Here’s a message from one of my Facebook and LinkedIn followers:
What Makes Me Thrive Under Pressure
Excellence is a personal choice. I cannot outsource it.
If your pursuit of excellence is primarily driven by other people’s expectation of you, you will have a lower pain threshold and you won’t last long — you will switch courses if you’re a student; you’ll go job-hopping if you’re an employee, you’ll close business soon if you’re a startup entrepreneur.
But if your mantra is “I am and will continue to be an excellent human being!”, other people’s expectation of you won’t cause you an intolerable psychological pain.
When I was in college, I was exempted to take the final exams in some of my subjects. A typical person is supposed to treat that as an ego-boosting experience. Unfortunately, I didn’t have that feeling.
It was super difficult to be “different” not by choice, especially when I still didn’t understand why everyone behaves the same.
I asked my professor to let me take the exams instead. Few of my professors allowed me, but many of them just gave me a furrowed brow and, perhaps, they thought I was an attention-seeking alien.
Why was I like that?
It was because I wanted to break my personal record in terms of perfecting a major exam within a period shorter period.
I deliberately put myself in a fiery furnace.
A self-imposed pressure is lighter than the same pressure demanded by other people.
My professors believed I was great.
I believed that I could be better than just being great.
Do I still possess the same mindset today?
Yes, but fiercer – and that leads me to the answer to your second question.
How I Attract Like-minded People
How do I attract people, who possess the same mindset as mine, to work with me?
I tell upfront that I have an all-or-nothing or do-or-die personality, figuratively and literally. Take it or leave it.
Sometime in 2011 or 2012, when I decided to become a full-time digital entrepreneur, I decided to build a business, from scratch, with a fully-functional dynamic website in 3 days.
That included the graphics design, website design, content writing, logo design, or, let me just say, everything you’ll find on a website.
I literally did not sleep and did not take a bath for 2 days.
I accomplished my goal in less than 72 hours.
I am not expecting a commendation or a round of applause from you when I say that.
In fact, most people would give me a smirk or a thumbs down because of my unorthodox personality. If you don’t know me personally, you would think I’m only boasting or blowing my horn.
Being aware that I see and perceive things totally different than what a typical human being sees and perceives, I’ve learned how to base my self-worth primarily either on who I think I am or what I think I can become.
Has this been my basis for self-worth since the beginning?
Well, I tried to blend in at first, but I felt I was trying to learn how to walk on water.
So I stopped trying to blend in and and remained standing out.
A normal person is an advocate of “work-life balance”.
I disagree with that cliche for two reasons.
Firstly, work is part of life. You don’t treat the two as though they’re two independent chemical elements in a periodic table.
Secondly, do you really think you can achieve “balance” in your decisions to the truest and literal meaning of that word?
I’ve been walking on the face of the Earth for 30-something years and I don’t need to walk another 30-plus years just for me to realize that SACRIFICE is an omni-present element of a decision, big or small.
When you decide in favor of something, you’re automatically sacrificing another thing.
Where there’s sacrifice, there’s imbalance. Imbalance doesn’t necessarily mean chaos.
I believe in “harmony of decisions” instead. Harmony doesn’t demand balance but understanding and mutual agreement.
For example, my wife and I have had a mutual agreement that working from home as a full-time digital entrepreneur is far from working only 4 hours a week, going on vacation every weekend, sipping a tropical cocktail with a toothpick umbrella at the beach, and using hashtag #blessed.
I work 90 to 110 hours per week.
When I use or say the word “work”, it’s not something like I’m saying, “Oh, good Lord, it’s morning” instead of “Good morning, Lord!”
I don’t just look forward to Friday, Saturday, or Sunday. I look forward to every single day!
My five fingers are more than enough to count the members of my core group in business.
If I have to shove excellence down into your throat for you to up your game, I’m going to weed you out of my core group sooner than you might think.
Excellence is a personal disposition.
I might entertain the idea of having you in my group even if you badly need training on the hard skills required by your responsibilities, but not if excellence is your second nature.
The Bottom Line
I believe that people are smart beings. It’s just that some people have made a decision not to activate it either temporarily or till eternity.
People are not naive not to notice your requirement for excellence if excellence is apparent in the way you think, write, look, speak, and breathe.
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