Apr 262012

push beyond

Want Extraordinary Results?  Push Beyond.

Achieving extraordinary results is not the domain of those who are not willing to leave their comfort zone; it is the territory of those who are willing to push beyond.

This means that just at the moment you feel like you cannot take any more, you need to reach deep inside and push beyond the pain you are feeling, assuming you can do so without causing any permanent damage.  Let me emphasize that qualification:  assuming you can do so without causing any permanent damage.

What does this mean in practicality?  Well, I do a lot of consulting and coaching in both business and in the sports world (particularly soccer), so I need to differentiate between those two worlds.  In the business world, pushing beyond typically means doing things that you’re not necessarily comfortable with, for example, making sales calls.  In the sports world, it usually means that just when you think that you cannot do any more (reps, distance, practice, etc.), you’ve usually arrived at the point where you’re in a position to learn and make true gains.  In both worlds, this must be done in the context of preserving both your physical and mental health.  Furthermore, you must learn to take responsibility for knowing yourself and recognizing when “a push beyond” may actually cause you serious and potentially permanent damage.  There’s often a fine line between making extraordinary gains and causing irreparable damage.  Top achievers learn to walk that line very carefully.

So why do I bring up this concept of pushing beyond?  In my own experience and in my observation of those whom I train and advise, it is only those who are willing to push the limits that truly accomplish extraordinary things.  Think about it.  If you are someone who is comfortable with just doing the minimum or doing what everyone else is willing to do, how can you expect to achieve extraordinary results?  By definition, anything that is extraordinary is not ordinary!  It cannot be achieved by ordinary means, except with a big dose of luck.  If you’re a high achiever, or aspire to be one, you cannot be content to let luck play too big a part in your success.  Rather, you must learn to take control of your own destiny, commit yourself to achieving the challenging goals you set, then be willing to push beyond when pain, fatigue and other issues such as fear of failure get in your way.  You have to commit to yourself that you will do whatever it takes, within reason, to make your goals a reality.

In soccer there’s a term you hear used frequently called “work rate”.  You’ll hear coaches and announcers say, “Her (or his) work rate is excellent”.  This means that the player is putting in a significant effort.  He or she is not standing around hoping that good things will happen.  Rather, they are being proactive and working hard to create opportunities for themselves and for their teammates and limit opportunities for the opposing team.  In other words, they are doing what they can to take control of their own destiny, in that game or practice, and by extension, in their career and their lives.  The same holds true in business.  A person’s work rate can have a profound effect on the ultimate success they achieve.  Granted, luck will always play some part, but the achiever does everything they can, in their power, to achieve the goals and results they are seeking.  This includes pushing beyond when things get tough.

How is your work rate?  Do you push beyond when the going gets tough?  Take an honest look at how you approach the endeavors that are important to you.  Make adjustments as necessary and I’m confident that you will begin to see results that are more in line with what you are hoping to achieve.

I look forward to your thoughts.  Please leave a comment (“response”) below or in the upper right corner of this post.

Paul Morin



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  • Frances

    I totally agree with the ideas in this post. It is easy to be satisfied in achieving our goals, but it takes more to go beyond our limits. In fact, there is a higher sense of achievement when we do so.

  • Great post! As a professional speaker/business owner this hits home. It is easy to reach a level of success and feel comfortable – stop pushing or innovating. The trouble is, when you stop growing so does your business. You might not notice right away, but “suddenly” what used to work well doesn’t bring in the traffic, calls, or bookings it did in the past. Change is scary – sometimes even painful, but necessary. Thanks for your insight!

  • Thanks, Eliz. I think it’s very important that we train ourselves to push beyond the challenges that come our way, whether they’re big or small ones. The key is to have the mentality to keep pressing on until we achieve our objectives.

  • Agreed, Frances. For achievers, this “push beyond” mindset is essential.

  • Tammy Guise

    Thanks Paul for a thought provoking post! It is true if you are ordinary then you cannot get anything extraordinary. I push myself when it comes to personal life but I feel that somewhere in the professional life I am not pushing myself. May be it is because of the pressures of personal life that I am not able to give my best to my professional goals. Balancing is the key and I need to implement that more sincerely so that I can push myself more at professional front too.

  • Thanks, Tammy. Agreed — balance is key. Sometimes we excel in one area of our life, to the detriment of other areas. It’s important to find a balance with which you are comfortable and be ready and willing to adjust as necessary.

  • Very inspiring words Paul. As you’ve pointed out, people fear failure. This fear blinds us of our potentials and is keeping us within our comfort zones. But what we don’t see is that taking risks and pushing our limits is the key to achieving the extraordinary.

  • Agreed! Be willing to take risks, in a reasonable way, is KEY to all achievement. Staying in our comfort zone, by definition, will not get us any further than our comfort zone.

  • Athena

    Every one us need to face the reality of life, staying at the side and making one self silent won’t help to developed our personality into great person…

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