You must rise above mediocrity

One of the most common questions that I get from young people is, “How do you manage to keep up with all your responsibilities? How are you able to stay on top of everything?”

This week’s blog is not about the whys; for they come with varying responses and in my mind, every person must figure out their formula for success.

It is about the why nots?

There’s a proverb that says that the ‘one who walks in another’s tracks, leaves no footprints of his own.’ Therein lies my drive and my challenge to you.

Are your footprints visible? Why not? Why shouldn’t you be the one in your family that excels the most? Why shouldn’t you be the one that stands out in the work place? Why shouldn’t you be the one that is able to define your path and follow your dreams?

If anything and I hardly talk about my faith, I believe that this is what the Almighty would like for us; that we should become more than average; that we should rise above mediocrity and become successful.

Today I will share with you a few tips that have been instrumental to getting me where I am today.

1. Allocate yourself a ‘strategic thinking’ time
Many people do all the right things to create direction in specific areas of their life. They come up with visions and goals and five-year plans and business plans etc. They even go as far the implementation phase. Then they find that they are not able to move forward and cannot understand why. They wonder why there is a disconnect between their lives and their goals.

The problem is this; they never stop to re-evaluate what is working. If you look back, you will notice that many times we examine our failures in search of a lesson. But we never take time to examine our successes, and find out what we did right and how we can repeat the same actions.

It is imperative that we set aside time on a daily basis to reflect on our actions of the day. We must determine if these actions are contributing to or deterring the achievement of our strategic goals in the professional, personal and social fronts.

2. Become a life-long student
Secondly, always make an effort to learn something new every day. There is nothing as bad in the work place, as the employee who is stuck in the past. They cease to add value, not only to the conversation, but also to the company’s bottom line.

When I started to embrace social media, Kenyans could not understand why I was fascinated with Facebook and the other social networks. Every time I talked about my profile, I could see the question marks on their faces. Today, not only am I able to connect with my primary audience for most of my businesses, but I am also able to accurately define strategy that encompasses the needs and wants of this client base. Today, I understand their aspirations.

You must always thirst for knowledge my friends; it is one of the sure ways of learning how to add value to life.

3. Keep an open mind
Every one of us has a mind frame or a view of the world that helps us to synthesise all the information that is thrown our way daily. This frame of mind is influenced extensively by our upbringing and experiences in life, good or bad.

It is a good thing because it helps you to define your beliefs and values on life, and forms the basis for determining what you can or cannot do at any given time. But what if there’s an inherent flaw with your mind frame? How does it affect your ability to experience life to the fullest and to grow?

Do not get me wrong. I am not saying that we must try everything especially when it is in direct conflict with our value systems.

I am saying that we must keep an open mind. Let us remain deeply rooted in our beliefs and opinions, but be open to hearing the opinions of others. Keeping an open mind does not mean that we must accept their opinions; it just means that we lend everybody a fair hearing.

Half of my brilliant ideas have come to me in such moments. When I am willing to be challenged, I find that I am able to develop a solution that is holistic and can serve varying interests for our mutual benefit.

Much can be said about this topic. For me, this is a starting point. It is a sure way to keep you from marking time to making notable progress in the direction of your goals. Remember that ‘to the frog that’s never left his pond, the ocean seems like such a gamble.’ Be the frog that dares to step outside of his comfort zone, you will become better than average.

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