Do you keep your promises?
Business owners and entrepreneurs never set out to fail. In fact, the path to success must not include a failure option. (Contingency plans, sure, but only as an alternate path to success.) All of us at some point make promises to ourselves, our families, our mentors that we will persevere. We will succeed. The real proof is in your level of commitment to these promises.
What commitments have you made to yourself? Your family? Have you reached the goals that you set for today, this week, month, year?
Prioritization and commitment-to-course are the key.
This reminds me of a story of a philosophy professor and his ultimate exam. Once the students entered the classroom and took their seats, the professor turned to the class and offered this pledge
“Anyone who chooses to opt out of today’s exam and leaves the room gets and automatic grade of ‘B’ for this course.” With much cheering and shuffling of book bags and chairs, many of the students thanked the professor, signed their acceptance of his offer and exited to the hall. He repeated the offer to the handful of students remaining. Another student gathered his things, signed off and left. The professor closed the door, recorded names from the few remaining and said, “Thank you for believing in yourselves. For you are true students of the course. My students. And for your commitment and determination, you each receive an ‘A’.”
The line between excellence and mediocrity is a fine one. Often, the choice which defines our position is not accompanied by a tolling bell.
Your daily choices and the commitment to see those choices through, determine which trait you’re willing to accept.
Do you listen to the little devil on your shoulder who says, ‘Take the day off, you’ve earned it. You can catch up tomorrow.’? I don’t mean to say that you should lock yourself in a room, away from friends and family, and work 24×7. You need to enjoy work-life balance. In the big picture, what are you working for?
Those who believe in themselves and forge that ‘road less traveled’ end up building successful businesses and enjoying a sustainable lifestyle — far beyond mediocre.
The moment that you yield to the little voice, lean toward the tendency of the masses, fall prey to nay-sayers among friends and family, that’s when you link up with the “B” kids in the hall.
Know your level of commitment.
You will face many opportunities to accept second best. Ask yourself, do you have confidence in your ability to break out from the crowd, to make a difference? Will you remain in your seat when that “B” grade is offered?
Now, I apologize if this allegory dredges up bad, school-day images. Your ability to succeed today has NOTHING to do with your prior GPA. Let me emphasize that. If you’re unhappy with your academic history and you allow its memory to limit your ability to succeed, then the little voice has done its work and you’re already standing in the hall. Put that history behind you and use it to fuel your desire! Find a professor…[ok, analogies aside]…a Mentor to help you discover the leader whom you know is inside of YOU.
Rededicate yourself to your dreams. Define clear, daily, weekly, monthly goals and hold to them. Make them realistic. You do need to get out and breathe fresh air once and a while.
Let’s close with a favorite quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson. “What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny in comparison to what lies within us.”