My favourite part about watching my son run around the track at his athletics club is that it’s not important who crosses the finish line first. The focus is on getting the best out of yourself and going for a Personal Best (PB) time. I love seeing him run faster, throw, and jump further than he has ever run before. He is excited by that as well as he discovers that he is capable of so much more than he thought possible.
Sometimes he wins, sometimes he doesn’t, but it doesn’t matter, he is only competing against himself. The strength of that attitude is that it leaves space for more than one person to win in any race. It is not a zero-sum game, but it’s a place of growth, a place of development, a place of abundance.
We might think that type of attitude has no place outside of kids’ athletics, but it is truly how we can live our whole lives.
In a world where we live with the philosophy of “survival of the fittest” (which is a sham by the way), we are taking the easy way out. It’s easy when all you have to do is try and just be a little bit better than the other team, the other person, the other organisation, we do improve but only incrementally.
If we shifted our focus from trying to be a little bit better than someone else, and begin to imagine what we are capable of, then we realise that we can always get better compared to what we have done before and we are capable of so much more than we think is possible.
Mostly, just because someone else is doing well, it doesn’t mean that we lose out. There isn’t a limited amount of success in the world, there is an abundance meaning we can celebrate when other people are doing well and strive to get our own PB.
As Reese Witherspoon said, “Someone else’s success isn’t impeding mine”.
Don’t Read this. My Journey is not the same as yours.
I’ve seen quite a pattern emerging, and to be honest, I’m
not sure what to make of it.
Everyone has 5 tips for this, the best 10 ways to create
that, my two biggest takeaways from this. Heck, some of those I have created.
Whilst I love all of that content, and I think we can learn
so much from each other, at some point what has worked for you will not work
for me. If I just keep pushing through the tough times with an idea, or a
business, or a strategy, will I actually come out the other side as successful
as you? As wealthy as you? As well known as you? What if my idea, or business
or strategy is awful? Will your simple strategy for super-fast business growth
make me millions then?
Not everyone wins the gold medal. Not everyone tops the list,
someone has to come second, or third or fourth. Is that still successful?
I don’t mean to sound cynical, but I genuinely want to ask
the question about suitability and blanket promises of success.
At some point wisdom will be required, right?
And what can wisdom teach us? We cannot escape suffering in
life, that is guaranteed, but wisdom is choosing what is worth suffering for.
It says ‘even if I spend all of my energy on my idea/business/strategy and it
doesn’t work out and blows up in my face, it was worth it’.
Wisdom is harsh.
How much do you spend on administration?
You know the question, you have possibly asked it before. How much of a donation to a charity gets spent on the programs and how much gets spent on staff and other back end costs. It’s a question I hear frequently about the organisation I work for and for every other not for profit in existence. It’s an important question because we need to be open about this, but it can’t be the only question we ask.
A colleague of mine, many years ago would ask people if they were needing life saving surgery would the most important question to the surgeon be about how much they charged or would it be about their success rate? Of course the response was that the success rate was the main thing people are interested in.
There are many organisations that people donate to that are quite literally saving lives around the world and how often do we ask about the success rate they have?
There needs to be a balance between the two, naturally, but the success rate should be just as, if not more important, than the administration rate.
Effectiveness in the work a not for profit does is not just about keeping costs low, it’s about having the greatest positive impact on our world.