There Will Always Be Somebody…

Faster, stronger, taller, leaner, smarter, richer, quicker, etc.

Any or all the above and more; there will always be somebody somewhere who you’ll find has an advantage over you in those regards. Some of you will say, “So what’s the point?”, with respect to trying to be better and give up.  Others will say, “That’s exactly the point!” and they’ll give up too. A third group of responders will say, “I see that person as a source of inspiration of what could be, but I’m not competing with them in the first place – and that’s the point!”

Are you out to be better than everybody you know or are you out to be the best you can be – just measuring your self against your own history? You don’t after all have any control over someone else’s training schedule, diet, study habits, stamina, investments, etc. In fact, you only have control over what you do yourself; and over this you have full control.

It’s you that drives change dependent upon how much effort you’re willing to invest in making what you want to come about in your own future. Commit to improving and you set a mentality in motion. Give in, give up, give out and you stay the course, possibly even degrade and diminish.

So exactly what are we looking at here? Self-improvement I suppose. You could opt to be the best you can be or you could opt to be a better you than you are at the moment. Quite often seeking to be a better you in whatever area of your life you are looking at is a preferred option. After all, the absolute best you could be sounds like it requires maximum effort; perhaps an unwavering effort because no matter how much you improve, you could always be better than that new level of improvement.

Seeking to better yourself on the other hand means putting in more effort, not the most effort, and if you’re stuck at the moment frustrated with yourself that you’re just not making ANY effort, some seems more obtainable than expecting yourself to make a complete 180 and go at change with 100% commitment.

If you’re looking to lose weight and you want to shed a sizable number of pounds, motivating yourself to cut your weight little by little, a few pounds a week can be very motivating. Expecting 10 pounds a week by crash dieting, working out with extreme intensity when you haven’t worked out for 25 years is just a recipe for extreme disappointment and letdown. Not to mention of course it puts you in danger.

Now job searching? Ah again with the hunt for employment! It works the same way. A lot of people have spent years trying to decide, “what to be.” They think about careers, worry themselves sick (literally) with worry. Ironically trying to, ‘be’ like everyone else who know their purpose in life, have found meaningful work to do, and who make it all seem so easy. Why are they comparing themselves to others in the first place? They live their lives, you live yours. Your path is unique to you, as is theirs to them.

Improving your own fortunes might be what you’re after in a job. Maybe its financial independence, getting the money to buy a cottage and boat. Maybe for you it’s about making a difference in the lives of others; finding fame and glory, owning your own business and calling the shots. Or maybe it’s really just about finding something you don’t hate; that ‘loving’ your job seems too extreme. You’d be happy just finding steady income and having someplace to get to in the morning when you rise.

My advice is to look around at what others do for sources of inspiration. Ask people what they do, if they like their jobs or careers, how long it took them to land in the jobs they have, what they did before they found what their doing today. Sure, as I say, look around for inspiration and get ideas about what’s out there. However, you’re unique from everyone else is everyone you know. What’s seemingly right and a great fit for others may not be right and the best fit for you.

I’m glad you want to be better; that you want more for yourself in the future than you have at this moment. Being a better you is really a good and healthy personal choice. Being the best you can possibly be might sound impressive – and it truly does – but that comes with extreme personal accountability and responsibility that you probably aren’t ready to commit to given where you are at the moment. In other words, you’re setting yourself up for setbacks, disappointment and increased stress brought on yourself by no one other than you.

Being better means you’re committing to being better but not being infallible. You’ll have days where you blow the diet, fail to job search or lose money on an investment. The key is you know these will happen but overall you have days with more effort than you’re putting out at the present. You’re overall movement is forward; you’re improving and getting better.

Being the best you can be might sound good at first thought but be out of reach. Being a better you is extremely commendable and far more realistic. Absolutely nothing wrong with setting your sights on personal improvement.



Musing On The Superstars

Ever wonder what it must be like for the athletes who get to play beside the really elite players? Whether its baseball, cricket, hockey, football, soccer, basketball or any other sport you can name, it must be quite a thrill to line up with some famous player and play a game you have a mutual love for. I also wonder if those same people live entirely consciously in the moments, or do they only truly realize how privileged they are after their careers are over, they get traded or moved to another position etc.

Just imagine having the chance to line up with Renaldo in soccer, Richard or Gretzky in hockey, Jordan in basketball, Ruth in baseball. Sure you might see the human side outside the spotlight where the player struggled from time-to-time, but what a thrill it would be to participate in their greatness. What a joy it must have been to watch up close those people ply their trade, train hard and use their natural skills on a daily basis.

Yes it certainly would make coming to work every day exciting to work alongside such a superstar! But wait a moment; superstars don’t only exist in the world of sports do they? What would it have been like to play with and be among the Beatles in the music industry? Or what if you were cast regularly to work in movies with Marlon Brando, Greta Garbo or Harrison Ford?

No matter the industry, there are the average, the good, the great and those who are superstars at what they do. I suppose that means there’s every possibility that you’ve got someone in your workplace who could be that superstar. Maybe you’re the lucky person that gets to work with them? Ah what that must feel like to come to work every day and take up your place next to their cubicle; just like you were lining up on the field with them! Yes sir, what a thrill!

Hey wait a minute; why be content to just take your place alongside a superstar? The really great ones; the ones who excel and don’t accept just being good as the best they can be; the ones who demand more of themselves each day and put in hours of training to become and stay great – why can’t you and I be one of those very people? Why can’t we be the superstar of the office, the best of the best on the factory floor; the closer they send in when the chips are down and the deadline is looming? The answer of course is that we can if we want it bad enough.

Whenever I hear the story of some truly outstanding athlete, I note that they usually come from pretty humble beginnings. They work hard, often being the first one to practice and the last to leave the ice or field – on a regular basis. While their teammates are out socializing or sleeping, their hitting the playing surface working on getting faster, more accurate, shooting harder, catching better, studying playbooks and doing their homework scouting the opposition.

When you punch out from work at the end of your shift, what do you do? Could you do more? Are you motivated to be the very best you can be, whether that best makes you a superstar or just a very good worker? Not all of us want to put in the effort that is required to be a superstar. Those long hours in solitude researching and learning, reading manuals, periodicals, and articles, networking with others, staying on the cutting edge of our chosen fields; no not all of us are that committed to greatness. That’s okay by the way; there’s nothing wrong with being good if not great, at your job.

Now while it’s true that if you put in the effort required you could certainly elevate your performance and be considered one of the very best in your organization, don’t expect to sign lucrative contract offers in the millions, or have your every move captured by your own play-by-play announcer. “Julie’s up from her chair and rounding the water cooler with the report in hand and drops in smack dab in the inbox on her bosses’ desk! Oh what a decisive move that was! Where does this kid get her energy? You just don’t see that kind of tenacity often enough these days!”

Seriously though, could you – or rather would you – want to be recognized as one of the very best at what you do? If the answer is yes, then what’s stopping you isn’t likely anything more than your own determination and motivation. I believe that if you really want to be considered a superstar at what you do it requires more effort on your part than those around you.

Many people learn enough to do the job and then their desire to do more peaks and stops. These aren’t bad people, nor are should they be scolded for not doing more; their doing their job. Is that good enough for you? Are you content to do your job, be remembered as an average worker who put in their time and did their job but didn’t really do anything memorable or outstanding?

If you choose otherwise, you might be the person people see as the Superstar. Put in the extra effort to be better and it could happen. Why not you?