In an attempt to catch up on some reading, I ran across an article entitled, “The 6 Keys To Being Awesome at Everything.” Well, that immediately grabbed my attention and two thoughts ran through my head. One was the overly rational, black and white side of me that said “Whatever!! No one can do that.” And the other one was, “But if they could, I’m sure going to try it!!” That’s when the OCD, perfectionistic, competitive side of me begins to show.
But let’s put aside the voices in my own head. HA! In all actually, many of us want to be the best we can be at what we are truly passionate about. Whether it is speaking a foreign language, being a good mom, daughter, wife, friend, mastering excel spreadsheets, becoming a better sales counselor, coach, marketing or leadership position, we all want to be GOOD at it. And if we were honest with ourselves and each other, AWESOME at it.
I’ve listed below the author’s six keys* to help you achieve your goal. I’ve already read them, thought of ways to actually use them and picked a couple of things I’m going to try this on. Once you read them, you will realize they are very simple and we are probably already doing or trying to do most of them. But I say to really commit to becoming awesome, you will need to push yourself way out of your comfort zone, want to throw in the towel multiple times, tell yourself that it isn’t working, make more than a couple of mistakes along the way, rethink your commitment, etc.
But in the end, if you stick with it, you will be awesome at the one thing you are striving to improve upon and that is what we all strive for.
- Pursue what you love. Passion is an incredible motivator. It fuels focus, resilience, and perseverance.
- Do the hardest work first. We all move instinctively toward pleasure and away from pain. Most great performers, Ericsson and others have found, delay gratification and take on the difficult work of practice in the mornings, before they do anything else. That’s when most of us have the most energy and the fewest distractions.
- Practice intensely. Practice intensely, without interruption for short periods of no longer than 90 minutes and then take a break. Ninety minutes appears to be the maximum amount of time that we can bring the highest level of focus to any given activity. The evidence is equally strong that great performers practice no more than 4 ½ hours a day.
- Seek expert feedback, in intermittent doses. The simpler and more precise the feedback, the more equipped you are to make adjustments. Too much feedback, too continuously, however, can create cognitive overload, increase anxiety, and interfere with learning.
- Take regular renewal breaks. Relaxing after intense effort not only provides an opportunity to rejuvenate, but also to metabolize and embed learning. It’s also during rest that the right hemisphere becomes more dominant, which can lead to creative breakthroughs.
- Ritualize practice. Will and discipline are wildly overrated. As the researcher Roy Baumeister has found, none of us have very much of it. The best way to insure you’ll take on difficult tasks is to ritualize them — build specific, inviolable times at which you do them, so that over time you do them without having to squander energy thinking about them.
By Jenn Cox, COO, Bild & Company
*Taken directly from John Klymshyn’s article posted on May 17, 2012 – The 6 Keys To Being Awesome At Everything. http://www.eyesonsales.com/content/article/the_6_keys_to_being_awesome_at_everything/