Are you one of the millions who is always looking to cross the finish line first? What would you say if I told you that is not the best position to be in, in any race in your life? What you are unwittingly doing is actually limiting yourself and those with whom you work, serve with or share time within your life.
In our society today, we are always comparing something to something. We look at life and work as something that has to be conquered. This is the old adage that we must be “doing” vs. “Being” in our lives. Someone has to be the winner, and someone is going to be the loser. If you are cheering right now, then you are one of those individuals with limited thinking and problem-solving capabilities. Life and work are not about these things.
Yes, there will be and always has been someone who is ahead of you, both in time spent in a profession, inexperience, money and so on. But the opposite is also a fact; there are those who are behind you in experience, time, and money and so on. Both positions are valid, and in fact our lives could not move forward unless these two existed on either side of you, much like slices of bread in a sandwich. Our immediate thoughts go to this: “…in order to win, to get the next position, that raise or whatever it is that you are aiming for….I must put in more hours and work harder than anyone else in the office…” Really? How true is that statement? The simple answer is it is totally false. What we need to do is: “Stop thinking more work and start thinking WHAT WORKS?”
Our capacity expands when we begin to duplicate what works in our professional lives and our personal lives. Now that sounds almost too simple, doesn’t it? When you were young did you ever want to play an instrument in the school band? This concept works much like playing in the band. You are really excited about receiving your instrument, learning the basics of that instrument and eager to play that first musical piece. The thought that you don’t have a clue as to what it takes to play an instrument never crosses your mind. Until that is the day, you take that instrument to your bedroom and try to make a melodious sound come out of it.
What you come to find out very quickly is that playing an instrument in the school band is a commitment you had not anticipated, and the playing is not as easy as you thought it would be. The old saying is very true: “Practice Makes Perfect.” The realization that in order to get the melodious sound and to play with proficiency is going to take much more of a commitment than you had anticipated.
How will you become proficient? You may think there is only the one way, practice, practice, practice. Or are there many ways to become proficient? Yes, there are. You could get an instrument tutor, you could learn how to read music, you could play along with someone else, and you could keep a regular practice time each day just as you do with homework to work on the proficiency. Another important lesson here is to realize that failure and setbacks are part of the learning process.
Oliver Wendell Holmes is quoted as saying this: “Man’s mind once stretched by a new idea, never regains its original dimensions.”
The next step is if we increase our capacity, how then do we increase our capacity for action. I call this “bandwidth.” Here are some ways to do this:
- Start doing things you could and should do
- Do more than what is expected
- Start doing important things every day
One of the best books on the subject of knowing what is the most important things are to do daily is John Maxwell’s book “Today Matters.” I encourage you to get a copy or listen online. No matter your age you will learn something you can use immediately.
Next Month we will talk about “When You Grow Yourself, You Can Grow Others“
If you are interested in being coached or mentored by Janice in 2018, she does have availability beginning in January 2018.
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