Everyone has an opinion about what matters when you are climbing the ladder of success. I’ve been told that education is everything and conversely, that education means nothing. I’ve been informed that it’s not what you know… but who you know that makes all the difference. I’ve been chided for wanting to finance the next generation of technological tools and I’ve also been dismissed for suggesting process improvements and thorough due diligence before investing thousands in upgrades which may or may not meet the need.

Interestingly, every one of these opinions hides within it an inkling of truth. The high wire act is made abundantly clear as we endeavor to discover what’s “more accurate” in a specific situation… and to do so without losing our footing and prematurely falling before you reach the other side.

So, how do we avoid falling?

By going… beyond the hype. Taking an objective look at your situation AND examining the place and space that you occupy within it is a starting point. Ask yourself some questions like…

  1. How did you get here?
  2. What do your professional relationships look like… with peers and leadership?
  3. Do you have mentors? If not, why?
  4. Have you helped others succeed?
  5. What has been the organizational response to your contributions?
  6. Is that response within your control?
  7. Where do you see yourself in a year; two years; five years?
  8. Does your current trajectory help you in reaching those goals?
  9. Is there anyone in your professional like who knows about those goals and who wants to help you to succeed in accomplishing them?
  10. Are there people above you that you trust to tell you the truth – who are secure and honest about how you are perceived… and about the role that others may play in your success?

At first glance, you’re probably thinking…

…these questions are all about “The Hype”!

I understand… but keep reading and you’ll grasp my point.

The hype that I’m describing is the noise that keeps you where you are. The hype is what immobilizes you and causes you to settle for less than “your” desired outcome. Remember… Everyone has an agenda – a plan for your presence. What’s yours? Are you operating based on your agenda or are you easily swayed by the hype?

The hype is a distraction that keeps you from stepping out of your comfort zone and stepping into something new and relevant; requiring forward motion. Hype can be conversations that takes place internally as well as externally.

Whatever form the hype takes – its’ goal is to lull you into complacency so that you press PAUSE on your agenda… remaining stagnant long enough to forfeit your desire, drive and energy to press PLAY. In the analogy of the hire wire act, the hype is what’s happening below you. The response from the crowd which tends to drown out the calm you experience when you are in the middle of your purpose.

So, if you have a goal – don’t wait to ask yourself the questions I mentioned… and don’t wait to decide whether where you are will facilitate you getting to where you’d like to go. If you have a goal – don’t wait to decide if preparation is a worthy endeavor. Oftentimes the worth and validity of the goal is revealed in the preparation.

Take a chance on yourself. Don’t look down at the crowd or the rocks below, or around at the desires and dreams and agendas of others.  FOCUS. Look ahead – beyond the finish line. Beyond the hype is where you find your definition of success and fulfillment.

Thanks for reading! One opinion or experience never reveals a situation or circumstance in its entirety. There are always at least two sides to every story. If you’ve had different experiences or if you’d like to share encouragement with my readers, I invite you to participate in the conversation. Let’s talk.

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