Sunday, April 25, 2010

You Must Get Rid of the Good in your Life

Over the years I have become convinced that the word “good” is holding us back. Successful people have learned that good is not enough; the goal is to be great. Great at being you and great at what you do.

For years when I was asked “How are you doing today” I would answer “Pretty good”. What the hell kind of answer was that. It occurred to me that if I was going to have great day, a successful day, I needed to be doing much better than “pretty good.” Pretty Good leaves it unsaid that I could be doing better, and if I could be doing better than I should get after it. I no longer answer with pretty good. I answer with great, fantastic, fabulous or something similar. Even if the day has not gone as well as expected my response when asked how am I doing can actually change the rest of my day.

It all goes back to mindset. Successful people are positive and optimistic. Everyone encounters challenges in their lives but forward thinking people move through and deal with the challenges. They do not wallow in self pity and they do not procrastinate. They dig in and get moving.

The other problem with the word good is that it lets you off the hook. If you accept that your work is good it can quickly slide into “good enough”. That becomes a slippery slope. “Good enough” is like cholesterol building up in your arteries. As you except more and more “good enough” in your life (more cholesterol building) the level of success you can attain starts to drop (your blood flow gets compromised). Over time the excess cholesterol can kill you; over time “good enough” kills your creativity, your productivity, your skill level, and ultimately your ability to attain all the success you dream about.

You need to strive to be great. Successful people put their full effort into everything they do. Is that report you are going to turn in to your boss the absolute best you can do? If not, why would you turn it in? Your work is a reflection of you. Are you giving your full focus and energy to building and strengthening your relationships with family and friends? How can you expect to enjoy deeper and more meaningful relationships without putting in the effort? You are only as great as the work you produce and the effort you put into the relationships around you.

Banish the word good from your vocabulary. Substitute the words great, awesome, fantastic, superb, outstanding, extraordinary, fan-freaking-tastic, excellent, outstanding, superior, fantabulous, amazing, excellent, etc, etc. Don’t let yourself off the hook. Successful people demand the best from themselves at all times.

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