In today’s Wisdom Note, I will ask you, “Why do some people seem to have the ability to get things done — to get results — while others seem to continually spin their wheels?” This is an interesting point to ponder. Clearly, we all have the same amount of time each day. We all have skills and abilities in certain areas. We all have the potential to achieve in our lives in some area.
As we study individuals who seem to achieve more than an average person, there are some common traits that reveal themselves. So, the question arises, “How can you become a high-achiever?” If we desire to be high-achievers, then we need to emulate, not duplicate, those individuals who are. The result-getters have three common qualities or traits: great self-talk, great alliances, and great ability. The complexity of these three traits is part of the mix.
1. Great Self-Talk
Great self-talk is driven by a number of factors including:
- Your personal experiences – positive and negative
- Your environment
- Your personal goals
- The price that you are willing to pay for your success
- Your personal desire to continually improve
- Your minimal concern for what others say about you
- The love that you have for yourself
Together these factors will create in you something that most of us would identify as passion.
The question is, though, “Can passion or drive be taught or acquired, or does it have to be innate?” Many believe that you have to be born with passion. I, on the contrary, do not believe this. There are too many examples today of people who are fanatical and passionate after they have become involved in an organization or movement.
Even the conversion experience within a religious organization shows that one can become passionate about his or her cause. This is proof to me that passion can be taught or learned. If you are not enjoying the results you need or desire, positive self-talk is the first step toward results. What the mind dwells on, the body acts on. Positive self-talk will lead to positivity in your life. Negative self-talk will lead to negativity. Keep in mind, what the mind dwells on, the body acts on.
2. Great Alliances
Great alliances appear in many forms: camaraderie, friendship, partnership, networks, collaborative activities, mastermind groups, and mentorships, depending on the situation. The relationships you enjoy will affect your self-talk and also your abilities. Great alliance relationships are the glue between the first and third steps to results.
Building great relationships comes naturally to some people; however, it is a skill that can also be taught and learned. Some individuals are more naturally shy, so building great relationships may be more difficult, but not impossible. In fact, if you are shy, you will probably build stronger relationships, but maybe with fewer people. You must develop the skills to seek out and establish positive, mutually beneficial relationships.
3. Great Ability
Great ability is more than the sum of one’s God-given talents. Ability is the collective body of your knowledge, skills, experiences, and talent synthesized through your self-talk. The relationships you build greatly affect your ability.
Your abilities come from your practical knowledge and experiences. No one ever knew how to drive a car upon leaving the womb. Similarly, few people knew how to effectively achieve abundant and positive results when they were in third grade. These skills were taught to them. Ability comes from gained knowledge, and skills are achieved as you teach yourself, talk positively to yourself, and form positive relationships with others — paid or reciprocal or through trial and error. Trial and error is costly and time-consuming. It is better to prepare ahead of time.
You can be a person of influence, a person of results. As a Christ follower, I know that if I do what I am capable of, then God will provide me with what I am not capable of.
Psalm 37:3, “Trust in the Lord and do good. Then you will live safely in the land and prosper.”
Proverbs 3:5-6, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.”
Now that we have briefly looked at some common traits of individuals that consistently achieve high-performance results, let’s look at five practical tips that will have positive results instead of excuses for our daily trek.
· Right Things
Be accountable for doing the right things. This means the ethical execution of the activities that will actually support the goals you have chosen for yourself. For instance, if you are managing a team or leading a group or your family, you must model this skill by doing the right things yourself. You must then empower each person you are impacting to identify his or her own right things, and you must be willing to communicate about what’s working and what isn’t in an open, transparent way at all times.
· New Opportunities
Be accountable for managing your new opportunities. This means being willing to step away from things that are comfortable for you to make room for something that may be better. Yes, this is a risk, but it’s one that successful, results-driven people take because the return can be positive overall. Managing your opportunities takes time and practice. Sticking with old habits causes you to repeat many behaviors and initiatives that aren’t what you really want.
Be accountable for yourself when you hit an obstacle. It is inevitable that you will encounter adversity and setbacks when you pursue your goals. The question is “How will the adversities and setbacks affect you?” Will they keep you from making creative new approaches to attain your goal?
Be accountable for establishing the right expectations. The targets you set for yourself will have a huge impact on your actual achievement. How will you set the targets for yourself and those you impact? Will you set them based on old habits or what is possible? Will you set them too high, too low, or in the ideal zone where the goal is a healthy stretch?
Be accountable for your relationships and your contributions to them. The human touch in any relationship is the “lubricant” that makes communication possible and empowers individuals, groups, and organizations to accomplish great things. Without accountability for supporting and contributing to the relationship, there can be no true leadership, no effective implementation, and no result unless you are accountable for results.
So you need to “keep on keeping on,” as is referred to in Hebrews 10:35-36, “So do not throw away this confident trust in the Lord. Remember the great reward it brings you! Patient endurance is what you need now, so that you will continue to do God’s will. Then you will receive all that he has promised.”