Without question there are a relatively small number of people who are truly brilliant and just naturally gifted. They find it very easy to excel at stuff, either because they are just naturally talented or extremely intelligent. But what about the rest of us? Well for most of the ‘rest’, we probably all have the ability to perform well beyond the limits that we accustom ourselves to. It’s too easy not to notice that day after day, week after week you are just plodding along, quite happily achieving at the level you have for some time and continually doing the same stuff more than adequately. In the context of your professional development; well why not? It works. You work hard and put in a good days performance. At the end of the month you get paid and off you go again for another month.
But is that really good enough? Yes your boss may be relatively pleased, but are you really pushing yourself to, or beyond, your limits. Could you not achieve more? We all have ideas and dreams that we would love to be able to carry out. Set up our own business; write a book; get promoted; learn to ski; run a marathon… the list is as endless as there are people on the planet. Sadly some of us don’t have the means (time and money) in order to make these things happen. But many of us do. So why don’t we? I can hear the excuses. I don’t have the time; it’s risky; I need to save up some pennies; I am not good enough; I am not smart enough… At this point a powerful quote from James Rohn (1930-2009: entrepreneur, author and motivational speaker) comes to mind: “If you want to do something, you’ll find a way. If you don’t, you’ll find an excuse.”
I think quite often the thing that stops many people (at least those with the means) is fear. For example, fear that they will make a fool of themselves, fear that it won’t work or it will fail, and fear that their piers may react negatively towards them. Look at many of the successful people around you. What makes them different? What are the secrets to their success? Are they really that much smarter than you are? I doubt that they are. The one thing that they did probably have, ahead of their success, was courage. Courage to actually go and do whatever their idea was and accept the consequences, good or bad. The courage to stop making excuses and actually make something happen. To actually make a difference. Sometimes we just get so caught up in the, “How will I feel if it all goes wrong?”, we forget to ask ourselves, “How will I feel, many years from now, if I never try?” So lead by example and for the right ideas at the right time go beyond that comfort zone. Show others around you, that you can be capable of great things. And who knows, it may not be too long before others look at you and wonder; “What were the secrets to their success?”