There is a difference between bragging and showing people what’s possible. If you’re embodying the difference between what people know to be true and what they see right in front of them as evidence, you’re showcasing what’s possible. There’s a vast difference between telling people how great you are vs. exhibiting through actions how great you are. As the U.S. Navy SEALs state, you want to be confident without being cocky. You’re already great in certain aspects or proficient at specific things. This competence builds natural confidence for it is next to impossible to be confident about an action without competence in it. The better we are at a task, the more confident we are in our abilities.
We can get too close to our own skills to not acknowledge our own abilities. You may be an excellent teacher, able to simplify the complex. You may be wonderful around people and draw your energy from contributing to the group. You may be so extraordinarily disciplined each day that people wonder how you get so much done and are able to stay in such great physical shape. You may have encyclopedic knowledge about an historical niche you’re obsessed with. If I approached you and asked you about these things, you may have difficulty answering the questions. We’re so close (or so good) we do not see our ability as others do. It is simply what we do. We’ve developed good habits. We do it without thinking.
“Develop Good Habits.”
— Warren Buffett
The majority of us are scared to death of public speaking. But some people do it. The majority of us are terrified of being on video. But some people do it. The majority of us hate to write. But some people do it. Almost no one gets up at 4:30 am to work-out. But some people do it. The majority of us hate to run. But some people do it. The majority of us dislike programming. But some people do it. The majority of us cannot play a musical instrument with proficiency. But some people do it. The majority of us cannot avoid sugar and eat clean. But some people do it. In which categories are you some select people? Within that category, you possess an unfair advantage because you possess unconscious competence.
Warren Buffett is able to size-up whether a company would be a good fit for Berkshire Hathaway rather rapidly. He can do this because he has analyzed so many thousands of companies’ financials that it comes easily and naturally to him. If the company doesn’t meet certain key metrics of vital importance to him, they’re filtered out. But if a company meets or exceeds his key metrics for potential acquisition, he is quick to pull the trigger and deploy capital. There are many, many no’s before one single yes. Warren Buffett, through his legendary business and investment acumen, showcases what is possible.
Showcasing what is possible is a matter of discipline: knowing what to do and when, and saying no to many inadequate offers. It is saving your yeses, like Buffett does. He suggests thinking of your investments as a punch card with limited punches, if you only have 20 punches acting as investment decisions, you’ll think much more thoroughly on those 20 investments.
Watch Elon Musk showcase what is possible. Here is a guy who gets laughed at every time he begins a new venture despite his successful track record. And yet this is the guy who brought you safe, easy, and secure consumer-to-consumer payments. This is the guy who’s team built you the world’s coolest electric cars. This is the guy who is reimagining the battery for consumers and businesses. This is the guy who took over for NASA with his own rockets. If you believe that what one person can do, so can another, Elon Musk inspires you with wide eyes. Elon’s showcase brings us the cool and the new about as frequently as Apple, which says a lot about his creations and designs.
Watch Seth Godin showcase what is possible. Seth takes his own advice by posting to his blog every single day without fail. He writes. He speaks. He does video. His creating and sharing is prolific. He writes the hits regularly, and he tells you how he finds the time: No TV, No meetings. Thus, freeing up hours and hours each week for reading, writing, and thinking. And listening to his favorite music. If you type “Seth” into Google, his posts are all over page 1. Every time.
People are often enthralled by prolific bloggers, YouTubers, or other big contributors in the space. They look at list sizes, number of followers, likes, shares, etc., with wonder. How did they do it? What must it be like to have this sort of a following? Those with big followings showcasing what is possible create and share daily, often multiple times per day. They are consistent in their messaging. The key is they don’t stop. Their editorial calendar is chock-full every day with content — including the weekends. What is an everyday topic or subject for you? What do you think about nearly all day long, every day, including days off? On what area would you never run out of material for?