During a recent coaching session, I was asked, “How do we get the most out of ourselves?”
Several ideas came to mind, and I quickly rattled off a short list. Upon further reflection, I thought it was a list worth sharing, because we all have the potential to do more than we are doing today.
Here are eight ways that you can unleash the best from within yourself.
Plan in Detail
Spontaneity can be fun and exciting. Why spoil all the fun by planning?
Much of what we want to accomplish is not simple. It takes work. It requires a game plan. The more specifically we can think out the critical steps needed, the more likely we are to get what we want.
If we create a step-by-step detailed plan that clearly maps out what we want to accomplish, our execution will improve. We will be less likely to miss important steps, and avoid wasting precious time. Planning helps us visualize how we can go about getting the results we expect — and nothing is more fun that achieving our desired results!
Set High Expectations
We can do far more than we realize. We need to keep pushing our personal performance bar higher.
The power within us is enormous. I saw a YouTube video recently about a Korean boy who lived on the streets since he was five. He sold gum in nightclubs, where he was captivated by the vocalists. He sang to himself, and dreamed of singing as an entertainer. He then competed on Korea’s Got Talent. He was amazing. There was not a dry eye as he sang in a magnificent tenor voice that no one could believe.
Yes, there is more locked within each of us than we realize. We need to push ourselves to unleash it and share it with the world.
The clearer our game plan, the more likely we are to strive for excellence. The old saying “it’s close enough for government work” is not close enough. We need to expect better and hold ourselves to a high standard. It’s true that if we aim high, we may fall short. But if we strive to improve every day, we have a much better chance of excelling.
Change When Necessary
The best plans can be waylaid by changing circumstances. When a mistake is realized or an outside force acts against us, it is time to make changes. Sometimes we believe that altering our plan is an admission of failure, when in reality, the unwillingness to make change is the greatest failure of all. When we begin to realize that our course is no longer the best one, we must make the needed change and move on.
Measurement keeps us focused and encouraged. If we begin with a clear picture and understanding of the major milestones along the way to accomplishing our goals, we can easily measure our progress. Projects, especially big ones, need to be measured in small steps. Make the milestones and responsibilities clear, and more progress will be made.
We need to hold ourselves accountable for accomplishing each step needed to stretch toward our goal or target. Clear and known accountability is a powerful self-motivator. Ask others around you to hold you accountable as well. The simple knowledge that someone else is going to ask you about your progress may be just the push you need to keep moving toward your goals.
No matter how much we think we know today, there is still so much more to learn. Greater knowledge enables us to be the best we can be at what we are doing. Be inquisitive, read often, write down what you learn, and strive to know more. Learning should be a part of every day.
Take time to recognize and celebrate your progress. Accomplishing meaningful goals is not easy. We all need a little encouragement to stay motivated. Take time to step back and celebrate the major milestones accomplished along the way to reaching your goals.
We all have great things yet within us, waiting to be unleashed. I am confident that if we follow these points, it will make a difference.
(Thank you Jerry Baker of Building Champions for this great post.)