Of course it is highly illogical to wait until the beginning of a year to start making improvements to the way you live your life. So if you are one of those who thinks New Year’s resolutions are silly, I hear you. But one thing I have learned about life is that what is logically correct is not always ideal. Sometimes an illogical approach works better at least for some people and I think New Year’s resolutions sort of fit into that category. They help me so I do them.
I want to give you a little something to help in a second but want to tell a story first. Last week, I talked to an old friend from college and he was telling me about someone we both knew. He was a brilliant student in my major (computer science). I was a good student but he was exceptional. In fact, he was easily the smartest person in that area that I ever went to school with and probably one of the smartest software developers I ever have known.
So when I asked my friend about that person, I was expecting to hear great things about what he has done since college. But the truth is different; that person has had trouble holding down jobs. He has been fired from jobs in fact because he can’t complete tasks.
I know other people like that and I bet you do too. I know musicians that can play circles around me that the world will never get to hear. They have staggering talent but they are missing something that keeps them from being exceptional in real life.
As you are doing those resolutions, I want to remind you of a few things.
1) Everybody has the capacity to be exceptional at something.
2) Talent is not enough to make you exceptional at anything.
If you want to be exceptional at something, you need talent but just as importantly, you need drive. Drive is the word I use but you could use another word like “discipline.” You get the idea regardless. Drive is what makes you work hard; drive is what makes you take risks; drive is making things happen regardless of circumstances.
Look at the people you know well and I guarantee you can easily place them into the quadrants of this diagram. It is very easy to do so.
It really comes down to this: if you want to be exceptional at something in 2014, figure out where your talent is and then drive yourself to improve and use it to your utmost ability.
Those are the New Year’s resolutions worth making.