W.I.N. Wednesday: Words are important.
There is a well known and highly respected personal development guru who advocates that people develop an “obsession and monomaniacal focus on being BIW (Best in World)”. I highly respect all he has accomplished and all the people he has influenced. (He certainly has far greater influence than I do.) I have followed his work for a long time and have read enough of his books and blogs and watched his videos to know what he is getting at, but I have concerns with the message for a number of reasons.
1. Too many people just lock on to the sound bite or take messages like this at face value and fail to watch the whole video and do the reading, research and reflection to understand all the elements and nuances of the message. On face value a Monomaniacal Focus and an Obsession imply that you do this to the exclusion of everything and everyone else in your life. I am sure you can think of people who have done this at the cost of their marriage, their family and other relationships, and sometimes their health.
2. To be Best in World means being The Best. If you are striving to be The Best you tend to see your peers and team members either as competition or as stepping stones to achieve your goal of being The Best. As a result you tend to withhold information, resources and credit from them.
3. How do you measure Best in World? You might be able to determine who the richest person in the world is, but does that mean they are Best in World in financial planning and management? There are people who hold world records so in that particular event they could be considered Best in World. But, what about the rest of us? Is being Best in World, as a parent, a leader, a spouse, a teacher, a mentor, a role model, or any other role in your life an achievable or realistic goal?
4. It is too easy to give up when your goal is to be Best in World. It is too easy to tell yourself, “I will never be The Best. I can never achieve Best in World, so why bother.”
What if, instead of trying to be The Best, you continually strove to be Your Best? What if every day you made the commitment to be a little better than the day before? What if every day you showed up and did the work to continually be a better version of yourself? What if every day you spent at least 10 minutes reading non-fiction books? What if you used your commute time as an opportunity to listen to audio books, podcasts or other educational material? What if every day you spent at least 30 minutes working out and incorporated regular movement into the rest of your day? What if every day you worked on being more mindful in your interactions, activities and relationships? What if you practiced self compassion when you failed or screwed up and instead of beating yourself up, you allowed yourself to be human and sought to embrace the lessons and learning points from the experience? What if you shared information, resources and credit with your peers and teammates?
As author James Clear points out in his book Atomic Habits the small incremental improvements every day (he recommends striving for 1% improvements daily) compound over time and result in massive improvements.
Some will say, “Willis, you are being picky. It is just semantics. You are saying the same thing.” It is never “just semantics”. Words have power and we need to be careful with the words we use. Sometimes a simple change in language can change the meaning completely.
What’s Important Now? Strive to continually be Your Best, not The Best.
Maximizing human potential through Life's Most Powerful Question - What's Important Now?
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