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Archive for July 2011

If you review everything you do on a daily basis, you would probably tell me there are a few things you don’t do well and there are a few things you are good at.  There are probably very few things you consider yourself great at. What prevents you from . . .

Being Great at More of Those Things

You Consider Yourself Good at?

You might say natural ability or mental aptitude. Lack of desire may be in there too – you are content with being good at a certain thing and have no desire to be any better.

Are you great at your job? Are you great at those things you are truly passionate about?

Yes, lack of natural ability or mental aptitude or lack of desire play major parts in keeping people from being great in certain areas of their lives. However, there is another underlying factor which most people don’t think about. This factor is more detrimental than any I’ve mentioned so far. Did you ever realize

“Good is the Enemy of Great”

“Good is the enemy of great” is a quote from the book, Good to Great, by Jim Collins. I heard that quote several weeks ago and it really hit home. I thought about it more and more and realized how true that statement actually is.

Think about it. Many of us are content with doing something well. We know we could do better but we settle for what we have done.

It may be our choice of jobs. We don’t actually pursue work that we are truly passionate about. Frequently we feel we will never find that job or we won’t be able to make a comfortable living at it. So we settle for less. We take a job that we enjoy even though we know this will not bring us the happiness and joy that we crave.

Even if we are doing work we are truly passionate about we may not be doing it to the best of our ability. We know we are performing it better than our peers. We settle for that and not what we are truly capable of.

In the process we deny ourselves of the true happiness and joy that we would have if we had done the work as well as we could.

Sometimes we act this way out of fear. We settle for a job that we like but are not passionate about because we don’t believe we can ever find our ideal job or won’t be able to get it.

In some instances we settle for the job or do less than we can because we are lazy. We just don’t want to make the effort to do as well as we can.

Who Are We Robbing?

So Jim Collins is right. Good is, in fact, the enemy of great. Settling for something we do well prevents us from being great at it. Who are we robbing here? Actually the only one we are robbing is us – ourselves.

The sooner we accept this as fact, we can decide from that point on, we will not continue. We will do what we have to the best of our ability.

We will only accept a job that we are truly passionate about. We will do that job as best we can and not sit back and only perform well enough to exceed what others in similar jobs are doing. In the process we will experience the joy and happiness that we were meant to.

Conscious Choice and Discipline

In his book Jim Collins also makes another profound statement. He says “Greatness is not a function of circumstance, greatness is largely a matter of conscious choice and discipline.”

We are not going to become great at our work or at a sport we love or at a relationship we’re in because we were lucky. It’s not going to happen because we were in the right place at the right time.

We only will achieve greatness because we make a conscious choice to do so.

We will also achieve it only when we have the discipline to do so even when we are being distracted, even when everything is going wrong for us and pulling us away from our goal. Chet Holmes calls this “Pigheaded Discipline” when you stick to it regardless of what is happening in your life.

Let’s look at Michael Jordan.  Yes he had tremendous talent and skills to play basketball.  However, these were not instrumental in becoming a great basketball player.  Michael chose to be great.  He also had the “Pigheaded Discipline” to practice and to learn to use his talent and skills to the best of his ability.

Your Game Plan

If you want to experience the joy and happiness in your life, determine that you will become great at those things in your life that you are truly passionate about.

  • Take some time this week and review where you’re at in your life right now.
  • Identify what you are truly passionate about.
  • Are you great at that? If not what will you have to do to become great.
  • Write down the steps you need to take to become great.
  • Start to work on the steps immediately.
  • Take some time on a weekly basis to see what progress you have made.
  • Reward yourself for your progress. If you find that you have slipped, renew your efforts to get back on track.

We have the freedom to be as great as we can in life. We are the only ones who can take the steps to achieve our greatness

Much Success,

Bob Paroski

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