Get in the Box: A Simple Idea That Can Help You Get Extraordinary Results

In 1957, Jimmy Greaves signed a contract with Chelsea FC and began his career as a professional soccer player.

He made his debut at just 17 years old and immediately scored his first goal.

Four seasons later, when Greaves left Chelsea, he had scored 124 goals for the club.

Then, after a brief stay at AC Milan, he signed for Tottenham, where he would become a club legend.

He scored no less than three goals in his debut. And over the following ten seasons, he scored a total of 220 goals, making him the highest scorer in the club’s history.

When Greaves ended his career in 1980, he had netted an astonishing total of 382 goals in 579 games.

On top of that, he had scored 44 goals in 57 games for the England national team1.

Those numbers make him one of the most prolific goalscorers in soccer history.

Sadly, Greaves passed away in 2021, but he left us with a clue to his remarkable success:

What I had to do was get in the box 500 times a season. 100 times I’d connect. 50 times the goalkeeper would save it. Half of the rest would go in, and 25 goals a season would do me — just by making sure I got in the box 500 times.

(If you’re unfamiliar with the terminology, “the box” is the penalty area right in front of the goal on the soccer pitch.)

I love this quote because it beautifully illustrates the power of consistently focusing on what’s most important.

As a soccer player, Jimmy Greaves’s #1 job was to score goals. And to score goals, his #1 duty was to get in the box. If he just got in the box enough times, he would score enough goals.

And you don’t have to be a professional soccer player to benefit from this idea. You can apply it to whatever it is that you do.

As a writer, my #1 job is to publish content. And to publish content, my #1 duty is to write consistently. If I just show up for my Hermit Hour every day, I will publish enough content.

What’s your #1 job? And what’s your #1 duty?

These questions will help you clarify what’s most important. Then, all you have to do is make sure that you get in the box.

Footnote

  1. Jimmy Greaves