Here are three stories of three friends, whose experience has helped me differentiate those who make things happen from those who don’t.
We met in 2011, shortly after I completed high school. He was a loud and intelligent fellow; he was the to-go-to person whenever you need to develop a perspective on contemporary topics like politics and ways of making money. He did little work yet served as an inspiration to us while we were doing our freelancing work.
Come May 2018, I met him again – loud and idealistic. I found him shouting at a friend I had gone to pay a courtesy call. The loud guy had just been dismissed by his employer for failing to meet some deadlines. Both I and my friend felt that his idealistic rationale was more responsible for his poor performance; This guy had a fixed mindset of how things should be, and he would rather complain about situations that are not ideal rather than adjust himself according to prevailing circumstance.
I first met him before I completed primary school. He was charismatic, and I admired his simplicity, elegance and confidence. He made sure he excelled at whatever he did. His enthusiasm was admirable. Unlike friend A, he was able to contextualize ideas and apply them in prevailing circumstances.
He was, however, a jack of all trades and a master of none. For instance, he may be have been excelling in one thing earlier in a year, but when you met him six months down the line, he would have ventured into a totally different thing – and doing great in it. I think he sails with whichever favourable wind that happens to blow his sails.
He is a calm and popular fellow – don’t mistake his calmness for innocence. He is not more intelligent than Friend A or B but he is wiser than them. He is a listener and an observer. Unlike Friend A, he takes action whenever it is necessary. And unlike Friend B, his actions are consistent rather than diverged. I have seen him make mistakes, suffer for them and recover. I have also seen him be easily persuaded and occasionally misled by people who protrude more confidence than him. Of interest to note is that he has been more successful than both friends A and B.
Unlike friend A, he learns from his mistakes, endures the consequences of making poorly calculated moves and adjusts to prevailing circumstances. Unlike friend B, he is more popular (locally) and more reliable in his area of expertise. He is not charismatic yet he has been the to-go-to person when I need to utilize skills in his area of expertise. His consistency of actions has earned him a name and a place in the local community.
The three friends have taught me two things:
- Facing the world with a fixed mindset makes you be your worst enemy
- Action brings more progress than intelligent ideas
- Consistency rewards you more cummulatively than being a jack of all trades
The journey to your goals doesn’t require you be the most intelligent or the wealthiest. The journey to your goals requires the best version of you. Therefore, lead your life to reach your goals; live deliberately.
Photo by Brett Sayles from Pexels