What is the sweet spot, you ask?
(It has been called to my attention by several readers of this blog that I have not really explained what I mean by the “sweet spot” in the course of launching The Sweet Spot: How to Accomplish More by Doing Less.)
The sweet spot is that place where your greatest strengths and your greatest personal power overlap with ease, where there is little resistance or stress.
I’ve long struggled with the ease piece of the sweet spot. I’ve found and developed my strengths, but I lose my groove when I’m too tense or tired. Like a baseball player, I know that I can “get hits” outside of my sweet spot, but my metaphorical bat (my body and brain) tends to bend or even break. Check out this slow-motion video of a bat bending — pretty amazing!
Here are three easy ways we can get back into our sweet spots:
- Decrease busyness and overwhelm. Busyness causes “cognitive overload,” which exhausts us and makes even easy tasks harder. Any time we feel overwhelmed, we aren’t working or living from our sweet spot.
- Talk to strangers. The single best predictor of our well-being is the breadth and the depth of our relationships with others; our sense of connection to others brings us both ease and strength. We feel safer — less isolated, less lonely, and less stressed — when we strengthen our social ties. Even more, we gain great strength from our relationships with others. Start small today by establishing “micro-connections” with the people you encounter throughout the day.
- Upgrade the software your brain uses for autopilot. The way to stay in your sweet spot over the long haul is to develop daily micro-habits that channel your brain’s natural ability to run on autopilot, so your habits bear the burdens you’ve been leaning on willpower to shoulder. Habits are about as easy as it gets; and when we pick a good habit to get into, we develop our strengths.
Take Action: Pick one of the above ways to get back to your sweet spot, and decide WHEN you will do it. (Really. Put it on your calendar. Before your good intentions evaporate.)