“Reachfulness” is the essence of learning. It happens when the learner is leaning forward, stretching, struggling and improving’ - Daniel Coyle, ‘Little book of talent’.
What lengths would you go to make sure you keep excelling in life? The principle of ‘Keep reaching’ is all about going that extra mile so that we can ultimately become a better version of our self. Just as Daniel Coyle eloquently puts it, we must continue to ‘lean forward, stretch, struggle and ultimately improve’. That said, the key ingredient here is progress not perfection. By becoming better at what we are doing and ultimately who we are, takes courage and consideration. What do I mean by this?
Humility begins when we have consideration for those in our circle of influence. Who do you surround yourself with to push your boundaries; those who will give you honest feedback and challenge you? If you are not being challenged and given honest feedback, your quest to improve and conquer stultifies by the very stumbling block which is ever growing ego. Ego is good, but when it gets out of control it is a vicious beast.
We also must consider our limitations, which are more often than not, mental blocks conditioned upon us by our upbringing and the people we surround ourselves with. Be careful who you spend your time with. There is a Chinese proverb that says: ‘Do you want to scratch with the turkeys or soar with the eagles’. No offence to the poor turkeys but I would rather surround myself with people who soar to new heights.
For us to succeed, we must face our fears and make the hard decisions count. Do not hide behind the veneer of a smile. This takes us to the other half of my point. We must be courageous. Yes, to face our fears we need courage most. What does courage mean to you?
IF you are on the path to greatness, which we all have access to, you need to make tough decisions. I recall my very own decisions to cut loose from my limiting beliefs and those I surrounded myself. As much as I loved them, I was beholden to an environment that was limiting and not nurturing growth. In fact, the concept of ‘reaching’ was not favourably looked upon because it meant you were becoming ‘different’, if not a little ‘arrogant’. Perceptions of what others think ‘oh what will they think if I do this’, or worse still ‘maybe they are right, it is just too hard’…Our words do matter and how we perceive the world around us is partly determined by those we surround ourselves with.
For us to grow and keep reaching we must act with courage and consideration. We need to step outside our comfort zone and as the great Scott M Peck wrote: ‘take that road less travelled…
Identify your circle of influence. These are people you surround yourself with: Family, friends; acquaintances. Who in this circle brings you down and is more often than not negative in their body language and actions? Next, write this down in your journal and begin the process of letting go of some of these people. This is not to say ‘do not ever speak with them’ or be bitter towards them. For you to soar new heights and keep reaching you need to be a class act and lead by example.
This process could be immediate or take time, there is no quick fix to it. It requires you to be aware and to begin surrounding yourself with people who will challenge you; give you honest feedback; and will be there for you when it matters.