Want to be better? Play up!

When I was a young tennis player, I worked hard to improve.  I practiced.  I worked out.  I played for hours and hours.  And I got better.  The hours of practice helped me improve.  But with every endeavor, regardless of how hard you work, you will find plateaus.  You will come to places where you can’t seem to break through to the next level.  It’s frustrating.  So what do you do?

You need to play up.

I found the best way to really get better was to up my level of competition.  Get around people who would beat me.  Be willing to deal with the frustration (I literally HATE to lose) so that you can be better.  It is really hard to (mentally) make this leap.  It’s hard to put yourself out there knowing you are in above your head.

But that’s how you get better.

I was reminded of this lesson this week at the NALC (North American Leadership Conference).  I spent just one day around some of the most influential leaders in our industry and I was energized.  My biggest regret is I didn’t spend more time.  When given the chance to spend time, learn and network with people more successful than you…you should.

I need to play up.

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