Amazing speaker, Siphiwe Moyo, who we were privileged to hear at last year’s Joburg Secretaries Day Conference, focused his talk on the importance of Progress. Things were not always easy for the super successful Siphiwe and many ideas he shared at his talk, he learned personally, through his own experiences. We loved his straight forward and honest approach. He shared the following 3 life lessons, that were hard-hitting and encouraged a bit of soul searching:
- Life is difficult – get over it
- Contrary to popular belief, the world doesn’t owe you anything
- Talk is cheap – people get tired of all your promises
We were really inspired by his talk “Position Yourself for Progress”, so we’d like to share some thoughts on how you can do, just that.
According to the Collins Dictionary, progress is classified as “the process of gradually improving or getting nearer to achieving or completing something”. This could be relevant to a specific task, or your life as a whole – but it seems to me, that the key point here, is to have a goal. If you are not working towards anything, how are you ever expecting to progress?
There are plenty of ‘self-help’ books, guides, articles or sayings out there – and most of them stand true; however, here are some problems which hinder Self-Progress:
- We, as a society, are a very demanding group, and often expect any self-help guide to be an immediate ‘fix’ to any issue. The struggle of forming new habits, or breaking bad ones, is real, and can be overwhelming.
- People often believe that by learning more, their knowledge will assist in progressing. Whilst wisdom can prove valuable in dealing with certain situations in the moments that count, the action that a person takes is what will begin to generate progress and start moving you towards your goal.
- We are all seeking a general formula of sorts in order to individually progress towards our unique and specific life goals. How is that even possible? We all have our own fears, hopes and dreams, and yet – we seek a standardised and simple solution (a ‘one-size-fits-all’ kind of formula if you will).
So now what? How do you take actual steps to position yourself for progress? In the article ‘13 Things You Should Embrace If You Want Real Progress In Your Life’, Kaye Ramos has identifies daily actions we can take in order to progress ourselves. Here are the top 7 things we feel will help you progress the most:
1 – Embrace Harsh Comments: Don’t dwell on the negativity, but rather use this as an opportunity to “prove them wrong”. If the general criticism is negative, use this feedback as a reflection on a task or handling of a situation. Every comment is an opportunity for growth and learning and adventure.
2 – Embrace Your Failures: “A safe life, is a wasted life”- Rick Warren. Don’t let the fear of failing stop you from trying to reach your dreams. Successful people around the world did not become a success by luck. They worked hard, and often failed, but they learnt more each time.
3 – Embrace That You Can Be The Best At Whatever You Are: The definition of success differs from person to person, and as a result, our goals vary greatly. Often people belittle themselves because their dream is not to own a hotel franchise world-wide, but rather just to be happy. It takes all types to make the world turn, so you might as well be the best version of yourself and believe in your capacity to influence others to do the same.
4 – Embrace Your Magnificent Obsession: No ladies, we are not suggesting that you catch the next flight to stalk Idres Elba or Bradley Cooper, but rather to help others achieve their dreams. Use your strengths / passion / ideas to help those around you. Find your gifts and utilize them properly – no action / gesture can be too grand or too small to impact someone’s life.
5 – Embrace That Nothing In Life Is Free: If it’s worth having – it should be worth working for. It could be as simple as wanting a donut and ensuring that you go for that extra 15-minute run, or it could be putting in extra hours to strive for a promotion. Wanting success and happiness are the two most common (and unmeasurable) goals, and yet – most people are not even willing to put in the work of finding out what that means on an individual basis…never-mind the actions that would need to be taken thereafter.
6 – Embrace Your Slow Progress: As I mentioned earlier – the definition of progress is the “gradually improving…”. So why are we so harsh on ourselves? It doesn’t matter how long it takes you – if you are moving forward, you ARE progressing. Be proud of yourself for what you have accomplished and acknowledge the effort behind that progress that you have made. Each step you take matters and gets you closer to your goal.
7 – Embrace Alone Time: Often, being alone can be equated to depressive behaviour / anxiety. Rather take this opportunity to reflect on your progress, or a task and identify what worked, or hasn’t worked. That way, you can determine what you should change. Knowing yourself is key and can free your mind and even encourage you to be more creative.
Whatever stage you are in, and wherever you are hoping to be – “The Journey Is The Reward”.
By turning “One Day” into Day One – you get to be the most successful version of yourself, and eventually reach the destination you are aiming for. But like most journey’s, once the travel bug has bitten – you’ll want more. Self-growth is a never-ending path, and you get to find out and explore the most exciting parts each day.