Most of us want to be successful. Very few people start off the day with the decision, “Today I want to be mediocre!” While there is no doubt that natural talent and fortunate circumstances can assist people to achieve, there are habits that all of us can develop that significantly increase your chances of being a high achiever.
So, if you want to be your best, here are five areas where you can take control of your potential:
- Hard work: I know that when viewing successful people, we often see what seems to be successes that come easily. The fact is that underneath that “casual” exterior, there are often years and years of hard work. In fact it often takes years to be an “overnight success”. The writer, Malcolm Gladwell, posits the theory that the key to success in any field, is simply a matter of practising a specific task that can be accomplished with 20 hours of work a week for 10 years (the 10,000-Hour Rule). Whether you agree with Gladwell or not, the fact is that hard work is the key to success at school and at work.
“Genius is 1 percent inspiration and 99 percent perspiration”. Thomas Edison
- Take it on the chin: Successful people know that one of the keys to improvement is seeking and taking note of constructive criticism. They know that you need to:
- Look for and listen to constructive and critical responses to your efforts.
- Learn to filter the constructive response from the angry, trite or nasty criticism.
- Not take criticism personally.
Successful people know when to change their approach, their system or their views.
- Passion: If you are not passionate about what you are doing, you will, at best, be mediocre. Nothing is as important as passion. No matter what you want to do with your life, be passionate.
“There is no passion to be found playing small, in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.” Nelson Mandela
- Priorities: Focus on what’s important.
The sooner you learn to prioritise the higher you’ll soar. Only when you master the big things on your ”to do” list will you ensure you’re focusing on the tasks that will drive you to achieve. Do what is important now!
- Look for the best in others: High achievers know how to support others in word and deed.They are team players. They seek out, work with and learn from the best.