What You Can Learn From Sarah Palin

Last Updated Jun 2, 2011 2:56 PM EDT

Sarah Palin is an idiot. Sarah Palin is stupid. These comments, and many others not fit to print, are what I've been hearing lately (even though I live in one of the most conservative counties in the United States). Why? She had notes written on her hand during a question and answer session at the "Tea Party Convention" on Saturday night.

The former vice presidential candidate wrote "Energy," "Tax Cuts," and "Lift American Spirits" on her hand. When I first heard about it, I immediately thought it was a bad joke -- maybe some SNL skit or something. But this was no joke. She actually had hand notes that she appeared to review while presenting. Where was Sarah when I was barely passing high-school geometry tests?

Is Sarah Palin dumb? I think she's a genius. Before you get your political panties in a bunch, let it be known I'm an equal opportunity learner -- I've done a column on what you can learn from Barack Obama as well.

So, why do I think she's so smart? I love this idea of focusing on three critical ideas. When we are flooded with information, requests, and commitments, it's nice to peel away all of the excess and to concentrate on just three things. It's easy to turn into a human pinball -- constantly bouncing from one thought or idea to another. This is a recipe for failure in life and in business. True success comes from concentration. Warren Buffet famously said, "Diversification may preserve wealth, but concentration builds wealth."

I think it would be powerful to see president Obama write his top three goals for the country on his hand every morning. Or what if your CEO wrote her top three goals on her hand every morning and proudly showed them to everyone she met during the day?

Here's how you can benefit from writing your top three goals on your hand every day:

  1. Identification. It forces you think about what's important and what you want. The simple act of writing your goals has a transformative effect.
  2. Concentration. We have a limited amount of the other 8 hours in which we can direct our energy and resources. It helps stop the static and allows us to focus with intention at our most significant goals.
  3. Commitment. By writing them on your hand instead of a Post-It note, it shows you are committed.
  4. Declaration. By publicly displaying your goals you are putting a stake in the ground to those around you. You're saying, "Look folks. This is what I believe and this is what I'm all about."
  5. Inspiration. Feeling down? Unmotivated? Simply look at your hand to immediately feel re-connected to what's most important in your life.
Want to fire up intimacy at your next church or networking event? Have everyone write their top three goals, insights, lessons, Bible verses, or mistakes on their hand. Instead of swapping business cards, it would be much more intense and personal if we swapped hand notes. You'd immediately get to know the person on a much deeper level.

Try it yourself. Do it tomorrow. It will connect you to what's most important in your life and it will be a great conversation starter. And speaking of conversations, maybe now my neighbors will start talking to me again...

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    Robert Pagliarini is obsessed with inspiring others to create and empowering them to live life to the fullest by radically changing the way they invest their time and energy. He is the founder of Richer Life, a community of passionate people who want to learn and achieve more in life and at work. He is a Certified Financial Planner and the president of Pacifica Wealth Advisors, a boutique wealth management firm serving sudden wealth recipients and affluent individuals. He has appeared as a financial expert on 20/20, Good Morning America, Dr. Phil, Dr. Drew's Lifechangers and many others.