Anyone who has ever wanted to become great at his craft has had to learn how to go from good to great, and so must you.
How do we excel at what we do? How do we achieve greatness? No matter what your occupation, subject of study, endeavour or sport, how do you become truly successful at it? Of course, determination and commitment play a huge part, but how can we change our thinking to enable us to achieve at a high level?
Here are 7 Top Tips to help you succeed and go from good to great from some of the greatest minds in their respective fields.
“Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly.” – Robert Kennedy
When we take a good look at ourselves, we tend to focus on our weaknesses. But focusing on our weaknesses makes us cautious and holds us back. So what about our strengths? Why don’t we focus on these instead? Why don’t we take a more positive view of ourselves? After all, if we’re working from our strengths, we’re more likely to succeed and we’re more likely to enjoy what we do. But in order to go from good to great we must also push these strengths beyond our comfort zone. It’s only through pushing ourselves that we’ll develop new skills and make new discoveries. So don’t be frightened of failing a few times; it’s experimentation and risk-taking that will lead you to success.
“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
We always worry about the opinions of others. Of course, this is natural and we all want to make a good impression, but we mustn’t worry about what others think to the point that it stifles us. You’re entitled to be you, and it’s your unique personality and outlook that will give a new dimension to any team or project. Similarly, don’t try to please everyone. This is a pointless exercise! Of course, not everyone will agree with your views and opinions, but that’s life. So always be true to yourself, then you’ll have more energy to focus on what will truly help you go from good to great.
“We are all faced with a series of great opportunities brilliantly disguised as impossible situations.” – Charles R Swindoll
When problems arise – as they undoubtedly will – we should try to see them as opportunities. Try to take a positive view of dilemmas and difficulties as they’re here to test you, challenge you and make you more creative. Sometimes our problems overcome us and we see ourselves as victims. ‘Why does it always happen to me?’ we ask. Or ‘if such-and-such hadn’t happened, I wouldn’t be in this situation now’. But you are! So take it on the chin. ‘Impossible situations’ give you a chance to be imaginative and to grow stronger; they’re a chance to shine. The lessons learnt will help you go from good to great.
“All great achievements require time.” – Maya Angelou
Many of us look only at the short-term. We rush to complete things, doing the best we can in the time we’ve got. But shouldn’t we be looking at the long-term? Be patient. It takes time to go from good to great. After all, it’s only through planning for long-term success that we can ever truly be great. So patience is the key. Take time to develop plans carefully; make them watertight. Goals need to be meaningful for the distant future not just tomorrow.
“Mistakes are the stepping stones to wisdom.” – Leon Brown
Something many of us are guilty of is trying to be perfect. We’re frightened of making mistakes and showing ourselves up. We want to find the right way of doing things and, to this end, we think and plan and ponder. But unless we take that first step, we won’t actually be doing anything or going anywhere! Our fear of trying to be perfect sometimes stops us from taking a few risks. But it’s only through the process of trial and error that we’ll ever find new ways of working and new ways of being. So we need to give up ‘perfect’; it might actually be holding us back.
“Do not wait; the time will never be right.” – Napoleon Hill
If you’re waiting for the right moment, that moment may never come. If you’re waiting for a lucky break, it may never happen. We need to make our own luck in life. We need to strike while we’re feeling inspired and determined; we need to make a start now. If you don’t have what you need to start right now, at least begin by preparing. Plan your own lucky break! Seize the moment and do what you can now.
“Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people.” – Eleanor Roosevelt
Criticism and condemnation are all too easy. Putting someone down doesn’t take imagination or strength of character. But so many of us do it and it can be so damaging, not just to individuals but to teams. It is not a characteristic associated with being great. Praising and encouraging takes much more effort but it reaps rewards. People who feel appreciated work harder; people who feel accepted for who they are grow to be confident. So don’t be small-minded and gossip about other people; discuss ideas, innovations and methods instead. In this way you’ll progress towards greatness and you’ll take others with you.
Good luck on your journey from good to great!