Remember your very first day on the job? Your shoes had a shine like the tiles on the Space Shuttle and the crease in your slacks could have diced celery. The air was somehow fresher, the birds chirpier. You had been hired. You’d been given a chance to excel, a chance to make a difference.
Now contrast that with this morning.
Most people who signed up for the Big Game end up making one compromise after another until they’ve resigned themselves to mediocrity. It’s darned hard to keep that first-day buzz going.
BUT…there’s no reason you can’t choose to recover a good measure of that first-day feeling, that striving for excellence, and put it to good use in the service of everyone whose lives you touch on a daily basis.
It’s all about making the choice to do it.
Have you ever met a two-year-old who wasn’t enthusiastic? We come prepackaged with it. And then…
What happens to us?
What happens is that we make a choice. Some of us choose to make the effort to stay in touch with our inner enthusiasm. Others find reasons to lose touch with it—boredom, responsibilities, challenges, fatigue.
But here’s the problem: Enthusiasm is the lifeblood of all success. Without it, nothing great happens. If you choose to lose touch with your inner enthusiasm, you are choosing mediocrity. It’s really that simple.
Sure, there are plenty of reasons to curb your enthusiasm. But there are just as many reasons to find it again—to celebrate your incredible good fortune, and in the process, to make that fortune even better.
Start with the fact that you’re not dead yet, that you were born at all, that you have a job, and that compared to a lot of folks, you have a pretty darn good job.
Now take a close look at the circumstances of this good job you have. Write down your five biggest complaints and spin them into positives. For example, “My boss micromanages me” can be reframed as “My boss cares enough about me to step into my work when I need help.”
If you’ve truly committed to finding your first-day buzz again, you should be an awful lot closer to it now than you were ten minutes ago.
All this rethinking and reframing has removed a HUGE energy drain from your life—one you were probably unaware of. It takes massive amounts of energy to continually reinforce your own sense of victimhood. Excellence is MUCH less expensive. Now that you feel lucky instead, what on Earth are you going to do with all that energy?
How about playing the Big Game you signed up for?
What you’ve just filled yourself up with is a lion’s share of this precious thing called the human spirit, and the human spirit will not invest in mediocrity. So play the meaningful, bighearted game you always dreamed of playing, and leave the mediocrity to others.