Everyone aspires to do great work, but few people understand what it takes to achieve excellence. It’s not enough to simply set lofty goals; you also have to have the right tools and strategies at your disposal in order to succeed. I’d like to bring your attention to some fundamental principles to take you from “ok” to exceptional.
The Ability To Bounce Back
No matter how hard you try or how much effort you put into your work, there will always be some level of failure involved. You’ve got to accept that. The key is having the resilience to get back up again and keep moving forward. This is especially true when you’re pushing yourself outside of your comfort zone and trying something new. I remember a story from a master to his student. “If I have more success, it’s because I’ve failed more times than you have tried”.
Focusing and Controlling Your Attention
Another factor that separates mediocrity from excellence is focus—the ability to pay attention without getting distracted or sidetracked by irrelevant things. It’s easy for our minds to wander while we’re working, but with practice, you can train yourself to stay focused and on task until the job is done. I want to bring your specific attention to multitasking – it’s not real. It’s fast task switching and not optimal. Avoid it at all costs and dedicate all of your energy towards one task before moving on to the next one.
Systems And Routines That Help You Stay On Track
It’s essential that you have systems and routines in place that help you stay organized and productive. Without a plan or structure for how you approach your work, it will be difficult for you to make sustained and consistent progress on any project or goal, especially if it’s a big goal that requires effort over an extended period of time (infinite goals, legacy goals etc). It’s a good idea to take some time to analyze what processes are working well and which ones need improvement so that you can continue optimizing your workflow as needed.
Managing The Ebb And Flow Of Your Emotions
One final contribution, it’s important for us all to remember that our emotions often play a significant role in our success (or lack thereof). When we feel positive emotions such as joy or enthusiasm about a project, our motivation increases, and we become more creative problem-solvers who are able to think outside of the box in order to achieve success. On the other hand, negative emotions such as stress or fear can cause us to become stuck in our own heads and even lose sight of why we started in the first place. Speaking to you as a fellow human with emotions, it’s so important for us all to learn how to manage our emotions so we’re not pulled from pillar to post with every new thought that pops into our head. It messes with our focus and creates all kinds of imagined roadblocks and obstacles.
At the end of the day, we are what we do, and if there are things in the way of the ‘doing’ of our best work, then we’ll never do our best work.