Several times in probably countless number of occasions, we have either heard or told to step up. Well, to step up simply means “to be better.” The meaning was so easy that we also easily forgot to do it. Today, we are on into “stepping up.” What does it really mean?
In the past, we have performed something good and something not-so-good. Minus the not-so-good performances, we became the person that we deserve to be. Maybe, we got our promotions or achieve a certain career or business goal. But we became someone else: We became a better person, or at least that’s how we felt.
Doing something good is probably one key ingredient so we can have a joyful life. In my personal study of the psychology of working people, salary isn’t the number one reason why a certain person stays in the company and do the job. It’s not even the fear of not finding a new job. It turned out that when people find satisfaction, they stay even if they don’t get much money.
But companies must not be contented with their people working on the “good gear.” Competitors are catching up and new players are coming to challenge every move and strategy that you make. Old companies are trying to revive the old times by jumping in on the use of new technology and they are getting younger people to do the job. It seems to me like everybody else is doing the same thing: To be good in what they do.
While excellence starts from being good—a good supplier, a good cashier, a good member of the family, a good clerk, good leadership, good management—it is important to understand the deeper meaning of stepping up before the world seems to step up.
You can’t afford to be left behind.
Stepping up means leaving your excellent performances behind. It means reconfiguring your self so you can catch up with the demand of time. it means leaving your comfortable environment to navigate a newer way we do our business. It means growing up, learning from past experiences, gathering more tools, sharpening our minds, developing our talents, adding more skills, meeting new people, expanding our level of influence, and many more.
It seems easy but nothing can be more difficult than doing what appears to be easy.
If you are already earning enough, you wouldn’t probably stretch your way harder regardless of perks and privileges or rewards on the table. If you’re already satisfied in your position, probably there’s no reason for you to work harder anymore. If you are provided with almost everything, you may not probably think of finding better ways to do your business.
The truth is, we all need to find that compelling reason to change for the better. Is your life only about what you get from this world? Is your life only about money? Is your life only about comfort? Is your life only about your career or business? Is your life only about you?
Those questions are easy questions. Most people may probably say, “Of course not!” But come to think of it. Do we really challenge our selves to become a better person after every good performance that we make. Do we aspire to challenge our selves to do whatever it takes so we can all live a better life? Do we really innovate? Are we willing to endure the pain that change requires us to bear?
I’d like to believe that this life, career, business, or work, regardless of our position or salary range, isn’t about what we get. If you’re a sales clerk, it’s not being on your feet for 8 long hours. It’s about the people you’re able to accommodate every time you are asked to help. Is being a worker, contractual or otherwise, a difficult person to be? The answer is yes. But even your boss works. Even the president of the United States works.
The truth is, we all have to work. The only thing that makes us different from each other is our level of understanding towards what we do. How do you understand your work? How do you see it? Is work a punishment? Is work a real blessing?
We have heard the story of a former janitor who eventually turned a wealthy businessman. We have seen the stories of drivers who would become a vice president of a bank. We have read so many stories like this and yet we are still somehow skeptical that indeed, it works.
What these people did when they were still in the gutter can be summed up in a sentence: They consistently and continuously stepped up.
What will differentiate you from others in the next five years is the choice that you make everyday. There are only two choices: Step up or stay put (thus be left behind). I promise, you don’t want to be irrelevant.