“Successful people do what unsuccessful people are not willing to do. Don’t wish it were easier; wish you were better.” – Jim Rohn
I have a lot of conversations with business leaders that start off pretty well and then fall apart. They start off well when leaders are telling me what they have in mind for their businesses – things like growth, becoming the employer of choice for great people, stuff like that. They fall apart when leaders start talking about why those things probably aren’t going to happen, and the reasons are almost always some vague uncontrollable thing – the economy, people are lazy, competition is too tough, etc.
Too many people in too many places limit themselves and their organizations by convincing themselves that they’re doing the best they can do and it just isn’t possible for things to get any better. The reality is that a lot of those people aren’t doing the best they can do, they’re just doing the best they’re willing to do.
I don’t mean they’re not working hard. The best they’re willing to do might still involve a lot of effort. The problem is that they’re only willing to do things they’re comfortable doing or that they’ve always done. They’re not looking outside their comfort zones for ways to improve; they want to do the same thing they’ve always done but get better results. Good luck with that.
I like the quote at the beginning of this post, but I would add one thing at the end: “…Then get better.” Too many people think that’s not possible. They think that even if there were other things they could do, they just aren’t capable of doing them. They say things like, “I’m just not wired for that” or “That’s not something I’m naturally very good at” or some similar version of “This is who I am and I can’t possibly be any different”.
That’s not reality. You can change. You can learn new skills. You can develop new abilities and behaviors. The issue isn’t that you’re wired a certain way, or that the world has developed in a certain way that prohibits your success. The issue is that you haven’t (so far) decided to be better than you are right now. You haven’t decided that being great is so much better than being mediocre that you’re going to go for it.
So make that decision. Make the decision to not only wish you were better, but to be better. And then do it. Your only regret will be that you didn’t do it ten years ago.