Is “amazing” a goal you have set for yourself? If not – why?
People who describe themselves as “amazing” have a tendency to be people that you’d rather not be around very much (in fact I don’t recommend you describe yourself as amazing – ever). Trying to be amazing also sounds like a bit of a stupid goal, I admit. It is, however, the best description I could think of to try and capture some important fundamental character points that will help young professionals.
For some context, the state of the graduate employment market for lawyers is not looking any better than it did when I wrote THIS POST. In fact, if the article by Tristan Lockwood in Lawyers Weekly is anything to go by, things aren’t looking up any time soon.
Job security is, therefore, a pretty important issue to a lot of new lawyers who have a variety of financial and personal commitments to live up to.
And so, in order to help graduates who have managed to secure jobs for themselves advance in their careers, I wanted to write this article to encourage young professionals in one thing only: BE AMAZING.
At this point I should probably put a disclaimer in – I’m not amazing. It’s a grudging admission, to be sure, but I felt I should make that clear. It is not, however, an impediment to my encouraging others to be amazing, even if I myself haven’t quite managed to reach that goal. Also, hopefully I’m a couple of steps along the path towards being amazing, so I should be able to share a few tips that might help you at least start along the path, even if you sprint past me before I even reach the half-way point.
Here is my starter tips on how you might be amazing, in no particular order.
1. Think Positive
All of the amazing people I have met have this ability – to think positive. That’s not to say that they are mindlessly optimistic or imprudent. They do, however, cast their thoughts in the positive rather than the negative. In doing so they are constantly re-energising themselves, putting their minds and their energy towards achieving things, rather than “not doing” things. I started to take a look at how to think positive in THIS ARTICLE (13 Things Mentally Strong People Do), where I re-cast some good, but negatively framed, tips back into the positive.
2. Don’t Stop Learning
Constant learning is a fundamental component of all amazing people. They tirelessly work towards more knowledge, better skills, greater wisdom. They read books, they review internet sources, they engage in robust discussion, and most of all they understand that they are incomplete. They also learn from their experiences, their interactions, their failures and their successes, and they utilise what they learn from those into their future endeavours for better outcomes.
3. Use Your Time Well
Generous people know how to use their time to maximum benefit. They have looked at their day, measured the hours, taken the time to gauge how they can accomplish the best quality results in the shortest time input from them. They do not fluff about, procrastinate or lose hours of the day to intellectual torpor. That doesn’t mean that amazing people don’t need time to recuperate – it just means that the time they spend in rest is beneficial and rejuvenating, not simply wasted. I find that amazing people come away from their rest periods with so many ideas and so much energy that it can be a little scary sometimes.
4. Be Generous
Amazing people are generous. They give their time, their enthusiasm, their knowledge, their money and their experiences to others. They don’t do so out of some cynical exercise to make money or to gain sales (although that may be the result on occasion), but they do so with authenticity. That generosity inspires others to greater heights in their own lives, or provides them with a leg-up in a time of need. Authentic generosity means that amazing people are not all about themselves, but constantly focus on the needs of others.
5. Be Inspiring
With a focus on other people, you find that amazing people inspire those around them to perform better, work harder, be smarter, kinder, more diligent, more exemplary and generally to greater success in all of their life. If the people around you are constantly dejected, negative, cynical or simply “going through the motions” – how can you inspire them to pick themselves up and see the huge positive difference that they have the capacity to make? Not just in the workplace, but with family and friends, and the world over.
Ultimately, tips aside, being amazing will require you to make one key decision up front: aspiring to be amazing. After that, the specifics are really up to you.
After all – why aim for mediocre?