I believe all of us have potential for greatness. In some way, shape, or form. Not all the same either. That’s not some motivational Tony Robbins fire-walking fluff either. I just think it’s true.
Some don’t live up to their full potential. It may be because of a lack of resources or encouragement or time or opportunity. My dad was in this category. He was full of great ideas but could never seem to pull the trigger on any of them. I wish I could have met him at my current age, when he was 30. He could have been the 1970s equivalent of Elon Musk.
Others reach their potential early but never seem to surpass or repeat it.
During my daughter’s senior year in high school, she was surprised to see some of the most popular seniors from the previous year come back to high school during their college spring break and actually sit in some classes! One individual, a popular guy in his senior year but now a freshman at a prestigious college on the West Coast, asked one of my daughter’s classmates to ask HIM to the prom. And she did. And he went to the prom. Again.
You probably know someone who fits into one or both categories. I’m sure you don’t want to end up in either one. How do you maintain peak performance so that we achieve success AND don’t have to always bring up our greatest hits from the past? Here are five suggestions.
- Define Success. It’s different for everyone but only you know what it is for you. Think beyond wealth and status. Make sure it’s tangible and achievable. If you see success as being a brain surgeon but you faint at the site of blood and your hands shake when you get nervous, keep looking.
- Develop a Path to Success with Measurable Milestones. Think of it as climbing a mountain using a series of diagonal switchbacks. Your progress may be slow but if it’s heading upwards, you’re on the right path.
- Make Good Choices. If you’re on the path to success, make sure whatever choices you make elevate you upward, not laterally or down. Don’t let money or an unrelated success take you off the path to get the success you really want.
- Keep a Visual Record of Your Journey. The reason fundraisers use the big thermometer to show donations is to have a visual to encourage people to help out. You need a visual to remind yourself each day that you have a plan, and work to do to achieve it.
- After Achieving Success, Keep Going. If you accomplish wins, you should now know the formula. Why stop there? Don’t be the 19-year-old who comes back to the prom to relive old glory.
All of us have a finite amount of time on this planet. Why not use every last bit of it to achieve continual success? It’s your choice.
I guess it comes down to a simple choice really. Get busy livin’ or get busy dyin’
– Andy Dufresne. The Shawshank Redemption