Consider This

Robert Stevenson’s Thoughts on the Pursuit of Excellence

Get the M.U.D. Out of Your Life

May 9, 2021

by Robert Stevenson

Years ago, Toyota embraced and developed a methodology for identifying and removing inefficiencies and waste in what came to be known as the famous Toyota Production System. Companies worldwide came to their facilities to see just how Toyota was accomplishing such incredible production efficiencies.

Toyota had found great success by identifying and eliminating MUDA … which is the Japanese word meaning “uselessness, pointlessness, inefficiency, disorganized, futility, idleness, and wastefulness.”

I believe we can take some points from Toyota’s manufacturing methodology to help us personally become better. Just as there are inefficient, pointless, useless, wasteful things done in manufacturing, I think the same is true about how we manage our daily lives. I decided to alter the word MUDA just a bit, so it would more appropriately represent something we can all relate to. I want MUDA to be replaced with the acronym M.U.D. - which stands for Meaningless, Unnecessary, Distractions. The reason I chose M.U.D. is because I have never had much use for it, and we are always having to CLEAN IT UP.

    Mud clogs things up, so you have to scrub it out. You get it on your car and you want to wash it off. You get it on your shoes and you want to wipe it off. You track it into your house and you have to clean it up.

I’ll say it again - I have never had much use for mud in my life. I feel the same is true if we want to become and remain successful … we have no need for Meaningless, Unnecessary, Distractions. I believe we can use this simple acronym (M.U.D.) as the identifier and symbol for what is holding us back. Every time we encounter M.U.D. we need to clean it up, remove it, eliminate it from ever coming back … if at all possible.

M.U.D. is everywhere in our lives … phone calls, the Internet, e-mails, texting, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Social Media, gossiping, television, co-workers, advertisements … yes, M.U.D. is being slung at us from all directions and stealing valuable time we can never get back. The first key in eliminating M.U.D. from our lives is to see, realize, understand, and RECOGNIZE things that are Meaningless, Unnecessary, Distractions. Let me give you one simple example:

You are at your desk and want to look something up on the Internet. You click on your computer and go to your main page and before you type into the Google bar what you are looking up … you take a moment to read a headline off your main page … which in turn might cause you to take more time because you read the article under the headline. Welcome to M.U.D. But only you can see it as M.U.D.; only you can make the decision not to get dirty (slowed down) with this M.U.D.

I am doing everything I can to clean up the M.U.D. in my daily life. I have found that mental distractions only delay us in reaching any goal we desire. The great ones know to never let that which does not matter affect the things that do matter.

If you want to be more successful,
eliminate the M.U.D. in your life.

"Your only true security in life
is your ability to perform."

About the Author

Robert Stevenson is an expert at building a high-performance business culture, improving efficiency, and accelerating growth. He is one of the most widely sought-after speakers in the world today, as well as a best-selling author. He has owned five companies, sold internationally in over 20 countries. Robert has spoken to over 2,500 companies throughout the world and his research in the area of corporate and entrepreneurial success is extensive. Over 2 million people have benefitted from his powerful, practical, and thought-provoking programs. He is a true master at blending facts, inspiration, conviction, and humor into all his programs.

Companies like FedEx, Prudential, Lockheed Martin, Anheuser-Busch, Chevron, American Express, and Berkshire Hathaway continue to rely on him for a fresh, unique perspective on businesses’ most crucial issues. To learn more about Robert and what he can do for your team visit his website at

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