Decide from a”Should” to “Must”
In my previous post, I argued that the most important key to joining the top 10% is by making a decision. By making a decision, you severe – or cut off – ties with alternatives and anything that sways you away from joining that top ten percent.
Have you decided what you want? Do you know why you want it?
My decision is this:
I resolve to live a fulfilled and satisfied life where I share strong bonds with God, my family, friends and my community. I commit myself to joining the quest in human potential and excellence where I will share the rewards with my community and loved ones.
In short: aku ngemansangka diri, nuan pan mansang enggau aku. Bahasa Iban for “As I develop myself, come develop with me”.
That is my decision and philosophy in life. It gives me great joy, satisfaction and pride. I have a direction. Goals come in to realise the philosophy.
Having the Right Standards
Have you noticed how among themselves, members of the armed forces and police force are the best: while going through boot camp, especially when in an elite band or corp? As they grow in character in their service, they begin to accomplish things that appear to be impossible for the rest of us. Throw a commando into the thick jungle, he would survive for a year. Throw me, I’d perish in a week. Throw in a Penan, she’d make a living!
When you decide to join the top ten percent, you need to adopt the standards of the top ten percent. You begin to think like the top ten percent, most of the time. Instead of focusing on problems (debt, conflicts), you focus on your goals and find the solutions (increase cash flow, mediator). You will need to mix with people above your current standards as well! If you want to improve your game, you wont go play tennis with a beginner, would you?
Naturally, your friends, colleagues and family may deter you. Not because they don’t love you. It is BECAUSE they love you. They may have been down that road and got hurt. So, they want to protect you from that hurt.
More importantly, as you improve and develop yourself, you are changing in their eyes. They love you. They do not want to loose you. Worse is when they have a negative picture of those people who you want to be: opportunists who exploit others for material/temporal gains. Out of their love, they do not want you to turn into those monsters.
Leaving the Someday Isle
Deciding to join the Top Ten Percent inherently means leaving the “Someday Isle”. It’s a place where “some day I’ll change after I…” A misguided faith in procrastination. If you want to join the top ten percent in your field, you need to do it now! Get started!
You are no longer thinking of exercising because “you should”. You are doing it because “you must”. The same way you must eat when you are starving.
For instance, if you are a fresh graduate looking for a job in a bank. You must attend interviews even those by non-banks. Not because you have no focus. Banks wont give you a position because you don’t have working experience. So, go out and get some! On top of that, attend the interviews with the aim to learn from the interview: what to say, what not to say, what to wear, what not to wear. Detect what the interviewer is looking for. Polish your presentation skills so by the time you are done with ten interviews, the next few would be a breeze. Impress your interviewer and leave a positive impression. You may want to be friendly and keep in contact – even if you are rejected. So when you try the next time, you have a better chance. The positive outcome? You might be flooded with job offers while your peers are still struggling. Make it a point, not a mere exercise.
Here’s a simple exercise shared by Jeffrey Gitomer in The Sales Bible.
Get a 3 x 3 post it and write down your vision. In other 3 x 3 Post-It notes, write down your goals. Remember to write one goal on one piece of note. Stick it onto your bathroom mirror. Your goal could be “Increasing sales to $1,000,000 in 2014” or “Score 4.00 GPA this Semester”. You may want to start off with two or three goals. You want to be inspired and excited, not overwhelmed!
On a smaller Post-It note, write the tasks you need to do to accomplish your goals. You may have “Develop a list of 50 prospects from the Yellow Pages each week”. It may also be, “Listen to an audio programme on sales an hour each day”.
This way you will see your goals and tasks at least twice a day: in the morning and in the evening. When you see the goals and the tasks, read it aloud! Repeat it ten, twenty or fifty times! Make it an incantation with your physical, emotional and mental energy poured into it! If you can say “I can’t do that!” Or, “This is hard!” regularly and charged, so can you for this exercise.
You would realise that it will motivate you – no matter how daunting the goal may initially be. Repeat it each day and each time you lay eyes on it. Soon enough you’d be mentally geared towards the goal. You will see yourself doing the tasks regularly and almost effortlessly. Soon enough, you will realise these goals.
AFTER YOUR ACCOMPLISH your goals, don’t throw the Post It Notes away. Instead, transfer it from your bathroom mirror to your bedroom mirror. That way you will be reminded by how and what you accomplished. Replace them with new goals and tasks!