Everyday you wake up, you wish for something better.
Maybe you think that if you lived in a different part of the world, things would be better.
Maybe you think if you had more money, things would be better.
Maybe you think if you had a better looking partner, things would be better.
A problem that many mediocre people are plagued by is they wish too much.
They are too busy with their head in the clouds and they aren't spending enough time rolling up their sleeves in order to put in the necessary work it takes to become a top performer. The people at the top have put in the time to get where they are.
It's a problem us creatives deal with on a constant basis — we get so caught up in the "what if's" that sometimes we forget about shortcuts that might be in front of us. I've been there for years.
But what if there was a secret no one was telling you about?
Those top performers have one inefficiency clouding their judgement that allow you to skyrocket past their station.
So let's take a look at how this is all possible…
The human need for status and achievement
Workaholics who climb their way through the ranks of achievement have a number of things in common.
But one characteristic above all stands out: the need for status.
In order to navigate the economy that we're destined to play, their is a psychological and practical need to elevate our status within the hierarchical structures.
People spend years of their life sacrificing family, friends, and leisure to gain these unimaginable heights.
If you're an entrepreneur or artist, you are all to well aware of the sacrifice and struggle.
Titans of enterprise and art forged a similar to path to get where they are. The Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Elon Musks of the world were all lowly servants to enterprise and art once upon a time. Their tenacity and resolve helped propel them to where they are.
They were disrupters.
They were fighting the Goliath systems that were already in place and they won.
How did they win?
In order to pick this victory apart, we can borrow a bit from ancient myths…
Using the power of myth to your advantage
Many people are away of the story of Icarus.
"[…] like Icarus who, flying close to the sun, forgot that his wings were made of wax, we should be wary when triumphant ideas seem unassailable, for then there is all the more reason to predict their downfall.”
— Oscar Wilde
Once the Titan has achieved their monumental success, they become blind (this coincides why in Greek mythology, the Giant was always a cyclops — they weren't always seeing the whole picture with their larger stature).
When you are the lowly startup or the struggling artist, you have speed and resourcefulness on your side. The enterprise has bureaucracy and processes that will slow them down.
Here we can see that the enterprise's or individual you're competing with's need for status and remaining at the highest height can blind them to the quickness and resilience of your pursuit.
And there's another story that will help us out on this lesson…
Why being small now is a good thing
The story of David and Goliath paints us the picture of how a small but quick warrior is able to best the greatest and most powerful brute of all the land.
Even with the odds stacked against him, David is able to best the Goliath in combat by using his speed, resourcefulness and changing the game that was being played in combat.
Goliath was big and strong. He used hand to had combat. In all of his battles, he was never bested.
David on the other hand was a good fighter but stood no chance to the prowess of Goliath. So what did he do?
He changed the game that was being played.
"Once you understand that Goliath is much weaker than you think he is, and David has superior technology, then you say: why do we tell the story the way we do? It becomes, actually, a far more meaningful and important story in its retelling than in the kind of unsophisticated way we’ve done it for, I think, too long."
— Malcolm Gladwell
Why you’re still not getting anywhere
So what’s the point of all of this — sure, on paper a lowly startup might have the speed and agility and lack of blindspots to scale to a top performer.
But how do I actually take action in order to achieve this?
Amy Morin, author and psychotherapist argues,
“Once you believe something — whether it’s a political belief or a belief about yourself — you’ll filter out evidence to the contrary. Someone who believes they’re stupid, for example, may chalk up a good grade on a test to luck or she may declare her success is a random fluke.”
And as we progress through life, we hold onto these beliefs as if they were and are us — when in fact they are just a construct of ideas we’re convinced are real.
So what beliefs are still holding you back?
You learned about yourself from various sources over the years — tests you took, feedback you received from teachers, what your parents said to you, and how your peers treated you. And there’s a good chance you developed some inaccurate self-limiting beliefs along the way.
Take time to consider which beliefs might be limiting your potential.
Your tool belt to becoming a top performer
“The worst thing one can do is not to try, to be aware of what one wants and not give in to it, to spend years in silent hurt wondering if something could have materialized — never knowing.”
― Jim Rohn
You have what they don't have — the quickness to scale the ladder and become the top 1% in your field.
Even if you aren't up against the Goliath per se; maybe you are up against an army of other mediocre creatives or middle-level leaders, you still have the quickness and new technology to outlast the competition.
The top is a lonely place. In that loneliness, complacency builds.
This is your opportunity to strike.
This is your opportunity to scale and become the top performer in your industry.
Perhaps you are smarter than think and more capable than you give yourself credit for.
If all of that is true (which it very well could be) what do you have to lose?
You are in a point right now where the odds are in your favor if you can get out of your head and truly believe that that Best Selling book that you want to write and publish can be a reality.
That the woman you see on the train (cliche, I know) can really be yours if you just talk to her. That you can build and develop and app that will take undrinkable ocean water and help quench the entire Earth (too much science fiction?).
So look the Goliath in the eyes and throw the first stone.
Victory is yours.
👋🏻Hey there — I’m Jon
I’m a thinker, freelance ghostwriter and wine lover who writes articles about personal growth and psychological optimization. I also preach about monetizing your writing. Join over 1,200 readers getting my FREE Personal 6 day “Entre-Blogging” Course and my ongoing newsletters: