Shoulds Vs. Musts – The Difference Between Success and Mediocrity

Tim Tialdo June 27, 2012 Comments Off on Shoulds Vs. Musts – The Difference Between Success and Mediocrity

Shoulds Vs. Musts

I was talking to a good friend who I respect and admire the other night. He is tremendously successful and we got on the topic of how that success came about. It inspired some great conversation that led me to write today’s blog.

I know a TON of people who are incredibly talented and yet they aren’t doing nearly as well as they could. Then they always look at someone who is living at a high level of success and say, “well if I really wanted to I could be there as well.” I know exactly how they feel because I was once this very same person. Because of some great success I had known earlier in my career, I always felt like people should give me the opportunities because of the success I had previously achieved.

But what I learned and what we all eventually learn as we get older is that everyday is a new day, and yesterday’s successes were good for yesterday. If you want that same feeling and respect, you must continually re-create and innovate in order to stay there. A hard fact for many of us to hear is that once we become successful, most of us get complacent and think that one big achievement will carry us for a while so we can relax and enjoy it.

But I’ve been around enough very successful people in many different fields to know that’s not how it works. Do you want to know the difference maker between the person who is talented and doesn’t have the great success and the person with equal talent who does? It all comes down to your “musts” versus your “shoulds.” These are the standards you allow yourself to live by.

Think of the last time you told yourself you absolutely had to do something. Maybe a loved one needed desperate help or you needed to make enough money to pay for something crucial like an electric bill or your mortgage payment. In this case, these became MUSTS for you because the pain of what would happen if you didn’t was more powerful than the feeling if you didn’t. As an example, when I was younger I was terrified to get up and speak to people, I absolutely dreaded the thought of it. I would break into a sweat, my heart would race and the entire time leading up to it was absolutely miserable. Yet my dream was to be on TV (Go figure). Well I knew that I wanted that dream more than anything and if I didn’t learn how to get up in front of people and speak confidently and without nerves, I would never ever make it in front of the camera. As most of you know, I overcame that fear and today I have a successful TV career.

But what if I didn’t make it a must? I’d probably be working some menial low paying job always telling myself I could have. The SHOULDS in our lives are disguised in much the same way, however we don’t tend to notice them as much because they aren’t emotionally crucial. As much as I hate to say it, this is where many of us live. We keep putting it off and putting it off because the feeling of tackling the fear or amount of work that goes along with it are too strong (or at least that’s what we tell ourslves).

Its only when most people are forced into a situation, do they really figure out what they’re capable of. What successful people are great at doing is forcing themselves to mentally tackle the fear or job head on and push through to fruition without external motivation.

So here’s the question I present to you today. Are you happy? Are you successful? Do you have all the things you want in your life? If not, you need to find a SHOULD that you’ve been putting off and turn it into a MUST. Then and only then will you learn what you can be for both yourself and your family.


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