Monday, September 1, 2014

How To Really Get To The Next Level

You often hear people say they are striving to "get to the next level." Rarely do they explain what or where the next level is.

After years of coaching, teaching, and researching success as a subject, I can say with unequivocal certainty that the next level is merely a concept created by others and pursued by many, as a means of self-motivation. Too often, it's perceived as a mythical place where validation and confirmation of hard work is realized.

But what exactly does one work on to achieve it?
In order for a coach and client to effectively use "the next level" as a motivational goal, both have to agree upon what level the client is on before setting sights on where (or what) that next level is. If no coach is involved, then the assessment of what level one is currently on (and consequently what needs to be worked on) becomes completely subjective, and is rarely accurate; therefore feedback is essential.

After working in the music industry, a place rife with individuals who are driven by illusions of grandeur (which psychologists have put a constructive spin on and now refer to as positive illusions), I  know first hand how music artists commonly misjudge their talents and skills.
For them, a reality check that comes courtesy of rejection, a trusted advisor, a respected peer, or credible industry professional, often serves as the catalyst for getting to the next level. Being a contributor to this "elevation" process taught me one thing: focus should be placed on specific dimensions of one's forte; not on some abstract ascension to the next level.
Track stars know the importance of getting out of their starting block proficiently; boxers know the importance of keeping their hands up; quarterbacks know the importance of reading defenses; CEO's understand the importance of delegating to the right people. These are all dimensions of one's forte, which is comprised of many elements that constitute one's overall strength, and thus, "level" of performance.
In order to get to your next level, focus on the dimensions that are mastered by those recognized as the tops in their fields. In doing so, you will discover  that they are very well-rounded with no glaring weaknesses. For them it was all about improving various dimensions of their forte, which ultimately provided the ladder to the next level.

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