During a routine question-and-answer session Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg was asked, “Why do you wear the same T-shirt every day?” While many expected a playful response Zuckerber responded with a pretty serious answer: “I really want to clear my life to make it so that I have to make as few decisions about anything except how to best serve this community.”
The answer is revealing in many ways. It shows us two very important traits for success:
Successful people are able to put all their energies into what they are doing. They guard their energy jealously and are careful not to fritter it away. Even small decisions like “what should I wear?” are seen as unnecessary diversions. Zuckerberg instead has multiple copies of the same shirt so he does not have to spend time deciding what to wear. (Other successful people like Steve Jobs also had this strategy.)
By choosing to wear the same shirt everyday, Zuckerberg shows that he is capable of taking away focus from himself and instead focus on the task at hand. This quality of putting the self aside is a very important trait of success.
The two traits are related. The biggest diversion of energy is “emotional drama”. This usually comes about by putting oneself in the center of everything. Successful people avoid this by taking themselves out of the equation and instead focusing all their energy on their goal.
“The successful warrior is the average man, with laser-like focus.” Bruce Lee