If you set the bar so low and insist on surrounding yourself with mediocre people, don’t be surprised that you are not making progress.

How often do you hear your classmates on campus or colleagues at work complain about a lecturer who demands a lot from his/her...

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How often do you hear your classmates on campus or colleagues at work complain about a lecturer who demands a lot from his/her students or, a manager who insists on top standards at work?

We often try and avoid such (tough/demanding) people thinking they are either out to get us or, make our lives more difficult. In actual fact, the opposite is often true.

When you have a teacher who lets you get away with arriving late to class, submitting homework or projects late, or work that is not well written or researched, or a manager who says nothing when you turn up to work late – these people are not your friends. What they are instead saying is, we only expect low or mediocre standards from you since we don’t care and we believe this is all that you are capable of achieving. When someone does not challenge poor quality service or lazily put together work, then my friend, that person has no vested interest in seeing you do well. He/she is simply there to collect a salary every month and your future plays no part in their thoughts.

Many of us think our parents are too hard on us because they demand and expect the best from us and we wish they were more like Uncle X or Auntie Y but let me tell you my friend, your parents have a vested interest in seeing you do well.

People who climb their way out of poverty are often those who have focus, work hard and surround themselves with colleagues and clients who aim high. Successful people surround themselves with people who display talent, discipline and hard work. They do not waste time or money and indeed, save money and grow by using their surroundings to learn about people, art & culture, diversity and life. All around them, they see opportunities. They do not sit by, waiting for parents, family or friends to hand out money. They do not wait for governments to create jobs for them – they create their own jobs since they know time is money. They may start off even selling sweets at college but they do something that will assist them and/or their families. More important, they surround themselves with people who expect the best from them – no mediocrity from them.

Successful people have no tolerance for laziness. They also have no sense of entitlement – whatever they want in life, they know they have to work hard for it -it will not be handed to them on a plate and they know and accept this reality. They know there are no shortcuts or indeed, excuses. They know that no matter how poor they are, this is no excuse to sit back and, do nothing.

Successful people network. They do not cocoon themselves in their own little world, refusing to leave their comfort zone and then wonder or bemoan the fact that the world continues to progress without them. They know if they want to be part of the success journey, then it is up to them to catch up with the fast movers. It is not for others to slow down to their pace. They do not play the blame or victim game – when they fail, they take responsibility, pull themselves together (no matter how hard), and start again. To read more posts by Miriam, click HERE 

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