Finding the Courage for “Wow”
“The truth is, mediocrity is natural. You don’t have to do anything to drift there. It just happens.” Michael Hyatt.
6 ways to find the courage you need to make “wow” happen:
- Take a stand for greatness. You must resolve in your heart that you will not sell out or settle. This isn’t necessary for every project, of course.
- Connect with the original vision. … Close your eyes and once again become present to what you are trying to create.
- Remind yourself what is at stake. Ask, “Why is this important?”
- Listen to your heart. Most of us have spent a lifetime ignoring – or even suppressing – our intuition. I believe intuition is the map to buried treasure. It is not infallible, but neither is our reason.
- Speak up. This is the crucial step. Give voice to your heart. If you don’t, who will?
- Be stubborn. This is perhaps the toughest part of all. We don’t want to be “high maintenance” or unreasonable. Aren’t the people you most respect also the ones who demanded the most from you?
This list is an excerpt from, Platform, Hyatt’s new book on how to get noticed in a noisy world.
During my conversation with Michael we discussed the path to personal excellence:
- Commit to excellence.
- Identify things that matter most.
- Prioritize what matters. Not everything has to be done with excellence.
- Have integrity.
- Set high standards. Never let anyone else set the bar higher than you.
- Don’t let excellence become an excuse for procrastination.
Number six strikes at the reason many never achieve excellence. Don’t look for excellence in one giant leap; take steps. Once you’ve done the first five steps toward personal excellence, hoist your sails; those who delay inevitably flounder.
What does the path to excellence look like?
What suggestions can you offer?
Michael Hyatt just released his new book, “Platform.” It’s must reading for anyone with something to say or sell. It’s the most practical book on Social Media I’ve read.
Commitment to excellence or anything for that matter is the first step. Too many wait until the pain is excruciating and then decide to do something about it. Subject of a future blog post.
Your observation about waiting for pain is definitely true. I know I’ve been that way. Don’t wait for pain to pursue excellence. 🙂
I really like this post, captivated my attention. It kind of reminds me of a game we played as kids, skipping along the pavements and trying to avoid the cracks or cracked paving stones …. it was a lot of a laughs and still is with younger kids – the four things that made you pretty successful in your group was :
Discipline – the ability to stay with the game longer
Consistency – the ability to memorize the previous pitfalls and don’t repeat !
Foresight – the ability to look ahead and carve out a somewhat easier route.
Humor – the ability to laugh at yourself when you landed on your ass when you took too big a leap in order to stay ahead or miss a broken flag ………
I still find the path is full of cracks and broken paving stones, depending on my focus I find away round and occasionally I learn valid lessons from falling down and sitting for a while with the others who have fallen also ………. then, up and at it again 🙂
I find your comment refreshing and encouraging.
Love the addition of humor and especially, occasionally sitting w/ those who have fallen or failed. There’s so much to learn through failure as long as we don’t get stuck.
Best to you,
Great post. Point #6 resonates with me. Not because its a trait of mine but because it is one I often face. Some people have such complete visions that they never achieve them. And they often expend much energy stopping others achieving theirs.
How would you deal with them?
Martin, be selective with whom you let into your energy world ….. learn to walk away and disassociate from people who drag the energy out of your vision, to interact with them brings you down to their level, utilise reverse psychology with these types of people and remain committed to your goal …….. they will soon find another person to antagonise ……
I agree completely. The paralysis of perfection is everywhere.
I do a few things to deal with this.
1. Persistently say complex problems have more than one solution. This opens the door to simply choosing one and moving forward. There are no perfect solutions.
2. An incomplete solution that allows forward movement is better than no solution and no movement.
3. Evaluate often. Is the path we chose getting us there. Many love to complain that we “AREN’T there. Ask them is some movement is better than none? Ask them if they have a better option.
4. Celebrate progress. Perfectionists love to point out that the progress isn’t enough. Ignore them and honor people who are making progress.
Well, there are a few ideas…
What can you add?
