Almost every night at around the same time an army of raccoons runs across the top of the stone wall outside my bedroom window and makes a startling ruckus as they run. I guess the wall must be a thoroughfare to a dumpster behind the ice cream store that's right beside my house, or maybe it's a highway to other great garbage that I don't know about but the raccoons know the location of and love.
Every time I hear those critters scurrying and hissing about half a metre outside from my window, I get scared that one of those creatures are going to climb through the window, land on top of my face, and make a meal of my nose. I have no screens for any of my windows, so there's nothing but an open air entrance and exit for the denizens of the night if they feel so inclined to pay me a visit as I slumber.
And yet, the raccoons never come through that window to chew on my nose because they're so focused on wherever they're going that they don't have time to spend attacking someone like me. No, they know where the good stuff is, and they know exactly what they need to do to get there—they don't need to bite a man filled with coffee and bitterness and sugar; they need to munch on some real raccoon food (whatever that is).
They've assembled an army and they have the knowledge, the plans, the habits, and the focus to prevent anything from getting in the way of their goals. Not my neighbour's dog, not the patio decor or harsh words my neighbour throws at them in the night, or the bullets of my BB gun if I choose to strap up and take it to the mattresses against the raccoons, are going to stop them from getting to where they need to be.
Are we this focused in our work? Have we assembled teams like these raccoons? Do we have the knowledge, the plans, the habits, and the focus to deliver on the projects we need to deliver on? Are we so focused on the raccoon food (the things that matter) that we don't waste our time on the the patio decor or my nose (the things that don't matter)?
We should be.
We can learn from these efficient, focused, and creative little critters. We need to hatch a creative plan, assemble a crack team, and execute tasks well, even in the face of obstacles. Because doing all of that will lead us to the good stuff night after night and day after day.