The mindset of Excellence, Mindset of Persistence
This is best described by the following story of the French Spiderman Alain Robert who finally managed to climb the 88 storeys off the tallest building in Malaysia, Petronas Towers. It was his third attempt, after two failed trials, one in 1997 and the second in 2007.
He never gave up following each time that he failed Alain went back to the drawing boards — the fundamental that one had to do to scale a building. He practised, and practised, and practised, and practised, finally he attempted for the third time. Walla, he made it — Was its chance, or choice? He is quoted as saying, “With due respect to Malaysia, I came to finish something, despite what the press put up, despite what was mooted in the climbing circles.” He was focused, he was on a mission, he persisted until. “Climbing the Petronas all the way to the top is one of my dreams.” He described himself as determined but also “a little bit stubborn.”
Fascinating guy, I wonder what went on in his mind, as he makes his climb, “I hope I do not slip” — a rhetorical question. Did he have the doubt fling past him, yes numerous times and it is normal? If it did not, then there is something wrong. It is normal for the “Doubting Thomas’s” to take up space in your mind. What is not normal is what do you do when it takes space in your mind? How do you handle this situation, whilst it is there occupying the space? These are all are shifts that inhabit, rituals that will only come into play if practiced. it just does not happen. It needs to be worked on, it needs to continuously be practiced on, not till it is perfect, instead of till it becomes second nature.
As an illustration, let me ask you a simple question?
What is 6 multiplied by 2? You will respond 12.
What is 4 multiplied by 4 and your answer is 16,
what is 7 multiplied by 7 and you will answer 49.
Now, today you can vomit this answer without evening thinking. Am I right?
You so confidentially spit the answer out. Now just rewind the tape to when you were in primary school at the arithmetic class of multiplication table.
You were asked the question 6 multiplied by 2, 4 multiplied by 4 and 7 multiplied by 7 and in each instance, you will look at the teacher in bewilderment, sometimes embarrassed, sometimes, scratching yourself, sometimes wondering why were you there?
Then the teacher comes towards you and gives a slight whack on your bottom with a scale, and she gives you the answer — 12 or 16 or 49.
Following which you will recite after her the multiplication table. And over time you master it, to such an extent that now without thinking you can just recite or call out the right answer.
There was Pain for Gain to happen. Action for reaction, cause, and effect. The laws of the universe say so. Similar to shifts in habits or rituals the same pattern for mastery is required, we cannot wing it, we need to persist with our practices of mastering effective habits until it becomes second nature. Many do not have the patience, many do not have the tolerance, many do not have the commitment. I ask of you Are you really want that change to happen. Then no questions, no comprise, no halfway attempts. Just practice, practice, and practice, until mastery is attained.
Most would ask, “what have I learnt from Alain Roberts?” As opposed to reflecting and asking, “what can I learn from Alain Roberts?” The need and what to learn, to improve should be well-grounded within us, such that it’s never-ending, and perpetually till the day, we die. As I had previously said in my earlier story, this thirst, this hunger for growth will stop the day we die.
That is what we drive in our programs — creating that mindset for perpetual development in the search for Excellence.
In my 20 yrs. working with 50 of the top company’s in India, putting through 250000 + participants, through various development programs, I found individuals are extremely knowledgeable in their domain of expertise. Take them out of that pond and immerse them in the ocean, they would be lost, as their fundaments for life skills are limited. They are big fish in a small pond. I would rather be a small fish in a big pond, constantly sharpening my skills to be at the cutting edge and hence perform at that level. Imagine at what level will the outcome be pitched.
This circle of excellence is an amazingly simple four-step process. Many do not realize how simple things, impact our body, mind, and spirit (BMS). This “temple” of ours, as I commonly refer to it is there for us to excel and give back what was so graciously given to us by the universe, for some, by God for others on earth.
After that first catalyst to help us breathe, has anyone been taught or trained how to breathe? In most cases, the answer is no. Note it is the most important, instead of vital to truly learn how to breathe. Why is it this activity that generates all our performance? It is unfortunate we cannot go to a school to learn to breathe, except for the few who have commenced yoga, meditation and had some lessons in breathing through Pranayama. In our masterclasses, we will be covering this aspect from the angle of understanding how best to maximize out our performance.
Look out for more blogs on this topic.
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