Thanks for the list; it’s helpful. I’ll take it to the office.
I look for the key values these people hold (and I share.) When delivering a partial solution I aim to demonstrate how this meets our values and moves them toward their vision.
What a great thread here. The most frustrating scenario is when team members vocalize great ideas to push towards excellence…but the leader is the one who belittles the ideas and stifles the team. Suffocation and helplessness sets in. This also result in feelings of intimidation and humiliation. Time to get out, right?
That can certainly be frustrating. It can also be a great learning experience. I’ve had first hand experience of this and learned to find other ways of achieving my goals. I also learned resilience. At that got me noticed. Moving on is an option but not necessarily the only one.
Very good point…it certainly does generate resilience…and I have managed to find other locations to grow as a professional. But the everyday is still in a toxic space, and goes on and on…it is positively exhausting. I’m not in business, I’m in education…so “business” plans, “research and development”, and the like…all take place at this tiny school level. For us, If ideas don’t come from the top, they are quashed before a person even finishes a sentence. This is unacceptable.
Your fabulous saling photograph got this sailor’s and photographer’s attention. More importantly, your post came at a good time for me. I have been pursuing many new initiatives, both personal and professional. Your post made me realize that I have been trying for excellence in everything. No wonder I feel worn out. It is time to pick my spots and decide on what really matters, only focusing on one or two areas to really put my energy to create “wow”.
Thanks for that.
Quite a good post! It started very well with a powerful topic of courage and the ways you can handle it. You then diluted the topic to practical ways ways of achieving excellence.
My only suggestion is that please restart your earlier practice of distributing few complimentary copies of the new useful books by taking the help of an author.
For us in India, the book published in USA becomes quite costly and there are very few who buy books which are more than 8-10 US Dollars.
I fully believe ‘being stubborn’ and find myself consistenly reminding my people that, “good enough” is the enemy of EXCELLENCE.
Good morning Dan, great post. I agree with what Martin said, there are times that we see the vision so perfect and detailed that it becomes hard to move forward. Thanks for the points you gave I will take them to heart. Not that I procrastinate, I just get stuck sometimes. Have a great Saturday.
Another piece of great advice. I just purchased the audio version of Platform and look forward to “reading” it next week in the car!
Love to hear what you think when your done.
Leaders, followers, believers, non-believers and anyone else I’ve left out…
All anyone needs to ‘evolve’ is the ability to generate a level of motivation higher than a level not to evolve. A billion published pages by a million leadership gurus won’t change anything about that fact except bank balances, egos and the lives of a few thousand trees.
No 3 – prioritizing what matters, and No 5 – setting high standards seem to often conflict in me. There are so many different ways to do things and to decide what is most important. The subjectivity and creativity of it all can be overwhelming.
I am working on putting together a team of advisors and am hoping that these outside perspectives will help me/us be more focused and clear with our priorities and standards.
Great post Dan, ordered the book and can’t wait to read it. This is indeed a commitment to courage… and one that takes time, thought, and planning…exactly what makes it so hard to get to…indeed and investment in excellence…thanks for the post.
#4 speaks to me.
Listen to your heart. Most of us have spent a lifetime ignoring – or even suppressing – our intuition. I believe intuition is the map to buried treasure. It is not infallible, but neither is our reason.
I think people’s intuitions are the seeds to excellence. Without one’s intuition, along with the ears that listen to that intuition…the flow of ideas STOP. I am no business or organization leader, but I would bet that greatness comes to those who have plenty of people sharing and voicing a variety of ideas. Ideas which grow out of intuition. I could be wrong.
Another marvelous post, Dan!
I love these 6 steps to WOW. However, I think they totally disprove the headline quote.
The truth is mediocrity is totally unnatural. Mediocrity is the consequence of discouragement: the fall back position of a lifetime of being told you should be seen and not heard and so feeling unappreciated, ignored or Irrelevant. However, these steps can help turn it around and ensure that you can make a difference.