Paula and I have been working on the front edge of technology for over 35 years and have always been acclimated to rapid changes in the market, it appears to me that we are just on the front end of the most rapid and radical change in world economics than in any time in history. This change will provide a lot of opportunities for individuals and small businesses to compete in a global market. I see a rise in entrepreneurship throughout the world that was unimagined just a few years ago. There will be a lot of individuals that are very successful, but there will be a lot of casualties also.
The bar to enter the market is becoming lower, but as with any time in business, it will take skill, forward-thinking, and dynamic flexibility to survive. Many very large and established businesses and industries will also become casualties to this rapidly changing global economy. We must all be prepared for it both from a consumer and from a business perspective.
On our trek in life, we need to be prepared to effectively hike through these radical and ever-changing landscapes that we will be forced to traverse. None of us can afford to be stuck in the ruts of mediocrity as the rest of the people in the world rapidly pass us by. We need wisdom and hope to make the journey. Today we have six trails to hike from the valley of mediocrity to the summit achievement and success as we scale to new heights in our lives.
In order to grow in wisdom and prepare for these changes that will impact all of us, we need to understand that hope is the foundational principle of all change. People change because they have hope for something better, and if you do not have hope, you will not change.
Where does our hope come from? As a person of faith, my hope comes from the Lord, as is mentioned Psalms 37:34, “Put your hope in the Lord. Travel steadily along his path. He will honor you by giving you the land. You will see the wicked destroyed.”
So, let’s get started on our hike through the six trails out of the valley of mediocrity to the summit of positive change.
Trail #1: Changing your thinking leads to changing your beliefs.
Change begins with the mind. Beliefs are nothing more than a byproduct of what you have thought about long enough or something that you have “bought into” — always remember that. What you believe and what you think are just a collection of continual thoughts that have formed themselves into a conviction or value. When you break down the process of thinking into a manageable number of steps, you reduce the perceived risk associated with change.
Trail #2: Changing your beliefs leads to changing your expectations.
A belief is the knowledge that we can do something. It is the inner feeling that what we can undertake, we can accomplish. For the most part, all of us have the ability to look at something and know whether we can do it. So in belief, there is power. Our eyes are opened, our opportunities become plain, and our visions become realities. Our beliefs control everything we do. If we believe we can or we believe we cannot, we are correct.
Trail #3: Changing your expectations leads to changing your attitude.
Your expectations are going to determine your attitude. Most people get used to mediocre; they get used to second best. Nelson Boswell said, “The first and most important step toward success is the expectation that we can succeed.”
Trail #4: Changing your attitude leads to changing your behavior.
When our attitudes begin to change or when we become involved with something, our behavior begins to change. The reason that we have to make personal changes is that we cannot take others on a hike that we have not yet made.
Trail #5: Changing your behavior leads to changing your performance.
Most people would rather live with old problems than new solutions. We would rather be comfortable than correct; we would rather stay in a routine than make changes. Even when we know that the changes are going to be better for us, we often don’t make them because we feel uncomfortable or awkward about making that kind of a change. Until we get courage and get used to living with something that is not comfortable, we cannot get any better.
Trail #6: Changing your performance leads to changing your life.
It is easier to turn failure into success than an excuse into a possibility. You can fail and then turn around and understand your failure to make it a success. But, if you make excuses for everything, you will never truly succeed. You know some people who just have an excuse for everything? Why they could not, should not, did not, would not, have not, or will not. When you excuse what you are doing and excuse where you are, and you allow the exceptions to overtake the situation, you fail to reach your potential. It is impossible to turn excuses into possibilities.
To successfully travel on all six of these trails, you do not need to be a superior person but, rather, a person with superior self-discipline as quoted by one of my mentors Bryan Tracy, “With self-discipline, the average person can rise as far and as fast as his talents and intelligence can take him. But without self-discipline, a person with every blessing of background, education and opportunity will seldom rise above mediocrity.”
The changes we face in our lives and the trails that we will need to travel in the rapidly changing landscape of the world over the next few years will not be easy, but we can persevere to reach the summit. God’s Word gives us this assurance.
Proverbs 21:5, “Good planning and hard work lead to prosperity, but hasty shortcuts lead to poverty.”
Galatians 6:9, “So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up.”