Up Your Game!

Written by
Written by

Deolu Akinyemi

Today, July1, 2008 is the beginning of the second half of the year… so Welcome to Second half!

In the last one week, one particular thing has consistently been coming to my attention. While I have been busy, I have also had the time and opportunity to have some fun. In the midst of it all, I have come to realize that the greatest benefit you can do for yourself in this second half is to up your game!

The greatest enemy of great is good. The greatest enemy of exceptional is average. Rarely are people get motivated to do beyond where they get comfortable. Do you have a benchmark? Do you have standards you aspire to? Did you set goals for yourself at the beginning of the year, are you taking stock? If you are far from your goals, it’s alright, you now only need to up your game.

Here are a few tips on why and how you need to up your game this year.

Do a little more!

I went for what I would call a Christian entertainment program organized by Daystar Christian Center on Friday night, tagged Effizy Night.

Amongst a number of things that I saw, I saw different artists come on stage to display their various talents. I saw people that could sing and people that could move the crowds, I saw people that could dance and people that were exceptional! I saw two compere’s, one that was good, and the other that was clearly better. I saw the crowd clapping, sometimes shouting, while yet sometimes giving a standing and shouting ovation. Different levels of skill display attracted different levels of crowd appeal. It dawned on me first hand, that the little extra after the ordinary is what makes up the extraordinary. Whatever it is that you know how to do, you have to put a little more into it. If you practiced for 30mins before, increase it to 1hr. If you read for 1hr before , make it 2. Double your input, and it will affect you output. Do a little more!

Maximize the Moment.

I was in a Church on a speaking engagement on Sunday morning-Headstone Church. I went there to speak at their early morning career service. There were three key things in my heart and mind for them.

First, whatever it is you desire in this life, it’s not a desire if you have not taken out time to at least pray to God about it. Have you taken your career desires to God in prayer? How skilled you want to become in that area, have you prayed about it? Are your financial goals known to God. The first step in the achievement of any purpose is prayer to God. If you understand God well, (if you don’t I believe it’s a worthwhile investment of your time to know Him) you’ll know that when you ask him for something that he has in mind to give you as well, he answers you. When God answers, you might not see the physical manifestation of the answer immediately, but it becomes reality in a spiritual form. In order to make what you have received manifest, your behavior in the now, needs to correspond to the existence of what you have prayed for. The moment for example that you ask for a Job, and believe that you have it, your behavior needs to step up to the reality that it exists. You need to start reading like someone who has your desired level of intelligence, you need to start preparing yourself by doing the things that will be required of you, you need to step up your game to match with what you have asked for. Don’t push your action till tomorrow, make it today! Act today! When was the last time you did something courageous? When was the last time you went the extra mile? When was the last time you were proud of yourself for how much time you put into some activity? When was the last time you felt you were being trained or groomed for excellence? When was it? Maximize this moment, don’t push your best days forward.

Make up your mind and get a Coach

I had the opportunity to watch some excerpts of a movie centered around the spelling bee competition on Sunday. This girl was obviously good, but because she had not prepared adequately she was almost going to lose out of the competition. When she finally made up her mind to go for the price, she decided to buckle up and work on her talent. She also decided to go meet a man in the same city who had won the same competition locally before, to coach her.

We all need to make up our minds how far we intend to go in life. How high do you want to climb? How deep do you want to swim. What is your aspiration? The quality of a man/woman’s life is a function of the quality of direction he or she gets. We celebrate many sport stars and athlete’s today because they were coached by people who gave them time and commitment. Is it Tiger Woods or the Williams sisters? These are products of coaching, interestingly by their dads. Someone has achieved success in the line in which you desire success or close to it. Make up your mind about what you want, and go after the people that can help you. Remember an hour with a wise man is worth many years of study. Experience is only a great teacher when it’s the experience of others. Set you goals, drive yourself hard and get a driver you can respect.

Refuse to Arrive

I got to hear about a comedy show for Sunday evening and decided I would attend. With the encouragement of some of my colleagues (My wife, Emore Ogho and Busayo Akanro), we decided to go. It was “Made in Warri”, and it was extremely hilarious.

I discovered something interesting however. I discovered that the unknown comedians obviously prepared a lot for their part and dazzled the audience. They were not known, hence they had to create a name for themselves, and in all honesty, they were really good. I could however not say the same for those who had seemed to have arrived – The people whose names where used to sell the tickets, came and performed at levels lower than the standards set for the day in my opinion. “I go die”, came on stage, obviously without adequate preparation and was litterally booed off the stage. The same for some of the other popular artists. What happened? They arrived! The got to limelight, and somehow are gradually losing the same habits that got them there. The skill that required nights and days of honing, now seems to them like inborn. They entered into Samson’s cast, and said like he did, “I will rise up like old times”. The day you arrive is the day you begin to go obscure, because there are many unknown people out there, who are willing to do twice as much to take your spot. It’s easier to get ahead than it is to stay ahead. Growth requires stretch, to stop to stretch is to stop to grow. Give yourself stretch benchmarks, seek to be like the best globally. Refuse to Arrive!

Be Patient

We had a meeting over the weekend with some property consultants and developers from Dubai. We hosted them to a few meetings over the weekend, and had the opportunity to chat together after the meetings. As Malawi citizens by birth and Indians by origin, they were really impressed with the New Nigeria Club Concept, can volunteered their help and support in any way we needed it.

While we discussed the similarities between countries, Nigeria and Pakistan for example, and the similarities between Asia and Africa, the CEO of the company asked us all a question. He asked us what we thought the beginning of wisdom was. We all told him directly – the fear of God. But he went on to share a story with us that I will share later. A very very interesting story. Do you want me to share it now? If you do, you need patience. Patience, my dear, is critical to success.

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