Stop Breathing Your Own Exhaust

When people are exposed to carbon monoxide — either intentionally or unintentionally — it has the same effect. In small doses, it causes headaches and dizziness. In larger doses, it leads to unconsciousness after just two or three breaths. Death can follow within three minutes.

Here is a (hopefully) metaphoric question: Are you breathing your own exhaust?

In other words:

1. Are you still performing at the same level you were three or four years ago? You shouldn’t be.

2. Was the last book you read Catcher in the Rye, back in high school? If so, you’re missing out on some big ideas.

3. Was the last meaningful professional event you attended held during one of the Bush administrations? Time to fill up your intellectual fuel tank.

4. Do any of your conversations at work include this line: “We’ve always done it that way”? Case closed.

I’m constantly astounded by people who boast about how many books they haven’t read, or complain they don’t have time to attend a day-long education seminar or develop a new way to do something. Yet they somehow manage to check Facebook 73 times a day.

Today, more than ever, success is about priorities. What are your priorities?

Here’s the Good News

If you’re reading this, the performance sand traps listed above more than likely don’t apply to you. But if you look up from this post and turn your head to either side, you’ll probably spot someone for whom all this would apply.

For a high-performance engine to reach its full potential, it’s got to breathe fresh air.

Same goes for a high-performance sales professional.