The Danger of Aiming for an “A”
Last week I shared what I believe to be the greatest success principle ever uncovered in this post, Nothing Succeeds Like Failure.
If you missed that one, it’s worth a look because A) It’s great and absolutely true and B) It will offer some texture to this message.
Following the dinner with Mr. Billionaire (mentioned in previous post) I was discussing with my friends the fine line between success and failure when one of my friends says,
“We spend our life growing-up, trying to get an ‘A’. Then we opt to be our own boss to aim for the achievement of being a self-made successful man—and find ourselves acting out our life of training, aiming for A’s on everything.”
What an excellent point!
Consider the the highest paid athletes in the world are celebrated if they can hit a ball 2-3 times in 10. And even more so if they hit it out of the park 4-5 times in a 100.
Then imagine the self-defeating paralysis an athlete would get into if their standard was 90%. It’s not realistic for them but we expect near perfection here, with our own lives.
The typical driven performer or entrepreneur is carrying his most pressuring parent on one shoulder and his most demanding professor on another—trying to prove his worth by getting an A while telling himself, and everyone else who will listen that he’s swinging for the fences.
Think about it. It’s just not possible. Right. You can’t be trying to be good enough, aka safe, and let ‘er rip at the same time. No one ever hit a home run without being fully relaxed and present to the swing.
I’ve no doubt it feels like you’re swinging “hard!” It should because it is hard to swing at all when you’re worried about performance, about making the cut.
My experience tells me that most of us who haven’t come to allow or even embrace failure are still short-arming it, muscling the ball and really just trying to get a few balls in play–regardless of the heroic story we’ve made up to feel better about our lack of compassion and constriction.
How’s your swing at success going? Are “trying hard” to not miss a ball or are you having fun, swinging freely and truly expecting a few home runs?
What’s your experience? I’d love to hear…
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