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Don’t I do better if I keep pushing myself, knowing I can do better than I just did?

PULL BACK AND REST ON A LAUREL OCCASIONALLY

By Daniel P. Chiodo, President of iMPACT Training & Executive Coaching

You’ve probably been told “Don’t rest on your laurels.” This is meant for those who might keep from accomplishing something better than what they’ve just done by coasting—getting lost in the moment. Saying that phrase sometimes makes sense, but we probably say it more to ourselves than someone else. I do agree that we should consistently push ourselves to the next level so that we get better and better.
But once in a while, we should stop and reflect on how good we really are. It doesn’t have to be long, but why be so hard on ourselves?

This is something I say regularly in the corporate training that I do, as well as executive coaching. I will regularly ask everyone to stop and “rest on an occasional laurel” so that they feel the success of accomplishing something really good.

I live right off of the second hole of a golf course in Florida. Sometimes I will be out on the lanai and notice the golfers drive by, as they hit toward the second hole. At least once each day there will be a few golfers who must be what I’ll call “frustrated golfers.” No matter how well they hit, it’s just not good enough. They could have done better. They seem to be chastising themselves (a few of them use a string of words I haven’t heard for a while) when they hit their shot.
As I watch them I think about my golf game and how I would LOVE to have hit the shot they just did. It would be awesome for me, but for them—it’s just not good enough. I wonder if the really frustrated golfers ever notice it when the temperature is perfect, the sun is warming their bodies, and say, “That shot was magnificent. That was like poetry in motion.” Maybe they do, but I don’t see or hear those reactions very often.
Think about your the work you do. Think about how hard you work. Sometimes we are so involved in the day-to-day; we forget to tell ourselves that we are extraordinary human beings doing extraordinary things. I think you should take time at least once each day to pat yourself on the back for your great contributions to your industry.

Life moves so fast in the business world that the people you report to may not take the time (although they may say they don’t have the time) to catch you doing things right. Or maybe you work out of your home and have no one there to commend you.

Today, pause for a moment and ask yourself this question: How many times have I been a real peak performer today? It could make the world of difference in the great things you will accomplish in the future.



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