You’ve accomplished a lot during the years of your life so far, and you know that you have more accomplishments ahead and you’ll be adding them to the list as time goes by. You know that you’re no slouch. But…what if you had a method or formula that help you accomplish just a little bit more with the same resources? What if you could get just a little bit more gain out of each 24-hour day? What if you could cover just a little more ground, learn lessons a little faster, and take your career just one notch higher? Here are a few moves that can help you draw a little bit more marrow from the soup bone of life.

Learn to embrace discomfort.

Discomfort can open the door to true and meaningful growth—if you know how to identify which forms move you forward and which forms hold you back. Most of the time, if something doesn’t feel right, it’s not right. If you feel used, humiliated, or exploited at work, or if you’re being squeezed in exchange for empty promises and empty praise, step back. On the other hand, embrace the kind of discomfort that’s healthy and nourishing. This kind comes from failing because you overreached, making a necessary decision that’s ultimately wrong (better than no decision at all), and trying something new and scary. Don’t accept the doormat treatment, but DO embrace fear, novelty, decisiveness, and bold moves, no matter the outcome.

Know what you’re good at and what you’d like to BECOME good at.

We all have strengths and weaknesses, and most of both can be safely ignored most of the time. You may be bad at tennis for example, but if you don’t enjoy tennis, it doesn’t matter. And vice versa: if you’re great at tennis, there’s no need to pursue the sport if it isn’t part of your plans. But if success in your chosen career requires a specific list of skills, take a look at the listed skills you have and the ones you lack. Use the ones you have as often as you can. And as you do so, try to build in weaker areas by finding mentors, asking questions, and staying gentle, encouraging, and patient with yourself.

Break big goals into smaller ones.

Choose a large goal—something big and wild! Set your sights absurdly high. But don’t stop there; it’s not realistic to decide you can jump over the moon and then get upset when you don’t. Instead, take that big goal and break it down into three separate smaller goals. Then break each subgoal down again and again until the first step you take is so small you can do it in ten minutes. Do that thing…then you’re on your way!

For more on how to make the most of your strengths, strengthen up your weaknesses, and get the most out of each and every day, turn to the career growth team at Extension.


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