You cannot outrun others if you don't outrun yourself.
Yesterday, I called on one of my best friends, Andrei Waszkiewicz, who is a very good dentist. He shook my hand warmly, letting me know that he was very happy to see me. We hadn't seen each other for a few months, and I must admit that I was also very happy to see him again.
On one of the walls in his room, there was an old saying hanging: “Seek to be the best”. This caught my attention and really made me curious.
I thought that could be an opportunity from which I could learn more interesting and useful things. I asked him:
- Andrei, this is the first time I see that saying framed on your wall. What does it mean for you?
He seemed to be prepared for this question. He arranged some papers on his desk, and then he looked at me smiling and answered me:
- Nicu, what you see there, on the wall, is, actually, the motto I guided my entire life after. It is the motto which helped me build a promising career, outrun all my other colleagues and get to the level I am at right now. It is the motto which always helped me to be energetic and very ambitious.
I studied very hard at school, I saved my allowance and I ensured a place at the University of Medicine. Over the years, I improved my knowledge, my skills, and, as the years passed, I climbed a higher step compared to the previous year. I had to pass a lot of exams in order to prove my exceptional knowledge and skills and in order to be the best in my school every year. I made considerable efforts in order to finish my studies and, then, to qualify as a specialist physician. And now, as you well know, my dental cabinet is always full of patients. I am proud to have wanted to be the best, I am proud to have become a very good specialist.
Outrun others so you won't be outrun by others
You cannot be above other people if you don't accomplish more than they do. This is what my friend, Andrei, taught me yesterday. His unquenched thirst to outrun his colleagues and be the best he could be were just as strong as his inability to give up his dreams. Seeking to aim as high as possible, learning and practicing day by day, Andrei outran all his colleagues and made himself a career to be envied. In other words, he applied the principle of self-improvement: “You cannot outrun others it you don't outrun yourself.”
Andrei is a special man, with many qualities, which helped him become the type of doctor which many patients want for themselves. But he got to this performance through continuous improvement, by gaining a vast experience, by gaining new competences. In other words, being interested in his trade, he pushed the limits of improvement. Now, Andrei is a specialist devoted to the job of dentist. And the fact that he has a rich experience and the knowledge necessary in order to give you the best possible treatments helps him and gives him credibility in his relationship with people.
Life is a competition. In order to win, you must always aim higher.
Our life is a competition in which we have to exceed certain limits with other competitors. But it is essential to know what we want, where we want to go and how to get there, on what ways, to the end line, when we grow up. And once we get there, we have to be able to say we are pleased of what we have accomplished. That means that we must have a life plan, a career plan, in order to get where we proposed ourselves, by passing many obstacles, because self-improvement is in tight connection with the existence of a career plan.
Like any other plan, the career plan also has several stages, and you propose to accomplish something in every stage. Realizing more than you have proposed yourself is self-improvement, meaning a full involvement in your work, continuous improvement and using your entire lucrative potential. And then, you must verify your professional status by various methods specific to competitions such as exams, competitions, etc. In such moments of evaluation, you can find out where you are in comparison to other competitors and what you must do further on.
Just like in medicine, when you get from the level of intern to being a specialist, and then primary physician, and then doctor (making advancements based on some tough evaluations, and not all the doctors can resist), there are such improvement stages in any field.
The question is why doesn't everybody exceed these limits, and only some manage to get further? There are several answers: either because the individual set his standards to a lower level, either because he didn't self-evaluate correctly, or he lacked enough interest.
P.S. When there is no will for self-improvement and, therefore, the will to exceed others, there is no room for performance. The individual who does not resist competitions or avoids them, can never be winner. And this means he limited himself, means that he is happy with mediocrity.