“The soldier’s minute: in a battle, that’s all you get. One minute of everything at once. And anything before is nothing. Everything after: nothing. Nothing in comparison to that one minute.”
That’s it. That’s Thomas Shelby’s big life advice from the English post-World War I crime drama, Peaky Blinders. And it’s all you need to know to move forward, to move up, to succeed.
Long-term goals are important. Drive is important. Networking, Key Performance Indicators, investments, social intelligence, and innovation are all important. But these attributes are nothing, if we don’t use them within the scope of the soldier’s minute.
You’ve picked a path. Maybe you’re eight years old, maybe you’ve just started your undergrad degree, or maybe you’ve just left a company job of thirty years to start your own passion project. But you’ve picked your path and decided what your title will be and how you will walk through the world. All that’s left is to do it.
So we come to the soldier’s minute. Whatever your long-term goal is, the amount of sales you’d like to land, the amount of clients you’ll take on, or even the amount of product you’ll produce, nothing matters without acting as completely as possible within each moment.
Focus is not about placing a goal at the end of a tunnel and climbing toward it. It’s about feeling your feet on each rung of the ladder. It’s not about the amount of calls you make each day. It’s about choosing your words carefully, one by one. Focus is about pushing aside each conversation before and after this one in order to give all of your attention to the task at hand. In matters as important as your career, your life purpose, every battle matters, and every minute from when you decide what that goal looks like, is a battle.
Thomas Shelby is a fantastic businessman. That’s the entire premise for the show, Peaky Blinders. And it’s his small dealings, his daily conversations, that set him apart from the big idea motivational speakers, rather than an overabundance of talent or original thought. It’s his unwavering determination to treat every moment as if it’s the lynchpin of his life purpose.
Because each moment is the lynchpin