Friday, May 17, 2013

The Key To Long-Term Success



To be successful, many people believe that they must be perfect. Not only is this assumption false, it is impossible to be perfect. Mistakes happen and the sooner we recognize this, the sooner we can focus on the true key to success over the long-term: being teachable. In the words of Dani Johnson Secret Millionaire star and entrepreneur extraordinaire, “perfection can only come through correction.” To advance in a career or entrepreneurial venture, we must make correction a part of our lives.

When we expect ourselves to be perfect, we actually make more mistakes. The pressure to achieve perfection stresses us out, negatively affecting our creativity and efficiency. Most bosses do not expect their staff to be perfect. They simply expect workers to do their best every time. Good bosses pull out the best aspects of each person in their charge. They create teams of people who complement each other’s weaknesses.

When a boss or co-worker points out our mistakes, we should be thankful not defensive. Our refusal to acknowledge our faults is insubordinate behavior that is downright dishonorable. Someone who rebels in this way is not teachable. Each of us needs correction because it helps us learn and grow. Correction helps us advance in our careers and businesses so we should welcome it. Without correction, we will never achieve the success we desire.

Correction relieves the pressure to be perfect. To receive it, we must be teachable. Only people who are teachable learn from the mistakes they make. Those who are not will continue to make the same mistakes. Being teachable requires putting aside the ego and having a willingness to learn from our co-workers, bosses, and others who help us adapt, adjust, or change. We need these folks because they help us get to the next level in life. We should welcome their input, not shun them when they point out our errors.

Some people struggle through life because they believe they make too many mistakes. The pressure of perfection can become overwhelming. We can relieve them of this burden and provide the encouragement they need to succeed. By helping others to become teachable, we help ourselves. Not only will this change their lives for the better, it will also affect ours in a positive way. Whether at home or work, our teams will become more cohesive and productive.

We cannot make others change their outlook or way of conducting themselves. However, we can model what it means to be teachable and hope that they receive the message. The sooner people relieve themselves of the pressure to be perfect, the better off they and those around them will be. Each person will help the other to succeed, not hold each other back.

This may seem like an intangible change but the results can be measured. When people relieve themselves of a perfection mentality and become teachable, they rise to the top. This shows in the quality and quantity of their work. They become more efficient, productive, and achieve their goals. Everyone should want to be in this position.

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