I am eternally grateful for the timely wakeup calls I get every time I slip into complacency, at the wake of an achievement. This is not an uncommon practice for ordinary humans like me.
Upon achieving a feat, we usually heave a sigh of relief and treat our egos to the buffet of accolades and praises that accompany our success. Honestly, this is not as bad as it may sound. In fact, thumbs up for a job well done is well-deserved and necessary validation. But as we feast on and relish these validations, we must be careful not to binge because as satisfying as they can be, their essence is not to fill us up with ourselves but to stir us up for greater works. We must know that with every passing minute, achievements go stale, age and become history. So to remain ever relevant, we must be committed to the unending cycle of becoming more.
Similarly, we must know and note that a high call is usually a precursor to a higher call and our ability to step up and answer each time will come from a genuine dissatisfaction with mediocrity; willingness to compete, not with external forces but, with older versions of ourselves; and a deep desire to discover new limits.
To stretch is to actively engage a burden for increase. But, we must note that increase doesn’t necessarily mean to take up new assignments or embark on more ventures but to intensify productivity and multiply results even if it is only within existing boundaries. What many of us simply need to do is to cut back on assignments and grow significantly in the limited few we’re truly called to do. It is important to utilize the wisdom of conserving and effectively investing our apparently limited time and energy only for and in things that really matter. To stretch is also to devise better and quicker methods of doing what you do for higher definition results.
Here is how to apply S.T.R.E.T.C.H to every area and season of your life.
This speaks to the power of vision. You must visualize and have a mental experience of the expansion you crave for. Like I mentioned earlier, this expansion doesn’t necessary have to be in the volume of work but in the quality and speed of production within a familiar scope. This mental picture gives us a sense of direction and keeps us committed and motivated through the journey to more.
Evaluate your present status and think about the possible processes that will lead to the new end you’ve seen. What methods have brought you this far? What new methods must you adopt and which ones must you replace? What must you do better? How must you prepare for the increase you see? Think, meditate and make notes.
Don’t stop at thinking. Read and research. It will be erroneous to begin a process based on mere intuition. You need information to fuel your innovation and reduce your chances of making irredeemable mistakes. More so, people who have stretched before you and stayed relevant through time have methods and habits that you need to know, modify and adopt. Research and read up similar success stories. Reading increases our knowledge base, the depth and width of our reasoning, and bridges the gap between what we know and what we should know. The people in your world of trade are linked by peculiar conversations, so get updated. Research and read.
To optimize our resources and consistently deliver our best, we cannot operate in isolation. We need the golden touches of the right people. It is important that you find the right people to partner with you and offer you the right help necessary for the new phase you seek. We’ll struggle less and reduce our chances at mistakes when we enlist the right help.
Before you adopt a new modus operandi, you must do a test run. This requires you giving it a trial while you monitor behavior within a specified time frame, to be sure of the potential effectiveness of the new method in delivering expected results. Test!
Now, you need to create a new system that accommodates the new method that has been tested. Work out a strategy that works for you, introduce it and make it work.
Finally, gain mastery of the new level. Stick to it till you hone and own it.
and then, repeat the cycle
I’m excitedly applying this STRETCH procedure to all areas of my life though I constantly remind me of the need to pace myself and not choke on renovations. The good news here is that you too can STRETCH and be more.
Set fire under yourself!
See it. Think it. Read up. Enlist ’em. Test it. Create it. Hone it…and start all over.