Micromanage yourself out of Mediocrity into Awesomeness

Posted on Friday, July 17th, 2015

In my pocket there is always a sheet of paper with hand written the following list: My Commandments (22-8-2005):

  1. Complete everything that you have started, no matter if it’s important or futile.
  2. Be determined in everything you do.
  3. Don’t give yourself limits or barriers and think always Big.
  4. Think before doing the first step, consider pro and con, but once you made the step, have no regret.
  5. In every situation play a role; don’t settle to be a spectator.
  6. Be honest with yourself and with others.
  7. Demand yourself always the maximum; do not settle for mediocrity and poor results.
  8. Make sure that you come across the way you are. Don’t give people a false image of yourself.
  9. Do not hide if you are shame of something. It won’t disappear and overtime it will hurt more and more. Make sure through your actions you correct the cause of shame.
  10. Make sure you block time of your day for Action in order to turn dreams and ideas into reality.
  11. When you face major problems, do not surrender, step back to reconsider all available options and dive back in with great strength and never-ending energy.

Have you ever felt, at a time in your life, that feeling of falling into your comfort zone and, whatever you do for a living, entering into Mediocrity?

Before wasting valuable time, I have learnt to micromanage myself out of Mediocrity and I’ll share the method that I use.

Nowadays, with the multiplication of material on self-improvement, we should all be able to figure out a way to achieve Awesomeness in our lives. However there are 5 issues that prevent us from getting back on track promptly:

  1. We don’t realise to fall in Mediocrity until it’s too late;
  2. We waste time blaming ourselves for feeling unmotivated;
  3. We don’t know what we really want;
  4. We don’t set simple a simple plan;
  5. We don’t put ourselves in the right condition to successfully get back on track;

Back in Italy my uncle used to cook frogs every summer. One afternoon I was watching him putting half-dozen frogs alive in a pot of water and then putting the pot on a small fire. It looked like taking an incredibly long time to get the job done (and it looked quite cruel) until he explained that if he tried to put a frog alive in hot water, the frog would have jumped out with no hesitation.

We are a bit like frogs: if the pain is not intense enough we keep getting boiled until it’s too late.
To avoid behaving like our “little green friends”, we need to use tools that help us in understanding our true emotions and when things start going in the wrong direction. A good friend of mine, Bard Papegaaij, once shared a questionnaire that need to be answered twice a day for 15 days. It contains questions such as “do you feel you are in the right place?” or “are you surrounded by interesting people?” and 13 others. At the end of the second week you can spot a pattern and this helps you understanding if it’s time for a change to avoid falling into Mediocrity.

An alternative can be keeping a diary and making notes of the highlights of each day. You can find a good number of similar questionnaires online.

The other mistake, when we stop feeling positively challenged by life, is to start blaming ourselves for lack of motivation. This is simply redundant and if we could realize that we are empowered to be who we want to be and do what we want to do, then, we would easily start asking right questions and with a bot of help finding good answers. On this note, there is nothing like doing exercises of mindfulness and meditation. I personally prefer breathing exercises, simple to do anywhere you are and without attracting too much attention.

The third issue is that once we managed to understand that it’s time to change and we gain the resolution to move the first step, we don’t actually know in which direction to start walking!
As part of my personal journey, I have found several ways to discover my roots and direction. It boils down to asking us questions about our Sense of Purpose. I define Sense of Purpose as the result of four factors: Beliefs, Pain and Pleasure, Key- defining moments in our youth and role models.

Understanding each component will give us a good map to understand how we behave and react to change.
Once we understand our Map, we’ll have to define alternative scenarios and understand which one will give us the emotional response that “feels right”.

Through a few exercises of validation we should be able to understand what scenario correspond to our definition of Awesomeness and why it’s worth pursuing the journey to get there.

One major mistake that some of us commit, is to prepare a very detailed plan that becomes outdated the minute we embark on our transformational journey. A good plan needs to have the following characteristics:

  • It need to be simple;
  • It need to lead you towards the desired destination;
  • It need to be flexible enough to adapt to whatever the fate throws at you;As such, I have always prepared a plan including the destination at a specific time (usually I pick 5 years), 1 milestone on the way (usually at 1 or 2 years since the start date) and a few baby steps that need to be achieved in the first few weeks.

Finally we must shape the environment to make our transition as easy as possible, therefore we need to surround ourselves with the right people, live in an exciting environment and have a stake in the change. It’s always a great tool to achieve a successful transformation to have people supporting us and keeping us on track.

Once you turn things into action and action into momentum, everything becomes simpler and smoother.
The “My Commandments list” is just a tool to help me simplify my decisions. There will always be temptations and reasons to steer in different directions, but if we have done a good job setting the desired destination, having a “commandment list” will make it easy to stick to our journey.

It works this way:

  1. Think of everything that frustrates you and prevents you from feeling awesome;
  2. Think of the action that you have to take to turn that around (or ask your mentors for what the solution looks like);
  3. Turn the action into an Imperative and add them to the list;
  4. Learn the list by heart and make it your “life policy”;
  5. Act on it;

You have to stick to your newly created commandments: The Consequence for breaking “Your Commandments” is the feeling of letting yourself down.
This simple method has helped me in the years to kick things into action.
It has also brought me out of Mediocrity and into Awesomeness several times and I hope it can serve you as much as it has served me.

Fulvio Felletti is an entrepreneur, thought leader and author. He lives in Singapore and the best way to contact him is through email [email protected] or social media: @ffellett (Twitter) or Fellettis corporate pages in Linkedin and Facebook.



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