We imagine success to be a destination, A paradise in which you can permanently reside without the trials and tribulations of life.
However, those of us that have set foot on its shores know it to be more of a luxury resort, and yes to stay you need to pay. As the saying goes “success is rented” and when the rent is due you need to be able to pay.
Therefore to extend the vacation, we need to shift the focus from “How to get there” to “How to stay there”. Maintaining your success and keeping the momentum going is one of the toughest tasks faced by individuals operating in the sphere of success. Maintaining your success is more important if you are an early bloomer and is even more important if you are a late bloomer. In the former you need to constantly battle to hold your gains over a longer period of time and in the latter you need to defend your gains from an ever increasing competition who seems to begetting younger. So, what do you need ?
Two words “ Student mentality”
“The secret to maintaining your success is to suppress the feeling of labeling yourself as the master. Yes, it’s an oxymoron. In order to maintain and become more successful than what you already are, you need to feel that you aren’t as successful as you should be.”
If you consider yourself to be a student this means you’re open to learning and growth. which in turn means you have yet another mountain to climb, when you consider yourself a master then your learning stops, which means your vertical momentum is at a stand still. Which is bad , because you always , ALWAYS want to be climbing up.
TOP 3 Tips to maintain a student mentality when you are at the top of your game.
- Pick the right benchmark: We often stop learning when we feel that we have achieved the status or levels of individuals we benchmarked ourselves against when we started our journey. Once you’re at the top of your game, you need to find a new benchmark(s). What this means is that you might have to look outside your industry, organisation or social circle. If you are at the top of your game you would most likely be at the apex, with everybody else looking upto you and with you having no one else to look up to. venture out of your comfort zone and try to find individuals that in some form or way are performing and achieving at a higher frequency.
What to do : Social organisations such as Toastmasters , Rotary, and Lions provide an excellent platform to meet many individuals from different backgrounds that can act as new benchmarks. I consciously make time to reach out and connect with individuals who possess a Skill, Attribute or a Trait that I would like to develop through such social platforms.
- Avoid association bias : One of the things that happen when you are at the top of your game is that people start to praise you. Admit it, it can be addictive. What happens thereafter is that you surround yourself with people that validate you and see the best in you, no matter what you do. Your inner circle and your team become an extension of your fans. This can make you myopic in the long run and skew your own self perception.
What to do : Have people that are constructively critical of you and tell you what you need to hear. If you make openness and candour part of your personality you will get a tonne of input that will always keep you ahead of your competition. I have a mentor for different facets of my life, business , wellbeing and speaking. I constantly involve them in my life so that they have enough insight to give me the candid feedback I need to improve my performance both on and off the stage.
- Cross transference of skills: Engage in projects or take up a hobby that is new to you. Every year do something in which you feel like you are a “fish out of water” when you engage in activities that are out of your comfort zone you brain automatically goes back to student mode. You are effectively training your brain to learn again. More often than not you will learn a significant number of things that you can apply in your own domain.
What to do : Look for projects and hobbies that compliment what you do, Many years ago I took up dancing, and the confidence and body control I learnt from dancing helped me immensely in my speaking and stage presence. Recently I took up Karate, and though starting from scratch feels and looks daunting am already improving my recall memory. Because I practice kata’s on daily basis, recalling stage movements positions before an important keynote has now become much easier.
Being a student is all about staying humble, humble enough to keep learning and growing. The most progressive leaders in the world consider themselves to be students of their craft well after their peers have labelled them as masters. It is the ultimate demonstration of knowledge and wisdom. To say and feel that you have so much to learn when the world around you considers you to be the source of their answers.