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One Question Can Change Your Life

Twenty-two years is a long time to wait for anything.

Six presidents could be elected in that time. A child born 22 years ago will graduate from college this year. In 1998 Great Britain’s Men’s Rowing Team had gone 22 years without a medal in the Olympics. Tired of waiting, they decided to fundamentally change the way they approached their sport. Their strategy centered around one simple question, but that question changed everything. Eighteen months later, against overwhelming odds, they stunned the rowing world by winning gold at the Sydney Olympics.

One question brought the team from mediocrity to the best in the world. One question guided every decision they made. One question determined every action they took. One question changed their lives. And one question could change yours.

The question was this: “Will it make the boat go faster?” Simple, right? You don’t have to be an expert in rowing to know that the team with the fastest boat wins. One hundred percent of the time. By placing the determining factor at the center of their strategy they ensured that everything they did directly improved their chances of success.

Of course, if you’re not an Olympic rower, that question isn’t the one that’s going to change your life. But, I’ll bet there is a question that will. I’d wager that if you got off by yourself for an hour or two and thought about what would give your life meaning, purpose, and impact you could come up with a question to serve as the center of your own life-strategy for the next year. What will make your boat go faster?


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