What does success mean to you? That is a term that is often casually and flippantly used, yet have you ever paused to specifically define the word for you beyond a generalization? A common hurdle that has us get in our own way (me included) is the self-doubt of are we “good enough”. One of my coaching clients expressed this insecurity and when asked to define what “good enough” meant, there was silence. How many words (and how often are you saying them) are being used without ever having given a thought about their meaning for us?
In a recent teleseminar I listened to about success, from renowned leadership expert and author, John C. Maxwell, he talked about focusing on our strengths instead of our weaknesses for our skill development. This is also a belief of mine.
What he then proceeded to articulate so well, is the difference between natural talent, skill and abilities and areas that are in his words, “matters of choice”. We all have strengths that are our responsibility to uncover and identify. In my opinion, we get caught up too much on what talent we lack and ignore fully developing and utilizing our gifts. When this occurs we underperform, settle for being as we are (instead of becoming our full potential) and end up frustrated or stressed with results we dislike. What if you or your team tapped into your unlimited potential? Imagine your confidence, your relationships, your energy, your bottom line.
According to John, “matters of choice” are skills such as attitude and self-discipline. These are areas we can ALL grow whatever our starting point, however, growth is never automatic. We must be intentional. Success – or failure – unfolds over time as opposed to the way many of us talk or act. For example, “everything fell apart overnight/all at once”, or a newly exposed talent is referred to as “an overnight success”.
The “matters of choice” as John calls them, seem to be areas where we can be most prolific with our excuses. What excuse are you making for your attitude or level of self-discipline? I was tempted to add beliefs and behaviors here. Both of the latter though, are actually results; the visible or tangible aspects; of the former.
John said, “The secret of success, is what you do daily.” He offered himself as an example, sharing that success occurred daily when he disciplined himself to focus and commit to improvement with writing his first book. Most people, he said, would view success as the publication of the book – or hitting the best seller list – those were merely two instances of success showing up.
Success – or failure – he concludes is about being consistent intentionally with either the right – or wrong – actions done daily as they both compound over time. For me, I understood right or wrong to mean aligning or misaligning with the outcomes we want to create. Sounds like the concept of investing discussed in April’s newsletter.
In our world where instant gratification looms, we tend to deviate from a particular path quickly, creating a vicious cycle that perpetuates discouragement and fuels our excuses for the cause of our “lot in life.”
Anyone besides me know you could perform at a higher level? Know that you could be more consistent and expand your talents beyond your current abilities? It’s a daily choice and commitment. Some days are better than others . . . hence my being a recovering excuse maker. How are you doing?
What if we exploded our obstacles (excuses) into unlimited possibilities? Does that excite you, scare you or both? Who is with me to improve and excel?
Share your thoughts.
Let me know any way to support you.