Inspiration takes you where you want to be
Sometimes we derive inspiration from the most mundane of activities, in places we never expect.
I remember this instance from School times, many many years ago. One of my teachers was trying to motivate us using an example of another student say, Asha. Asha had scored the highest in Maths — 90 in a very difficult paper. The next highest was away by a margin of 20.
The teacher was especially proud of her this student for creating this big moat reducing the possibility of catching up.
I remember thinking — How do I score more than Asha?
Few moments of pondering, wondering, I realized there was a simple solution. I could get 100. I need not care where anybody else is if I aim for a 100.
And yeah, I declare with no regrets that I was a nerd in school!
Today, about 13 years later, I am almost a different person in a completely different world. Every time I talk to my friends, we end up talking about our day-to-day problems. And a lot of them pertain to our workplaces.
Needless to say, it varies across a spectrum of “I am not enjoying my work” to “I did not get that promotion” to “How do I get better at what I do”.
Some of them are solvable by good advice, while some just require a patient ear. Each of us, hailing from and working in completely different roles and industries, do little more than listening.
Mulling over one of my friend’s problem, heavily pertaining to her team dynamics, I went into flashback. I ended up telling her “Do not get bogged down by your current problems, dream about your 100. ”
What is this “100”?
100 is what you eventually want to achieve. 100 is your finishing point, the way you see it today. 100, right now, could be being a CEO if you are in Corporate. 100 could be aiming to be Amazon if you are an entrepreneur. I am sure you have a sense of where you want to be in the future. I say sense because the future is volatile and having a sense is good enough! 100 can be your future 5 years from now. 100 can be where you want to be 20 years from now.
100 is whatever you want.
Define your 100.
Why is “your 100” important? Keeping more than an eye at “your 100” shifts your focuses from your current to your future, as it should be.
Current problems are important, but we know that 2 years from now, you will look at it and laugh. You will wonder why you were so miserable about that tiny stupid thing. “Your 100” also gives you the chance to step out of your current comfort zone, and look at the bigger picture. It gives you the strength that you need.
As a Product Manager, a lot of my effort goes into developing my communication skills. My current problem statement that I solve every day is — How do I get everyone to understand exactly what I want, and go away with the same conclusion? I would like my team, my stakeholders, my counterparts to always be on the same page as I am.
And hence, I was focused on churning presentations after presentations, trying to get better at it. A single would have probably been revised at least 10 times for clarity and conciseness.
Till one day, I stopped to think. I intend to be a good communicator in the future, and while I am getting better, it’s not at the pace I want.
Once I had defined my problem better, I started looking outside, at other avenues to improve my skills. Writing on Medium is one of them. I get great feedback, and with each article, I am sure I improve something.
Find your 100
Should/Can you have multiple 100s?
Well, It all depends on how you define “your 100”.
Your 100, like mine right now, could be about becoming a great communicator. Or, your 100 could be about becoming like Ophrah Winfrey. Her expertise and excellence could be your guiding 100.
100 is subjective!
“Your 100” is a moving target!
When I was in school, my 100 was getting into a good Engineering College. When I was in my first job, my then 100 was getting into a prestigious B-School. Now, out into the world, my 100 could be absolutely anything.
Your 100 could be exactly what you want and where you want to be. You have all the liberty in the world. But just be mindful that your 100 shifts, as it should shift.
You might see yourself getting closer to the last 100, and then you redefine it yet again.
100 is like Mario! Ever evolving and almost never-ending!
A simple shift in the way you think could be that one factor that paves the way to your success.