“If you are going to achieve excellence in big things, you develop the habit in little matters. Excellence is not an exception, it is a prevailing attitude.”–Charles R. Swindoll
Life will always be full of endless variables – other people, Mother Nature, knowledge we have yet to acquire and the list goes on – but there are two simple actions we can take each day to usher in the change we need to achieve the success we seek.
1. Educate and act accordingly
“It is not enough to do your best; you must know what to do, and then do your best.” -W. Edwards Deming
A commonly held principle we are taught as youngsters stepping onto the playing field or the high school stage for the first time is to do our best. And while I wholeheartedly agree, there is a missing component that often goes unsaid – do your homework. In other words, once you know the task you will be assigned, the role you are expected to play or the job you wish to wish to earn, get busy educating, training, practicing, rehearsing and preparing so that when you do step up to serve the ball, read your lines, interview for that job or give your speech, you leave as little as possible to chance.
2. Don’t wait for the perfect time
“We become what we want to be by consistently being what we want to become each day.” -Richard G. Scott
In order for our lives to evolve, we must choose to evolve each day. In other words, we must behave in a manner that is different from what we did previously in order to bring about change. So you want to become a pianist? Play the piano – today. Want to be a radio DJ, but you can’t find a gig? Create your own podcast – today. Realize you need to speak with more confidence and stop apologizing? Start today even if your voice shakes. Small steps and consistent behavior over a proscribed duration of time will bring to life what you seek. And honestly, it will probably happen before you realize it.
Choosing to combine education and action can create a powerful reaction. To the doer, the player in the game, you won’t notice immediate changes because you’re in the middle of the action and don’t have time to step outside of yourself and assess. And I would recommend not assessing too often, especially initially as you need to gain your momentum. You need to keep your head down and just do what you need to do. However, when you do finally take a time-out to grab some water and catch your breath, you’ll notice you’ve made significant progress. And what you will find is that your confidence will be given a boost as you come to observe the progress you’ve made, thus providing the fuel you will need to continue to strive forward.
Two tasks. Each day. Keep it simple. Keep striving forward.
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