Asking yourself “What’s next?”
As humans, we are creatures of habit. But we must understand that habits are highly poisonous. Did he just say poisonous?” Hold on, relax. I know what you’re probably thinking, “what about my morning routine?” “Or going to church with my family on Sunday’s? Are those habits poisonous too?” Let me explain before you exit this window. When I say, “Habits are poisonous” what I mean is that habits make us comfortable.
I am not saying that you should stop brushing your teeth every morning or quit the job you have been working at for 2 years now. That would be silly. What I want people to do is to ask themselves one question. “What’s next?” This habit will allow you to make changes in your routine life and achieve the goals you have, faster. In order to do this, it’s best to set up short and long term goals. Once you reach them you ask, “What’s next?” You can see how this forces you to make a choice on what to do, your next move has to differ from what you did to get there because your past moves have already been made and you can’t repeat them.
The same principle can be applied to working out. If a person is doing the same series of exercises month after month, there is no new challenge and with no new challenge comes no new results.
Never settle for “Just good enough.”
These habits that we form are the same as settling at just being “Good enough” and most of the time we even get praise for it. We have a job to be our worst critics because we are the only ones who know what we are capable of and only we know when we can do more.
As a student I have always done well in school, networked my way into jobs/internships and even secured a full time offer before graduation. I did this by always asking myself “What’s next”. I can’t tell you the amount of praise I get for my “Successful endeavors” from family and friends but I simply look at those accomplishments as things I “was supposed to do”. Isn’t that the point of college essentially, to secure a job afterwards? I hadn’t done anything extraordinary and I knew that I could do more!
We have another responsibility of not letting the comments of others inflate our egos in such a way that we get comfortable and feel as though we have accomplished enough to cease the challenging of ourselves. Knowing that there is always room for improvement and new ways to challenge yourself is the key at never settling, this is why asking the question of “What’s next” is so vital.
The stepping stone concept
I have a picture that I like to paint for people when I illustrate this concept verbally and this it’s called “The stepping stone concept”. Hopefully this will make it clear for anyone who is in question on how to follow this methodology.
Picture a series of stepping stones; these stones are close enough to where you can walk from one to the other without much difficulty. The stones start off being rather large in size but as you progress and each task gets more difficult, the stones become smaller and smaller, requiring more strategy and planning for how exactly you will make your next move. You carefully travel from one stone to the next but you can never go backwards because as you leap from one to the other, the previous stone disappears. Now this leaves you with one option, to move forward and keep going on to the next goal or challenge. This way you keep growing, you get exposed to new things and people, you evolve as a person and this, my friends is how you accentuate your life. It is when people stay on a stone that they have found comfort on or when they feel as though they have crossed many stones and have no need to continue jumping that they feel this comfort; consequently becoming stagnant in every aspect of your life.
Not only will this accentuate your life by consistently sharpening your mind and body, but you will be able to help others get past the same stones that you once had to leap on. So in turn while you accentuate your life, you return the favor to another; and trust me when you’re able to give advice as a person who has been in their shoes you will notice that they will place more value on your words. So imagine if we all asked ourselves “What’s Next” and never settled, we would constantly go forward, always help others move forward and progress together. We need leaders in this world and if you can get through all of the stones that’s great, but you minimize your impact if you can’t teach another individual how to get to the same place as you.
-Danilo Vuk Capric.