I am sure I have touched on this subject before, but have you ever heard the phrase “You have to be prepared to do what others are not prepared to do, to have what others will never have” – or something similar? Well I used to think what that meant was – you have to be prepared to work longer and harder than everyone else if you want what they don’t have.
Well, here’s the thing.
That’s not it.
I worked harder and longer than most other people I know for 30 years, and guess what? Well, maybe I was more successful than some people and less than many more – because working harder and longer is NOT the answer.
Sure, there are times when you need to put the hours in, there are times you might need to burn the midnight oil. But that should NOT be the norm or you are definitely doing something wrong.
I have come to realise that what was meant by that statement is that you have to BE prepared to do what others are not. You have to BE different. You have to BE prepared to BE and DO things differently – which occasionally might mean being prepared to work till 2am to finish something for a deadline, but mostly what it means is stepping outside your comfort zone.
It means putting yourself on the line.
Because you see, when you start doing things differently, when you start ‘being’ different, people won’t like it. As you re-invent yourself into the person you want to be, the person who is growing and developing continually, the person who is rising above the average – THEN you will get people who don’t like it.
This could be your friends and family. It’s a bit like being a parent. At some stage in their lives, your kids go from thinking you are actually God, and that everything you say is the absolute truth – to thinking that you have NO CLUE about life and anything you say must automatically be wrong.
I had this the other day with my son. He wanted to move the furniture in his room about. Now I am actually a very spatially aware person – apparently that’s normally harder for a girl (something to do with testosterone enabling better mental vision of 3D objects). I have already optimised the space in his room – believe me! However, my son was convinced I knew nothing…….until he realised that even a 15 year old boy cannot bend the rules of physics and make something fit where it won’t go!
Well, in the same way when you start to do things differently there will be people who love you who don’t like it. They either worry that you are going to fail, and they are trying to protect you. Or they think – oh it’s just Mum/Carole/my sister – what does she know? Or, they don’t like the thought of how your change might change things for them.
For people who don’t know you as well – friends and acquaintances – the situation gets worse, they actively act like crabs in a bucket – pulling you down. People might think “Who does he / she think she is?”. They may try and throw cold water on what you are trying to achieve, create doubts to stop you moving forward.
And that brings me back to the phrase about being prepared to do what others aren’t – because when you work harder or longer other people can get their heads around that – they may object (if they are a long suffering partner) but they won’t be scared by what you are doing. But that’s very different to being prepared to BE different from everyone else.
What most people ARENT prepared to do, is step out of the crowd and change. They are afraid of rocking the boat. They are worried that they aren’t good enough. They listen to the inner critic and the outer critic. So, they will bitch and moan about their lives and blame and criticise others.
Because when you look at the people that are very successful (in whatever terms that means for them) they have had to make changes. They have had to step out of what is comfortable for them and for everyone else, and they have had to step into the unknown. They are game changers. They get stuff done. They get MORE done.
And the reason they get more done is because they understand that to get more done what they DON’T have to do is work harder or longer, what they DO have to do is BE different, think differently and therefore do things differently.
There are many examples of this all around us. James Dyson wanted to make the worlds best vacuum cleaner. What he didn’t set out to do was to make existing vacuum cleaners work better or harder. He created something different.
He used his genius, his vision, his core ability – to create something new. Did he face opposition – of course! Did he let it stop him? Nope. And because of that he got more done. If he had made a slightly better version of a Hoover, he may have made a few sales. But by stepping out of the comfortable, and being different – he got MORE done. He created a whole new concept, and developed a huge market for it.
So – are you being busy or are you getting more done? Are you working harder or are you stepping out of your comfort zone? Are you being prepared to work more hours, or are you prepared to think differently, BE different and therefore DO things differently, so that you can change more lives and get more done?