
Working on my own was a curse before becoming a blessing. Most of my clients who work on their own face the same thing. No one tells you what to do. You wake up and create your own day! At first, that is VERY hard to do. Lots of wasted time, and shallow busyness that leads nowhere. Soon, though, I realized that I could prioritize and work in harmony with my own strengths. Enough practice at doing that and I now LOVE this freedom to create my day so that it can be powerful and productive.
You also work as a consultant. Are there any practical tips that you would give in order to achieve high productivity in this job ?
Be like Sherlock Holmes. Be passionately CURIOUS about your prospective client's life and problems. Do not focus on marketing, branding, networking, etc. Instead, focus on one person's problem and solve that problem. I have audio tips on this subject if you want them... we will send them... no cost. Just email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In your last book ‘Time Warrior’ - selected by Amazon.com as one of the best books in 2014 - you recommend non-linear time management. What lies behind this concept?
Linear time management and linear thinking are very narrow-minded. You are mentally following the line into your own future and getting frightened, or else you are following that linear line into your past and feeling regret and remorse. Both of those emotions are non-starters when it comes to creativity, spontaneity, energy, wealth or enthusiasm. Non-linear honors the NOW. This very moment. It allows me to RISE UP vertically in this moment, as in the great basketball coach John Wooden's strategy: Make each day your masterpiece. He had his team focus on TODAY not tomorrow or yesterday, and they became champions.
You mentioned in your writings, that the first part of your life had not been very successful, due to a lack of focus. What was the main driver that helped you change back then?
The main driver was my openness to spiritual evolution. My openness to live as a verb instead of as a noun. My openness to dropping my fascination with my personality and exchange that love affair with permanent pervasive patterns for a new love affair with improve and spontaneity. Once I opened up to that, I got a coach who knew where to take me so that my spiritual journey would always (always, always) continue, and would not ever (ever) stop somewhere.
To read more about Steve Chandler :
Time Warrior: How to defeat procrastination, people-pleasing, self-doubt, over-commitment, broken promises and chaos
The Prosperous Coach: Increase Income and Impact for You and Your Clients
Reinventing Yourself, Revised Edition: How to Become the Person You've Always Wanted to Be