Several years ago when I was still living in St.Louis a friend gave me two tickets to the then St.Louis Rams football game. But these were not just two regular tickets, they were tickets to watch the game from the owners box. I won’t go into how differently “big name” people watch a professional football game compared to the rest of us, instead I want to focus on the experience of being allowed onto the field as the players were warming up.
Pro’s Still Emphasize the Basics
Being up close to these professional football players made me realize a couple of things:
1. They really are at another level, physically, than the rest of us. I was a pretty decent athlete, even getting a football scholarship in college. But these guys were just bigger, stronger, and faster than the rest of us. Only a few thousand people out of a country of over 300 million make it to the NFL, and they are amazing physical specimens.
2. In the pre-game warm-up they were doing the same drills I had done in high school, college, and some were drill I had done in little league. The best of the best were still doing the basics to prepare for competition.
I’ve seen this to be true in so many different fields. Top performers in business, music, speaking, leading, ministry, or sports keep their fundamentals fresh and strong. You can build on the basics, the fundamentals, the essentials but you can never leave them if you want to be your best.
The 4 Essentials of On-Going Personal Growth and Development
So what do you need to keep in place to keep growing, improving, and developing? Here are the big 4 .
1. The Right Information. We all know having the right knowledge and information is important in any area of life. Knowing the right way to eat, exercise, build relationships, pray, or do your work can make a huge difference. The challenge is often, getting the RIGHT information, but once you have it you have a great foundation for real growth and improvement.
2. The Right Approach. There are universal principles of growth, positive change, and development that apply to everyone. These principles have been documented through years of study, often involving thousands of people, done by experts who want to know what helps people or stops them from making lasting positive changes. We can all build on those.
HOWEVER, depending on how we are wired, some principles and practices work much better than others. The best approach is based on solid research but applied in a way that fits us personally.
3. The Right Support. Research shows that if you get the right kind of social support, you increase your chances of making positive changes by a minimum of 70%. Getting a growth partner, development focused small group, a mastermind group, or a coach (or a combo of these) is a smart thing to do if you really want to make personal progress.
4. The Right Commitments. We all know there is a night and day difference between wishing and committing. Once we make a determined decision, we increase our likelihood of success in a big way. But there is a Goldilocks range for making the right commitments. If we make too many or too large of commitments, we are almost guaranteed of quitting because they are overwhelming. If they are commitments to the wrong action, that will not get you any closer to your goal. They need to be in the “just right” zone.
If you combine all four of these growth and change essentials, you are just about guaranteed to see positive growth and change take place in your life and work.
The Right Information, the Right Approach, The Right Support, and the Right Commitments will help you become the person you desire to be and do the work you desire to do with excellence and impact.
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