Have you ever thought about what your “main thing” is? Not sure what that means? Allow me to elaborate…
I am a huge fan of the American football team, the Philadelphia Eagles. On Sunday, November 27, 2023, they played the Buffalo Bills in a close, tense game.
The Eagles were bad in the first half. They stunk like Limburger cheese. The Philadelphia fans, known for their warm, cuddly demeanor, were booing the home team.
But like their fictional hometown hero Rocky Balboa, the Eagles kept fighting and eventually figured it out. They had come back and were down by only 3 points with 25 seconds left. They were going to attempt a 59-yard field goal kick to tie the game. The kick would be tough on a normal day, but on this rainy and windy day it would be about as easy as trying to waltz on an ice rink.
My son and I watched with anticipation. He sat on the couch and I, too wired to stay in one place, had to stand.
The ball was snapped.
The holder caught it and put it down.
The placekicker, Jake “the Make” Elliott kicked it.
It went up.
It headed towards the goalpost.
It started to veer right.
They tied up the game and we were headed to overtime.
I leapt up in joy and threw my hands in the air. In my elation, I had forgotten that our downstairs has low ceilings. “BANG!” My fists crashed into the ceiling. My wife yells from upstairs, “are you okay?!”
I holler, “yes, sorry!” and then it happens. The baby wakes up and starts crying. Whoops!
There are few crimes in a household with an eight-month-old worse than “waking up the baby.” This was far worse than “leaving the seat up” or “drinking the last of the coffee.” I had to immediately rectify the situation.
I went up and rocked the baby to soothe her. As I did, I thought about the Eagles and their MVP candidate quarterback, Jalen Hurts. He is stoic, always working to improve his game, and very focused on winning.
One of the lines he often uses in press conferences is, “keep the main thing the main thing.”
For him, the “main thing” is winning football games. He doesn’t care too much about how they win, whether they look pretty doing it, who played well, who played poorly, etc. The Eagles’ “main thing” is winning.
He had played pretty poorly for the first two-thirds of that game. But he kept at it, and in the end they won. It was a tiny bit bittersweet for me, as I am a Bills fan by marriage. Ergo I couldn’t celebrate too much lest I find myself uninvited to the holiday dinner this year…
Back to the point, though; Jalen’s idea is powerful, even for those of us who aren’t millionaire professional athletes. We normal folk would do well to remember to “keep the main thing the main thing.”
Or as I would say, make sure you are saying “yes, and” to the “main thing.”
What’s my “main thing?” Right now it’s something I have labeled “Lead Flood.” I am working a lot on systems and content to generate a greater volume of inbound leads. That is the thing that I have identified as the most important to my business at this moment.
When I remember my “main thing” and act accordingly, I feel good and make progress. When I forget about it and let myself focus on other things, I feel bad and spin my wheels.
The interesting thing is how often I get pulled off my “main thing.” I need to constantly remind myself to say “yes, and” to what matters and let the rest go. Or at least worry about it a little later.
Your “main thing” will be different from mine. Everyone’s will be different. If you haven’t thought about it before, I would suggest you take a few minutes now to consider it. What is your “main thing,” right now?
This is also a great way to prepare for the new year; what will you set as your “main thing” for 2024?
Of course, this isn’t set in stone - you can switch if you need to. But there is one important benefit to doing this. When you are clear on what you truly want and need to say “yes, and” to, it makes it far easier to be able to say “yes, but” (or even “no”) to other things.
This is prioritization in its simplest form. It will keep you focused, help you be more productive and efficient, and make sure you are working on the things that are most important to you.
It works for Jalen Hurts and the Eagles. It can work for you too.
Fly Eagles, Fly!
P.S. At the time of this writing, the Eagles are going into a huge game against the 49ers. By the time you receive this, that game will be over. When the Eagles win, please celebrate with me by commenting “Go Birds!” below. That said, if they lose and you are a 49ers fan, or a Cowboys fan, or don’t like the Eagles, or just want to poke me, feel free to respond with some good-natured trash talk. 🙂
Or, if you're not a sports fan, I'd love to hear what your "main thing" is. Maybe I can even help!