It's no secret that personal development and growth is a top priority for high performers. We're always looking for ways to do everything better. And that is a quest that will never end. If you're just starting out, or changing your perspective, here are a few tips to be better than yesterday.
1. Think small. Perhaps the biggest mistake we make is to try to see the end result before we've even started. I'm all for visualization but the truth is we cannot be completely clear on the vision until we've started putting the rough version of it into motion. We look at where we are now vs where we want to be and the change is so large, the mind starts to believe that such goals are impossible- like the singer who dreams of getting a multi-million dollar record deal and becoming the next Taylor Swift, but who has not yet even cut a demo. Start, gain some momentum and let it take it to the next level. It is small, incremental improvement that will lead to life changing gains.
2. Keep record. A few years back, I did a little experiment. At lunch, I'd run on the treadmill at the office gym. At 230 pounds and with a surgically repaired knee, I wasn't much of a runner. I decided to jot down on a sticky note the time it took me to run a mile. It was a little over 12 minutes. Like I said, I'm not much of a runner. The next day, I took that sticky note with me and put it on the treadmill. Immediately, I cut 45 seconds off my time. I was three quarters of a minute better than yesterday, which in terms of running, is like a lifetime. I knew I could push it even further, so I repeated the routine the next day and took more than a minute off. Within a few days, I was down to a 9 minute mile. Having the figure in front of me made me push myself harder. I wanted to beat it, wanted to prove I could improve. It was a challenge and I accepted. I never thought I'd run a mile in that time and I wouldn't have if I didn't keep a record of my progress.
3. Be flexible. Sometimes, we set goals that are rigid and inflexible. We want to get that record deal and become the next Taylor Swift, nothing else will do. In that form of narrow focus and thinking, it is easy to miss other opportunities that could appear. Maybe it is a good paying gig at a local club that means you can quit your job and afford to cut a demo. Or a job at a music store where you can work on your craft to get to an elite status. Maybe it's an opportunity that leads to networking with executives or people who can offer a record deal. Stay open minded. Sometimes, the road winds and bends but ends up right where you want to be.
Be open to thinking in smaller pieces so the enormity of a goal doesn't overwhelm. Keep record of where you're going and where you've been. It can ignite your progress in ways you've never known. Be flexible to an alternative route to achieve your goals. We don't always know where the road leads. The only certainty is that if we don't take the time to notice what is around us, we're going to miss some amazing opportunities. All destinations can be arrived at from multiple directions and via multiple methods. Always remember that. Do whatever you can to do something, one thing, better than you did it yesterday. When you do that, obstacles move out of your way. You’ll gain confidence, keep momentum rolling and you’ll accomplish more than you dreamed possible!