The key to success – lower your standards

Yeah, I know you believe the opposite. Since you were a babe-in-arms, you were taught to shoot for the stars and you might reach the moon (or was it the ceiling of your room?)

And so many gurus write so many books - whilst just re-phrasing the same old mantra: believe-and-achieve; and the only one achieving anything is the guru lining his pocket at your expense.

Losing weight or making money – it is all the same. The essence of self-improvement philosophy is that there is always room for improvement and that we should simply set goals and takes some action and success invariably follows.

The reality is somewhat otherwise: only about 1% of ANY population can be classed as super-achievers who are independently wealthy. How many people actually achieve the goals they set?

Have you achieved the goals you set? How many of your new year’s resolutions are still intact? Or more importantly how many have been broken? Anyone who is honest will admit that they MAYBE achieve 1% of the goals they set out to achieve.

The reason for this is not that we are stupid. Or that we don’t ‘take action’. (Granted we do stop taking action after a while, but that is only because our sub-conscious made the call, knowing it was hopeless anyway.)

Breathing does not cause you to live, but it is simply a mechanical process of getting oxygen into your system and if you stop doing it you will probably die. Action is similarly a prerequisite for achievement, but not the cause.

The problem is not lack of action, the problem is unrealistic goals.

How many kids are being pushed on the sports fields by parents who are blind to the lack of natural talent in their own offspring? Everybody else can see it – except the ones in the middle of it.

Maybe you don’t have what it takes to be another Lleyton? Maybe you don’t have it in you to be the next CEO? Maybe you don’t have what it takes to run your own business?

Don’t believe the advertisements. Sometimes you can’t just do it. Sometimes the impossible is just impossible. Life is not just. Life is not perfect. Things go wrong. Everything is not gonna be OK – every time.

What does have to do with a site devoted to starting and running a dynamic business?

  1. Don’t promise things that you can’t deliver.
  2. Don’t tell the customer she looks fabulous in that red dress.
  3. If you can’t get to the customer straight away, don’t say ‘I will be just a sec’ – you won’t be.
  4. Your product isn’t perfect and you buying your service won’t dramatically improve their quality.

Stop bulsh*tting your self and your customers. Take a reality check. Be honest with yourself. Be honest with your stakeholders and customers – it is called authenticity.  

And once you have set the real baseline, work hard (and dare I say it – take action) and grind out small incremental improvements from there.

And miraculously those BHAGs become smaller and closer.

And if you think I am joking, research has proven that your goals should be about ‘getting better’ not about the extreme/ wishful thinking types of goals. Lowering your standards and going for smaller, achievable goals is motivating.