Quick show of hands: Who wants to be awesome? Ok, that question was easy. I think pretty much everyone wants to be awesome. We all want to be amazing and no one wants to fail.
Tougher question: Who is working on being awesome? Like actively working on it. You know what you want to improve and have a plan to make it happen. I’m guessing a few hands went down.
Last question. Again, a show of hands: Who has done something today, specifically to make you more awesome? Hmmm, a lot of hands stayed down on this one. Answering yes means you know what you want, have a plan, and acted on that plan.
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Last weekend, I did an exercise suggested by Bill Cortright. It was simple: list 10 reasons why I am not at the optimal levels of success in the five key areas of life (career, finance, health, relationships, personal / spiritual development).
I recommend giving it a try. Here’s a few things this exercise made me realize:
- I don’t know what optimal levels of success looks like in every area. I have very specific targets in some of the areas, but not all. That’s a problem because it’s really, really, really hard to accomplish what I want if I’ve never been bothered to figure out what I want.
- My excuses started off strong with good, justifiable reasons why I haven’t accomplished more, but about number five or six in each category, my excuses started running thin. By the time I got to number ten it was painfully obvious that all of my excuses were complete nonsense. Bill Cortright says: Excuses are the ego’s affirmations. Excuses help me feel good about my lack of progress, but don’t do anything to move me forward.
- None of the excuses have to do with a lack of knowledge. I may not know everything I need to do, but the amount of knowledge I have or have available will take me a long ways farther than I’ve gone. Derek Sivers once noted: If [more] information was the answer, then we’d all be billionaires with perfect abs. Knowledge alone does not create change.
- Too many of my excuses have to do with my self-identity and belief in whether or not what I want is possible for me to attain.
- In 100% of the cases where I’m not where I want to be, I am simply not taking enough regular action.
Don’t get me wrong – I’ve worked hard, been blessed, lucky, and created successes in my life. I’m in no way complaining or suggesting I don’t have it pretty good.
BUT. When I look at what I have done and what I want to do, there is a noticeable gap in a few areas. I’m at a six or seven on a ten-point scale, but I want to be at 11.
So, if I want to be awesome, there are only three steps: 1. Get clear on what optimal success looks like for me; 2. create a plan; and 3. take consistent action. As Dan Waldschmidt points out: It’s on you to be awesome. And that’s the key to it all. No one is going to be awesome for me.