Tuesday, November 29, 2011

What It Takes To Be The Best

When I think of the term black belt, I think of being the best. A master at what I do with skills at the highest level. Images of champions in sport and business come to mind. And it makes me ask the question, what does it really take to be the best?

I think the first requirement is that you have to believe completely that you can be the best at what ever it is that you set out to master. It's my feeling that the vast majority of people, don't believe they can and therefore, never try. Lacking confidence, most people fail right out of the gate to even do average. They might also lack the skills as not everyone is equipped to be the best for a variety of reasons.

But many of us DO have what it takes to be the best and yet we settle for average. In many cases, we even have the confidence to know that we can be the best, but don't realize our potential.

If you are in the second group, you might wonder why you settle for average.

I think in some ways, we are conditioned to fit in and to not really shine above others. And in other ways, we don't really have people in our lives who EXPECT the best from us. Since no one else pushes us, we never learn to push ourselves. We learn to be average.

The other thing that I think keeps people average is that being a success does require effort. And we as human beings will often do whatever it takes to avoid anything remotely related to effort.

Being average is an option. But it's not an option that I think you should settle for particularly when you know you have the skills to be the best. You know what I think. You should choose to be the best.

Once you set the bar for yourself that you expect the best out of yourself, I think the next most important thing you need to do is focus on one specific area to be the best in.

What I mean by this, is that instead of being kind of good at many things, focus on one thing. Don't try and be a jack of all trades.

After all, you didn't see Peyton Manning playing football, basketball, swimming and riding horses competitively. He focused entirely on being the quarterback of a professional football team.

Likewise, you need to focus all of your energies on being the best at one thing.

Once you have done that, the next most important thing is that you have to figure out that in the area you have chosen to master, that you find out who is the best. In sports, this is easy. People like Peyton can easily see who the best have been. In our areas of expertise, it's sometimes not so obvious nor as glorified as sports. But you can find it if you look.

After that you have to commit yourself to studying and practice. A commitment to ongoing improvement in your craft is necessary. You need to study every aspect from every angle. Master the fundamentals by learning from your own personal masters if you have access to them personally.

I think what you will find is that if you commit yourself to being the best and learn to expect it, that eventually you'll start achieving it.

Because in a lot of ways, being the best isn't that hard when everyone else is settling for average.

Take action today and quit settling for less than the best.
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