You might like to listen to the BNI Podcast Episode 231 when you have time, or rather, do make time for it!
Recognize the fact that you are special. Six-sided snowflakes look ordinary when seen with the naked eye, but look at them under magnification and you soon realize how exquisitely unique each one is. In fact, there have never been two alike! What more for humans comprised of sixty trillion cells each?
When we understand this, it becomes an oxymoron when someone tries to make exceptions for himself while thinking he is on the path to success. Of course, how you define success is important. It would be safe for me to say that most people would recognize true success when they meet it. Or would they?
Did you read around your subject matter when you were a student? Or were you content just to get by? Sure, you didn’t cheat your way through. However, if I were to hire you, would you be able to look me in the eye and answer with great confidence and conviction if I asked questions around what you’re supposed to have learned and perhaps even practiced? If you were an engineering student, would you be able to carry on an intelligent conversation if I asked you about how we might be able to mimic how huge branches are able to grow horizontally from a vertical trunk without collapsing under their own weight? That would tell me a lot about how well you know your stuff, and whether your mind is actually still working.
So, do not be trapped by the trappings of success. The laws of success are simple, robust and they don’t look kindly on exceptions. You cannot work smart without working hard. Strengthen your foundations daily, get your wind sprints done, ask good questions and become an expert in whatever you’re doing. Remember, experts never arrive, it’s a journey.
That’s the only thing that will make you exceptional. Not exceptions.