Between 2013 and 2015, I had the privilege of living and working in Ghana. On that assignment, I spent nearly six months in Northern Ghana. Arguably, that region has the largest population of Muslims in that country. It was interesting to observe their culture and way of life. It was predictable. It was pre-determined. It was strict. It was…non-negotiable!
There is one lesson that I picked up from those folks. It is the lesson of structuring your life to such an extent that some things are lived on autopilot. Take a look at your own body system for example. Do you have to tell your heart to pump blood? Do you have to tell your kidneys to cleanse the blood?
Do you ever take note and manage the way you breathe? Hardly! All these functions are on autopilot! Do you have to tell your heart to pump blood? Do you have to tell your kidneys to cleanse the blood? Do you ever take note and manage the way you breathe? Hardly! All these functions are on autopilot!
And Oh! What a relief! Imagine if I was to be aware of all the things that my physical “systems” were up to? What kind of brain would I need? (BY the way, I already have a super-brain that is managing all those functions at the sub-level, without me ever actively managing the processes). Can we learn something from this? Absolutely.
In life, no matter what sector you are engaged in, [ictt-tweet-inline]your purpose and productivity is held together to fruition to the degree that you are operating on autopilot[/ictt-tweet-inline]. A further thought is this: All the body systems that we are talking about have to function. It is an non-negotiable! The heart has to pump blood. The kidney has to cleanse the blood. The nervous system has to communicate to between the brain and the rest of the body parts. It is a non-negotiable! No wonder you and I are alive and kicking!
If per-chance any one of these systems are broken or malfunction, what happens to us? Probably our lives come to a standstill. This shows us the extent of how crucial non-negotiables in life are. [ictt-tweet-inline]God is such a Genius that he does have all the non-negotiables already set up[/ictt-tweet-inline]. For example, there is the Law of Gravity. We all know its importance. Then, there is the principle of sowing and reaping. Some people call it the Law of Attraction. Then we have set up rules and regulations to govern our transport systems for example. Imagine a life without these Laws, Principles, Rules and Regulations? It is a circus, a total mess, a chaotic conundrum!
Let’s flip it to our advantage now. [ictt-tweet-inline]The people who are the greatest achievers among us are those who decided to ape God[/ictt-tweet-inline]. They have systems in place that run on autopilot. They are careful enough to install systems in all the areas of their lives. They have financial systems, spiritual systems, business systems, mental systems, and even family systems. A friend of mine is developing a book on parental engagement in education. What is the message? Build a system that will guarantee the education of your child to the level and stature that you desire.
What does it mean to have a life that is operating on autopilot? It simply means that you sit down and you design what you want to see. Myles Munroe says,
“Planning is greater work compared to working itself!”
That is where it all is. To create autopilot systems, we need to take some time and make sure that we have some non-negotiable items in every area of the system that we are building. We need Non-negotiable things with our finances, health and nutrition, spirit, learning and growth, business, love romance and relationships. It takes time to install these systems. You need to be focused and determined. However, once the system has been installed, it runs on autopilot. Examine the life of any great achiever in any field that you know or are passionate about. Do you see any great achievers lacking non-negotiable traits? There is none!
Life is not supposed to happen to you. You are supposed to happen to life. Great achievers have mastered the game by creating mighty systems that they use. They are so focused on these systems and their working to such an extent that they are living on autopilot.
Systems never fail. Even though at the start it feels like they are not delivering, once they have been set in place, they guarantee results. Systems are the true masters of productivity
Enable you to select only the viable projects, tasks, activities and functions that are relevant. This means that it becomes easy for you to say NO to things that do not matter to you anymore
Value is built over time. It is not an instant thing. The great thing about a non-negotiable system is that it will always be generating something daily. Albert Einstein said that the eighth wonder of the world is “Compound Effect”. This is what the non-negotiables deliver.
Again, non-negotiables have kind of “Imprisoned you” in a good way. You now do not have the luxury of meddling in this and that. You are now focussed. A focused person will eventually build a very powerful brand. They will become an authority in their niche
In my book “Self Executive Officer”, I posit that there is nothing called joblessness. If you have systems, you are no longer a jobless person. In due time, you shall start to reap the benefits of your labor. Having non negotiables puts you in the driver’s seat of your life. Great leaders are great personal leaders.
A system will enable you to know how far you have come, how far you could have gone and what you could do to rectify the deficit. Without a system, you would not even know what went wrong in your finances, marriage, parenting, business or otherwise.
Of necessity, when you are creating your non-negotiables, you will have to take a 360 degrees view of your life. This means that all the areas of your life are covered. Without the non-negotiables, you can see how easy it is to lack balance in your life
I believe that the greatest thing you could do today is to create a system of your non-negotiable daily activities that correspond to your purpose. Start at it and give it a period of years. You will be amazed. Believe me, this is much more important than your academic papers, I kid you not!