Sounds like a pretty tall order, right? Usually, we reserve the term “awesome” for people who do amazing things like climb mountains or break sports records. But the thing is, you can be awesome too with a little effort!
If you’re ready to break out of the rut you’ve been in, check out the following action steps that’ll turn your life around in no time.
Step #1 – Try new things
First things first – nobody was ever called “awesome” for doing the same old thing, day in and day out! If you want to be truly awesome, you need to have awesome things to talk about with others – and that means taking risks and trying new things from time to time.
For example, could you…?
- Try a new restaurant
- Join a new meetup group
- Take up a new sport or hobby
- Learn a new language
- Check out a new band
Really, the list of possibilities is endless, but you don’t need to go all out at first. Challenge your comfort zone by starting with small activities and then work your way up to larger attempts.
Step #2 – Pick your passions
As you go about this whole “trying new things” process, you’ll probably find that some activities “click” for you. Maybe you hate spending your weekend nights listening to loud bands playing in dingy clubs, but you love the camaraderie and exercise you get from having joined your neighborhood’s pick-up soccer team.
That’s great! Part of being awesome at life is knowing what to invest your efforts into and what to give up right away. After all, awesome people don’t waste time committing to things they don’t truly care about. Instead, they evaluate their options by actively experimenting with new things and then paring down their list of engagements to the ones that really matter.
In general, it’s a good idea to have at least a few different passions – nobody wants to be stuck around that guy who has nothing more to talk about than his love of craft beers. Instead, choose a few passions – say, your career, a sport and a volunteer opportunity – that you’ll dedicate your time to and weed out other activities that don’t appeal to you.
Step #3 – Give 110% effort
Every office has that guy who half-asses everything. For some reason, it’s become passé in our culture to act like you don’t care about things. And while that might make you look “cool” in the eyes of your coworkers, it’ll never make you awesome.
Awesome people give 110% of their effort to all of the passions they commit to. They explore the full possibilities of every activity they engage in – probing these situations for the opportunity to learn more and do better in the future. They aren’t “brown-nosers” – putting in extra effort just to attract the attention of senior management. Instead, they engage fully for their own benefit, eventually turning them into better educated, more well-rounded people.
Take a second to think about your passions. Sure, you say you value your career, but how fully are you dedicating yourself to its growth and development? Are you taking advantage of networking and professional development opportunities? Do you waste time at work that could be better spent advancing your skill set by completing more tasks?
We all slack off from time to time – and that’s fine. But what’s not fine is consistently underperforming when it comes to your passion projects. If you aren’t giving 110% of your effort to these key areas, you’re never going to be truly awesome.
Step #4 – Give back
Last but not least, awesome people give back. This may take a number of different forms – from volunteering in the community to serving as a mentor for younger workers in your profession – but what awesome people recognize is that they didn’t become awesome on their own.
All of us rely on the support of others in some way or another. If you’re learning a new sport as a passion project, it could be the coach or teammate who gives you pointers on how to improve your technique. Or, if you’re trying to advance your career, your support comes from the professors who gave you your background training, the managers who have encouraged you and the mentors who have guided you along the way.
Awesome people don’t presume that they’re awesome because of some in-born, pre-determined greatness. What they recognize is that we all depend on others to enable our success – and they aren’t afraid to show their appreciation by giving back in some way.
So as you proceed along your own path to awesome-ness, keep an eye out for the people or systems that help you out as you move forward. Then, make it a point to find some way to recognize them, whether you say thanks directly, do charity work in their honor or undertake some other activity. Above all, doing so will help to keep you grounded – one of the hallmarks of the kind of awesome person we all want to be around.