It’s always good to strive for excellence. To be better. To advance yourself. To do good for yourself. After all there’s so much to learn and so many things you have to master.
This pursuit hides a black hole behind it.
Look at your mindset and the things you do daily. Deeply. If they are concerned with you learning something new, getting your work done, getting your body in shape ,etc… then you have a problem.
All of that will make you feel like you’re advancing and that you’re doing very well. It might as well feel like you’re getting closer to your goal day by day.
You’ve to be careful. Behind all those well meant actions is something that will destroy you. When everything you do is all about YOU, then selfishness will kick in. Selfishness can easily consume you. There will always be something you need to do, something you need to learn, something you need to catch up with or check out. The list is endless, isn’t it!
If you delve into this endless circle where everything is about you, nobody will be there to pick you up when you fall.
It’s good to strive for excellence. It’s really bad to only see yourself.
There is always this hype to start something up! A business startup, a social startup; whatever. The point mostly is to ACT and do something useful. Which is GREAT, but it can fireback.
The “Impossible Project”, coined by Seth Godin, is “a project that you plan to carry out but it is so hard and so big that there are no clear steps that you can take now”. Consequently you never take the first step.
Having an impossible project gives the soothing feeling of “I’m good because there is something I’m working on”. However, the impossible project never moves you forward.
If you think you’ve a project, here’s a simple question:
When was the last time you took external action (like reaching out to investors/partners/potential customers/audience) regarding your project?
If it was more than a week ago, your project is impossible. You’re far better off not having a project at all.
Your standards are the things that get done no matter what happens.
If your standard is to be on the Dean’s list every semester, you’ll figure it out.
If your standard is to pay the bills every month, you will find a stable way to do it. (don’t most of us do?)
Here is what’s interesting about standards:
- Standards are habitual in nature:
After a while of keeping your standard at a level, it becomes a second nature. Pushing further your standards is the challenge. Like is saving 1K per month AND paying the bills as well.
- Standards serve as level zero:
If everything goes wrong, your standards gets done! Standards depend heavily on our definition of who we are. We have that urge to fulfill our own mental image.
- Standards rely a lot on Social Proof:
We have the tendency to think we are OKAY as long as our standards meet the standards of those around us. If most of your peers earn 2K and you earn a half, you’ll be pushed to earn more because you will feel diminished.
- We all have standards whether we know them or not:
Look hard into your daily activities. Try to figure our what gets done daily and what doesn’t. What’s is a MUST to do? What’s is OKAY to slip past?
Raise the bar. Make new habits. Raise the bar again. Repeat.
Unfortunately our societies don’t appreciate artists of your kind (status quo painters) as long as they are painting their art. Yet, once you’re finished everyone will be mad about you. Awkwardly, our society is based on a system where fit-ins don’t get noticed and heretics are glorified.
I know that most of the people don’t value what you do. Some of them might think it is a waste of time.
I know it is hard to push forward, to stay focused.
Once you get your art done, people who now think you’re a underachiever will look up to you. Once you change the status quo, your name will be carved in the history books. No one can erase it then.
No one said it will be easy, but damn it will be worth it!
Why do we have to go through all the hardships to find who we really are?
Why didn’t the school try to help us?
Why does it seem like it doesn’t matter that we are searching for ourselves?
Why is everyone trying to mutter the answer? or even avoid the question?
Why is everyone trying to erase themselves and turn into what they are told to be? Why does it seem so awkward that I’m trying to find who I am?
What if you persisted through all the hardships?
What if you took all the kicks and kept going and did not falter?
What if you knew who you are meant to be?
What if you win the fight?
If you are doing business just to make money, you are an imperialist junkie.
If you are doing business to change the world, you are an entrepreneur.
If you inspire people to go where they want to go (but can’t go alone), you are a leader.
Which one are you?
Are you a leader junkie?
Are you a leader entrepreneur?
Are you just a cog in the machine driven by one of those two?