There are some attitudes that hold lot of people back from realising their true potential. Here are some of them:
1. Getting stuck in a comfort zone.
2. Working just enough to get by.
3. Avoiding difficult tasks.
4. Working smart, not working hard.
5. Believing that being punctual is good enough.
6. “I plan as I was assigned.”
7. “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”
8. “The problem was caused by someone else.”
Great people have different attitudes. If we can change attitudes, we can change outcomes. Eventually, we can make this world much better with only a minor investment. Working from the list above, here are great attitudes with some examples:
1. Instead of enjoying our comfort zone, we have to have a passion in work. People who have a passion know their strengths and know their mission in life. We come to this world with an individual mission. But the big picture is “to make this world a better place”. Hence our mission is to serve and help others so that together we can make this world a better place. This means that our work doesn’t stop when we think we are OK, because there are others who are not OK. If we believe that we can help others, we will not get stuck in a comfort zone. To do that, you need a clear life purpose. If you’re not sure what your life purpose is, ask the question that Martin Luther King Jr asked: “Life’s most urgent question is: what are you doing for others?”
2. A lot of people do their work “just enough” to meet a standard or a deadline. Robert Townsend once said: “If you don’t do it excellently, don’t do it at all. Because if it’s not excellent, it won’t be profitable or fun, and if you’re not in business for fun or profit, what the hell are you doing there?” Nevertheless, to do excellent work you need to re-examine your life’s purpose, as that will bring the passion to your work.
3. I used to avoid difficult tasks whenever I had a choice. Fortunately, my life had several challenges in which I didn’t have much choice; I had to work in several difficult circumstances. Unfortunately, a lot of people have protective parents and protective bosses. They have grown up in protected environments. Their parents and the bosses may not want them to suffer from difficult tasks. Hence, they are missing an opportunity to learn and grow. As the old saying goes, “No pain, no gain.” On the contrary, great people choose to do difficult tasks, put themselves in a hardship work environment or willingly work with difficult people. In the long run they’re rewarded for the growth in their capabilities.
4. Why work so hard? A lot of people have a belief that working smart is good and working hard is stupid. The really smart people are those who are perceived by others as working hard. But in their minds, they don’t think they work hard. They are passionate about what they do. They know the meaning of their work. They enjoy the value of their contribution. They don’t do the hard work for money _ they do it for significance: the value that they create in order to make this world a better place. A great example is our beloved King. Why does he work so hard for us? It’s not because he’s looking at his career ladder. It’s not because of money and fame. It’s because he loves and cares for others.
5. What’s wrong with being punctual? If you have to make an important presentation to your boss at 9am, you will not be there at 9am but earlier. Why? Because unexpected things could happen. You will go before the appointed time in order to prepare. If we’re passionate about what we do, we will do it with our hearts. It means we will have to be “before time”, not “on time”. As Murphy’s Law states: “If anything can go wrong, it will.”
6. Don’t plan without a Plan B, or more. Great people know that only a Plan B is not enough. You should also have a Plan C. Why? Because the speed of change is beyond our experience. We have to have several backup plans plus a flexible mindset. We have to reassess situations more frequent and modify our actions accordingly.
7. “If it ain’t broke …” Often it’s more rewarding to look for a potential problem or a way to do something better. Because if we enjoy the status quo, we will be stuck here. Somewhere, someone is thinking about how to do something better than us.
8. The last one comes from my coach, Dr David T. Binnion: “Whatever the problem in our life, we caused it, so we are responsible for solving it.” By adopting this attitude, we take ownership to solve problems.
As Socrates said: “The unexamined life is not worth living.” Please re-examine yours.