As I sit here writing this, my mind is flickering between all the things that have happened in the recent past and just wondering how much of all this contributes to my future and ultimately to my contribution to society and my family, not to mention my own personal fulfilment.
I’ve noticed that in life, everything I do and go for, I do it with extreme drive and I always go for number one, and this lead to me thinking about the significance of aiming high vs. aiming for just ok, or as in the title suggests, the Number 1 vs. Number 2 mentality.
So think about this for a second, are you a number 1 or a number 2?
I’m not saying that you have to be number 1, no, on the contrary. What I am saying, is that you are deadly honest with yourself and if you are a number 2, be the best number 2 you can be in your world and your reality.
Paul Allen was a number 2 and look how successful he was. He was an American industrialist who co-founded Microsoft with Bill Gates, and is now one of the wealthiest people in the world with a personal wealth of over US$13 billion. With that fortune he has significant resources to pursue philanthropic causes.
The key here is self understanding. The more you understand your own self motivations, the better you can play your own role, and the more likely it is you’ll find that life fulfilment whatever level that may be at.
Just be sure you aren’t deceiving yourself into thinking you play as a number 1, but in reality you are always playing a number 2 game. This is probably the worst situation to be inside, because you perhaps don’t even realise your own unconscious mind trying to re-align you, and you just keep fighting it, trying to fool it into doing something else, but you can’t and the results are visible, and to your friends, they often call you a dreamer rather than an achiever.
Please don’t misunderstand, you’ve got to dream to believe, but you must then act to achieve.
Some of you may be thinking, well what is the importance of being so aggressive and anal about the pursuit of total fulfilment? Well how badly do you want to live a life of your dreams?
I remember a phrase I’ve heard a few times:
“If you reach for the stars, you might not quite get one, but you wont end up with a handful of mud, either.”
I think it’s interesting to consider how you approach this aspect of your life, is a clear indication of how you approach everything in your life, from sports days as a child, to exams at Uni, to career progression or achievement in your work or business.
Ask yourself where in your life do you aim only for second place?
There is a massive psychological gap between those who do aim for first position versus those who aim only for second best, or even less than that.
This is something I like to call the Persistence Gap. I believe that those who are high achievers, those who truly succeed in life, are those who absolutely believe in themselves, and in the end, are absolutely persistent in doing the things to move towards their goal.
They are also goal setters, visionaries who create big targets and aim towards them. Aiming high and hitting close, rather than aiming mediocre and hitting low. In another quote not too dissimilar from the previous one, Confucius says:
If you shoot for the stars and hit the moon, it’s OK. But you’ve got to shoot for something. A lot of people don’t even shoot.
And that, is the number one thing that I think people don’t do enough of, setting goals.
Whilst I was thinking about this blog post, my thoughts jumped to NASA. The space agency in Florida that sends astronauts into space in these huge space shuttles! You see, when they first started out, they didn’t say to themselves, let’s try and build a small gunpowder rocket and see how it goes….. maybe we’ll stumble onto how to build a space shuttle.
Of course not! They started with huge ambitions, huge targets and goals, and they are still not there yet. But everything they do is one step closer, and because the goal is so big, they have the mission and drive that has created incredible things along the way, such as sending someone to the Moon, landing probes on Mars and in the future, who knows what else.
To all my friends, colleagues, and readers out there, you gotta go for it (cue the leveller Satir posture right here!), after all if you don’t do it today, tomorrow you’ll only be a day older.