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  • Lacy Starling

#48: What Would Jean-Claude Van Damme Do?

A few weeks ago, Brian made me watch "Bloodsport" with Jean-Claude Van Damme. I'd seen it as a kid, but not since and it was pretty much as I remembered it—terrible. But JCVD has his own charm, so I stuck with it. And there's one scene that I keep replaying in my head, over and over, as I begin to work with companies (and myself) on strategic planning.


In this particular scene, JCVD is in his hotel room, meditating and preparing for the big fight thingedy. (I've forgotten what it is called and can't be bothered to Google it.) His American friend who is also competing in the tournament comes to fetch him to go to the PF Chang's basement (seriously, it looks like that) where they will be fighting, and finds him doing the splits across two chairs, deeply focused. Ray (I did Google the American friend's name), tries everything to get JCVD's attention, shouting at him, telling him he'll injure himself, etc. but to no avail. JCVD is deeply focused on his meditation and does not open his eyes or engage until he's finished. And then he goes and wins in a glorious fight montage.


Would that we were all that focused. (And flexible!) JCVD has achieved a state of deep focus that many of us, and all of our businesses, could benefit from. It is this scene that I think about when I'm trying to meditate and my dog comes and starts licking me, or I hear loud crashing noises from downstairs, or the crinkle of my kid opening the Oreo bag opening at 6:30 in the morning. I think, "What would JCVD do? He'd stay focused now and kick everyone's ass as soon as he's done." So that's what I do.


And that's what you should do. Personally, and in business. If you can stay focused on the plan you've created, if you can ignore the metaphorical bag crinkles and dog licks and crashing noises that exist in life, whether those are bright shiny ideas or diversions from your strategic plan or suggestions from the outside that don't fit with what you've spent time developing, you'll be able to kick so much ass. It is when we let the Ray Jackson's in life barge in and distract us that we fail to achieve our targets. We can't get rid of Ray (even the bad guy couldn't get rid of Ray), but we can ignore him until we're finished doing what we need to do. And then go kick some ass.

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