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Machen MacDonald: Manage your CLOCK to succeed

In sports, there is a term that is often referred to that separates champions from the rest. That term is Clock Management.

Business and life are no different than sports when it comes to successful management of the clock. Those that succeed have developed the ability to manage the clock better than others.

In sports, the buzz around clock management is more noticeable, for the fan or viewer, toward the last few minutes of the game. Often, it is mistaken with focusing on playing not to lose rather than playing to win. However, winning clock management starts well before the game even starts.



Here are five things we can do to win at clock management and achieve more in business and in life:

C – Clarify the desired outcome. Get really clear on what success looks like and what to go after without reservation. The more clear the desired outcome the stronger the force created to drive our daily impulses of moving in that direction.




If we believe and feel we have a compelling future, we are inspired with energy and direction. If we fear our future, then doubt, resistance and retreat can set in.

Just because it may not currently exist yet or we may not have achieved it up to this point does not mean it is not possible. Winners see what’s invisible to others so they can achieve what others deem impossible.

L – Let go of any thoughts, conditions, and behaviors that may keep us from achieving our desired outcome. Along the way to what we want there will be obstacles, failures, and setbacks. Absurdities will creep in along the way. At the end of each day let them go. This will avail us to the energy and good fortune of a new day and empower us to continue our progress.

O – Obliterate obstacles. Henry Ford was known for saying, “Obstacles are those frightful things we see when we take our eyes off the goal.” Successful people know that in order to bring about what they know is possible, they must see the invisible. They make it real in their mind.

We must learn to make our goal so real and attractive in our mind. We must then keep our focus on it so that when we encounter a perceived obstacle, we are driven to find a way around it, whether that is to go over it, around it, through it, under it, or even blow it up.

By the way, the obstacle may be a thought we didn’t let go of in step two. It is only when we believe a thought that holds us back to be true that it can actually hold us back. Recognize this. If we can shift our thinking, we can shift our outcomes.

C – Calibrate the plan. As we get closer to our goal and as we navigate the obstacles we will surely need course correction. We have to remind our inner GPS (Global Positioning System) where we are headed and where we are now. The horizon is always transforming, our capacity is always growing, and the landscape is constantly changing. If we don’t continually take inventory of our current situations, we run the risk of following an outdated map right off the cliff.

K – Keep on keepin’ on all the way through the finish line or until you hear the final buzzer. Unfortunately, the world is filled with thousands of people who quit digging three feet from the gold they were seeking.

In the timeless classic Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill, he tells the story of R.U. Harby who, during the Gold Rush, had staked his claim and spent all he had only to give up and sell his rights, while unknowingly being only 3 feet from striking a major vein of gold that eventually paid out millions.

Let’s make these five C.L.O.C.K. steps part of our practice and be willing to persist and persevere to achieve our clarified good fortune.

Make it up, make it fun, and get it done!

No. 1 bestselling author Machen P. MacDonad, CPCC, CCSC is a certified life and business coach with ProBrilliance Leadership Institute in Grass Valley, CA. He helps business people gain more confidence and clarity to live their ideal life. He can be reached at coach@probrilliance.com and 530-273-8000.


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