Matching to the Next Level – Eight Proven Steps
Disclaimer: When APC of Nigeria began their campaign for 2019 General Elections, they chose the slogan – Next Level. Whatever it means for them, is not the business of this article.
The greatest obstacle we face when we begin to achieve our goals is to become complacent and feel good over the achievements of yesterday and yesteryears. We hit our hands on our chest in praise and feel in our heads that we have arrived. This is because the greatest obstacle we will face is our own success. Rick Warren was right to say that the greatest detriment to tomorrow’s success is today’s success. We have to let go of what we have so that we can reach out to something new and greater. When a graduate closes himself/herself from studies because he/she has acquired the desired certificate, time shall come when his knowledge will gradually become outlandish. That is the point when knowledge because dangerous to society.
Suffice it to say that every new phase we reach in life requires a different struggle. Regardless of where we are, there will be at least one or more things to change or add in other to adapt to move to the next of the level we seek to go, be it personally or professionally.
The Next Level has a price. Pay now and play later says, John Mason. For anyone to get to the next level, there is a price to be paid and the longer we wait to pay, the greater the price gets. Indeed, a successful life is a series of trade-offs. Unfortunately, the higher we climb the ladder of success, the more difficult it gets to ride on to the next level.
Nonetheless, when we take certain steps in the right direction, moving to the next level would not be an impossible task for us. We have to start by acknowledging where we are not getting it right now and begin to work from there. Then, apply some habits that will help us step into the Next Level.
- Be Consistent with the good: There is some good which we are already engaged in. We have to remain consistent in practising them. The more we stick to them, the more closely we get to the Next Level. We do not have to stop studies because we are on strike or out of school. We do not have to stop waking up on time, keeping fit and eating healthy because we think we have arrived at our desired body shape. Sure, life happens, but we have to remain consistent with our positive habits. What good habits do you have that you stick to 70-80% of the time? Stick to them.
- Don’t sacrifice accomplishment for affirmation: There is that inner tendency in us to desire affirmation and approval of others. This is not entirely bad in and of itself. However, affirmation should be a by-product and not the main goal.
- Limit social media time: As a student and researcher, social media plays a big role in what I do. At the same time, it can be my greatest undoing. As a person, I set some personal principle on the use of a phone. My phone is always in silent mode so that the tu-kum sounds of social media apps and caller tunes would not disturb my sleep or study. At times when I feel the need for a greater focus, I remove the apps from my phone and stop scrolling mindlessly. It’s amazing what I get done in that time. In your own life, try to set tech limits. Compress all of your social media and download an app like “Moment” on your phone to discipline yourself on your media consumption habits.
- Don’t trade personal growth for immediate pleasure: It is essential to delay gratification when it comes to personal growth. Putting off pleasures, conveniences, or luxuries in order to pursue personal growth opportunities, the person is most likely to get it. Anyone seeking to get to the Next Level must follow a similar step.
- Don’t trade quality of life for quantity: Imagine pouring a tea into a cup over and over, you will notice the tea will begin to pour away. That is just how our life is. “Your life is like a teacup, flowing over. There’s no room for anything new. You need to pour out, not take more in.” may we never trade the quality of life for the quantity. It is not how long we lived but how well we lived.
- Don’t exchange best for the good: People do not pay for average. They are not impressed by anything merely acceptable. If something is worth doing, give it your best—or don’t do it at all. Leaders are not raised on the wings of mediocrity.
- Know when to change plan: If you are in the second half of life (40 years and above), you have probably spent much of your time striving for success. Don’t waste it! Do things that will live on after you are gone. If you are in the first half (below 40 years), keep paying the price so that you have something to offer in your second half.
- Relationship with God must be optimum: This may not be of concern for an atheist. However, if you are a person of faith in God, it is important to know that no matter how successful you are, a solid relationship with God is paramount. To live an excellent life, you must learn to travel light by not been encumbered with excessive cares of the world. Obviously for you to gain eternal life which is the highest good, you have to get on to the Next Level of your relationship with God through holiness (as a Christian). Do not trade your walk for God with your work for God.
Ride on to the Next Level of your success
Ride on to the Next Level of your leadership
Ride on to the Next Level of your walk with God.