How To Be So Good They Can’t Ignore You
You think you aren’t good enough, but YOU ARE. You think you can’t do it, but YOU CAN. You think it’s too late, but IT’S NOT.
Here’s 3 ways you can be so good they look stupid doubting you.
1. Be unstoppable
2. Be your own standard
3. Be a lifelong learner
Let’s unpack these one by one.
1) Be unstoppable
You are more capable than you realize — much more in fact.
For example, I hardly spoke Japanese in my early 20s. Yet, my ambition was to move to Japan, learn the language, and work as a designer.
What on earth is Lucy thinking? She’s too old to learn a second language! How can she find a job without Japanese skills? She doesn’t have a CV much less a Design Portfolio!
Did I let anyone dampen my aspirations?
No, I did not. As soon as I graduated, I jetted off on a crazy, big adventure to the land of the rising sun.
Did I learn Japanese as fast as I expected.
No, I did not. I imagined I would soak up the language like a human sponge. Did it happen? Nope.
Did I find work as a designer right away?
No, I did not. I worked as an English teacher and in sales before I found my niche with Japan’s Dot-com crowd.
Did I allow these setbacks to derail me?
No, I definitely did not. You see I have something the “Haters” and “Naysayers” do not realize.
I have GRIT in spades.
Grit is an ability to “stay the course” over long periods despite setbacks.
In life, there are no shortcuts to any place worth going. You need to put in the hours. You need to focus on the process more than the end result.
The road to success is paved with opportunities cleverly disguised as potholes.
Here’s how I extracted myself from a series of “potholes” and set about achieving my goals.
First, I woke up from “La La Land” and smelt the coffee.
Japanese is a complex language. After a year, I recognized the futility of self-study. I enrolled at a university in Tokyo where I studied for two more years. To fund my studies, I continued to teach English on the side.
Upon graduation, a Japanese manufacturer hired me. I was the only native English-speaker at the firm. It was a case of sink or swim — as it turned out, I didn’t drown :)
By my mid 20s, I was halfway toward my goal. I was competent in written and spoken Japanese and on track for a dynamic career, albeit in sales.
My next step was to transition into a creative role.
This involved several “power moves” over 18 months as follows.
- I taught myself HTML and revamped my company’s website.
- I designed a logo for a colleague’s fledgling Startup.
- I connected up with Japan’s Dot-com crowd (via introductions and networking events).
- I worked pro bono to create a portfolio of client work.
- I landed a paid gig developing logos and UX design for blue-chip corporates including Rakuten Ichiba, the largest e-Commerce site in Japan.
Thanks to grit I became a fluent speaker of Japanese.
Thanks to a healthy dose of gumption, I have worked in a series of dynamic and creative roles based in Tokyo.
Be unstoppable. Just because someone else can’t do it doesn’t mean you can’t. Other people’s limits are not yours. You have NO LIMITS except those in your own mind.
2) Be your own standard
There are a handful of rules I have followed throughout my life. One of them is the 1% rule.
The 1% rule
I aim to improve by an incremental 1% every time. The classic scenario is running. Eight years ago, I took up running. I went from running 1km to a full marathon over a 2-year period.
Were there naysayers?
Yes, of course.
Did I listen to them?
No I did not. Training for 2013 Tokyo Marathon was a life changing experience for me.
In 2016, I ran Tokyo Marathon again. I blitzed my previous time by over 10 minutes.
Were there naysayers the second time round?
Yes. I have taken them off my Christmas card list.
3) Be a lifelong learner
As a young designer, learning to code taught me how to think. It enabled me to use my creative skills in an exciting and meaningful way that also paid my rent. It was a win-win outcome!
One thing I am sure of the world is changing.
Technology is transforming the way we live and work. People with an aptitude for “deep work” that cannot be automated will be in high demand in the new economy.
The illiterates of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn. — Alvin Toffler
In the new economy, your ability to come up with FRESH and ORIGINAL IDEAS is what gives you a competitive edge. Why? Because it is the one-thing robots may NEVER be able to do.
Be a lifelong learner. Don’t lower your standards to fit into this world. The world would be a dreary, old place without creative people!
Things to never stop doing
To become the person you KNOW you can be.
Never stop learning
Never stop growing
Never stop striving
Never stop pushing
You are your only limit.
When I look back over my life, I could never predict where I am now. I am excited that 6 months from now I will be doing something I never imagined today. This motivates me to try new things.
Once you see results it becomes an addition!
Originally published on my Medium profile.
Thank you for reading!
Break free from pesky ruts by shifting your perspective.medium.com