Are you committed to getting better, to waking up each day a little bit better in some area of your life than you were the day before?
Most say they want to get better, but few have a plan. That’s not an educated guess, but a fact based on research I did for my book, The Potential Principle. We found that 59% of leaders were “very committed” to getting better…but only 50% of them had a specific, updated plan.
A goal without a plan seems more like wishful thinking to me.
The real question of getting better isn’t “do you want to?” but “what are you doing about it?” For a deep dive into the why, the how and a process you can use, I refer you to The Potential Principle book. But what follows is a simple foundation to launch your improvement program.Download the Potential Principle Handout
Here are 8 principles you can use to get better:
- Anyone can become better. Few of us will ever be best at something. Best is really hard. Better is really easy. Becoming the best at anything is difficult. It usually takes tremendous effort and a long time. Better can happen in an instance. Any slight improvement will make you better. Ever heard the cliche, “Death by a thousand cuts”? Try “Better by lots of little improvements.”
- Desire always precedes better. Your desire to get better must be coupled with your efforts to get better. Better can’t be imposed, borrowed or rented. You’ve got to want it and be willing to work for it.
- Better is your responsibility. Others can help you get better, but they can’t do it for you.
- You can improve anything in your life but not everything. Don’t try to improve everything.You won’t benefit by making everything in your life better, nor do you have time nor energy to do so. Go for significant improvements.
- Better requires an object. Better at what? Be specific about what matters enough to improve (see above).Often improvement goals are too vague. Prioritize getting better at what matters most and what will make the biggest difference, and ideally identify metrics.
- Better is never accidental. It takes intention and effort. You can swing a golf club a thousand times but if you aren’t paying attention, you won’t get better. You’ll just get tired.
- Better needs a process. If desire precedes better a plan needs to follow. The primary reason people don’t get better is lack of a plan.
- Better always beats best. Target the person or company at the top of their game. You don’t have to be twice as good as they are to displace them. All you need is to be a little better.
So now what? Knowing these principles is interesting, but implementing them is powerful. Here is a worksheet to help you get started:
In what area(s) do you want to get better? (the goal)
Why? (the motivation)
How? (the plan)
How much time and effort will you invest? (the work)
You can be better at the important things you do in your life. Just move beyond desire to disciplined action. The payoffs will be gratifying.
(By the way, if you want to get way better at virtual presentations, go to www.VPI.institute and download your free report about what makes or breaks a great digital program.)
Mark Sanborn is an award winning speaker and Leadership Expert in Residence at High Point University, the Premier Life Skills University. For more information about his work, visit www.marksanborn.com.
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