Stop Trying to Be Good at Things
Stop being good at many things and start being GREAT at a few things. Looking at the 24 hours in each day, we have all been given the same amount of hours to accomplish whatever we want. How this time is used is what separates the people who are good at something from the people who are great. In order to truly become great at something, you are going to have to focus and obsess over it to master it.
Anyone who has ever achieved greatness has learned that mastery only comes through intense focus, repetition, and obsession. However, most people, by default, are perpetually distracted by all of the ‘potential opportunities’ out there that they never become great at anything. Today I give you permission to stop focus-hopping and to become a master of something, just one thing.
Two tips on how to accomplish greatness…
- Be Eccentric: Excellence and greatness demand focus, which requires saying no. When you start saying no, people will get offended. You will be called rude, inconsiderate, a workaholic, but ultimately people won’t understand your logic or your why. Steve Jobs says it best, “It is only by saying no that you can concentrate on the things that are really important.” Saying no does not have to be a bad thing. How many times have you found yourself at a child’s birthday party for a family you barely know? Oftentimes we will say yes out of a fabricated obligation but will ultimately end up resenting the person who invited us. Instead, you could have had an “uncomfortable” 5-minute conversation of saying no and avoided wasting your time. It is OKAY to say no to invites, it is okay to tell people you don’t want to go out and party, and it is okay that you would rather focus on developing yourself. Get comfortable with having uncomfortable conversations.
- Obsess on it: You can be good at a ton of things, you can learn a wide range of topics that only go so deep but mastery is different. To be great at something is going to require more from you. Albert Einstein says, “Only one who devotes himself to a cause with his whole strength and soul can be a true master. For this reason mastery demands all of a person”. Look at the G.O.A.T.s (greatest of all time) in any industry and study them. All of them have spent countless hours studying and obsessing about the particular topic or industry that they are known for. Obsession is defined as, “the domination of one’s thoughts or feelings by a persistent idea, image, desire, etc.” (Dictionary.com). I believe that whatever you obsess over, or whatever your mind is mentally engaged on, that is what grows.
Be intentional with what you say yes to, where you spend your time, and what you are focused on. Stop just being good at things, and start being great!