Advice

From GOOD to GREAT

Sometimes in life, things are good. Really, really good. You can have a good job and live in a good house and even have good kids. (or so I’ve heard, I’m not sure I’ve ever experienced the latter…kidding, my children are good…sometimes.)

We use the term when people as how we are, how our trip was, how our meeting went. GOOD we say.

I don’t know about you, but as GOOD as GOOD is – I really want GREAT.

We can pinpoint people in history or in our own lives who we think are truly GREAT. It is sometimes a synonym for remarkable, accomplished, especially kind. I think there are a few things those people have in common.

GOOD makes appointments. GREAT keeps them.

We live in the land of the “MAYBE” button. I have to ask – when did that become a thing?! I thought the only options when you RSVP were YES and NO. The Bible even tells us let your yes be yes and your no be no! Now all of a sudden we see people using this “MAYBE” button as a placeholder on their calendar. What does it really mean? It means yeah, sure, I’ll come – but only if nothing else better comes up. If you schedule something or say you will be somewhere – GREAT does its very best to keep its word. Along those same lines…

GOOD is on time. GREAT is early.

Why so much emphasis on keeping appointments and punctuality? Well, if money is valuable, and they say “time is money,” – it doesn’t take a rocket scientist (which I actually met a rocket scientist last month – how cool!!) to figure out that time is valuable. See? T=M, M=V, therefore T=V. I think. Well I don’t actually know about the mathematics of it all, totally not my jive, but you know it’s true that our time is valuable. So anytime you schedule a meeting, appointment, playdate – anything that takes a person’s time, you are utilizing something of value to him or her.

When you don’t keep your appointments or show up late to them, you are, in essence, communicating to the other person that their time is not as valuable as yours, or at the very least, their time isn’t important to you.

GOOD uses electronics. GREAT understands when it is appropriate to use electronics.

While we are dogging on that social media “MAYBE” button, let’s just note real quick that there is a time and place for our good ‘ole electronics to which we all seem to be attached these days. Don’t get me wrong – you need to know how to use electronics and social media. If you don’t, you will be less than good, cuz sorry, we aren’t going back to the simple life anytime soon around here. BUT, there are times when you should absolutely put the iPhone down and focus on who or what you are supposed to be doing. Titleholders, let me be absolutely clear about what this means: do not use your cell phones when you are making an appearance or volunteering. Your updates and tweets and instas and what not can all wait. I promise. So can your mom’s text (sorry mom). Again, we get back to communicating value to another person – and getting on your phone is one surefire way to do that negatively.

GOOD interacts with a few. GREAT interacts with everyone.

How easy is it to stick to our little comfort zone, chatting away with people who look like you talk like you act like you think like you dress like you………that’s nice. Find your people – love your people! But if you want to cross from GOOD to GREAT, you need to develop the skill of not only interacting with anyone, but making anyone feel welcome and comfortable. In that same vein…

GOOD talks to everyone. GREAT listens to everyone.

So you mastered the art of talking with everyone. Woo! Now work on the art of listening. It’s a great skill to be able to hold a conversation with anyone, but make sure you are listening louder than you speak.

Often times, we miss what another person is saying because we like to hear our own voices so much. I blame the selfie. #AndTheAwardForNarcissistGoesTo….

GOOD grows from praise. GREAT grows from criticism.

It is easy to grow in confidence or ability when people are giving you heaps of admiration and praise. You think, Great! I must have done well since the reaction is so positive, so I’ll keep doing it. Just. Like. That. I hate to break it to ya, but standing still isn’t growth.

No, the way you will find the greatest opportunity for growth isn’t in what you do well, but in the constructive criticism you receive, and how you handle it.

GREAT learns from constructive criticism and critique – but also knows when to stand its ground in the places that matter. Learn and grow from the opinions of others, but don’t let it change the core of who you are and what matters to you. (I’m looking at you, pageant peeps!)

GOOD sets goals. GREAT accomplishes them.

Do you know about S.M.A.R.T. (or S.M.A.R.T.E.R.) goals? If you don’t, Google it. Believe it or not, there is a better method to goal-creating than waiting for a New Year’s Resolution. Learning how to set goals well that are specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely will make sure you stay on-track when you set out to make a goal. So go ahead – DREAM BIG!

GOOD has a dream. GREAT finds it.

Speaking of dreams…when is the last time you allowed yourself to daydream? Where does your mind take you? If you lose the ability to dream big, you are missing out on the very desires of your heart that were put there on purpose and for a purpose. You are the only one who can make your specific mark in this world – but it is up to you to find it. So cancel that appointment (kidding!), put down the electronic (not kidding!), sit with your eyes closed, and dream.

Nobody ever dreams of GOODNESS. Go ahead – dare to be GREAT.

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