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While taking calls on his weekly radio show before the LSU game, Alabama coach Nick Saban was asked a simple question by one of the callers: “If you win the coin toss, will you elect to kick or receive?”

Saban’s response was epic: “I hope we elect to kick ass!”

The Heart of the Matter

When Saban was asked a question that didn’t matter–elect to kick or receive, he shifted the focus to the heart of the matter–elect to kick ass.

Distracted by Things that Don’t Matter

Too often in our lives, we get off track. We get distracted by things that don’t matter. We get hung up on things that we don’t have any control over. For example, we get angry with others for not giving us the credit we deserve. We get mad because we are treated unfairly. We blame our parents for how they raised us. We get all wound up about politics. We worry about things we can’t control–like the path of the hurricane or when we will die.

11 Principles to Improve Your Life

When we get distracted, we lose focus on the heart of the matter—the foundational things we can do each and every day to make our lives better:

  1. Take full responsibility for your thoughts, feelings, actions, and reactions.
  2. Focus on what you can control, and let go of the rest.
  3. Work hard and bring 100% effort every day.
  4. Focus on what is important, not what is urgent.
  5. Take care of your body and physical health.
  6. Stay in the present moment.
  7. Be honest about your needs and wants.
  8. Stand up for what’s right.
  9. Love people and use things, because the opposite never works.
  10. Forgive yourself and others for past mistakes.
  11. Be humble and open to learn, grow, and change.

Take Home Message

Don’t get distracted by dumb things that take you off course from your mission and purpose. When you find yourself focusing on something that doesn’t matter (e.g., if you win the coin toss, will you elect to kick or receive), shift your focus to the heart of the matter (e.g., elect to kick ass).

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