According to me the basic principle that everyone should bear in mind is simple, “Do your best and forget the rest”. And this is not only very relevant to the important exams such as 11 Plus, GCSE, A levels, but also to all the fields of education and study. Once you put your 100% into something you will never be disappointed with the results. If not today, one day in the future you will see the results coming into effect. Having said this, I want to also very strongly imply that ‘Struggle does not guarantee success’, consistency and smart work does it. More often people are led to believe that at the end of your struggle you are bound to achieve something great, but that does not really happen. Struggle with an aim of achieving something great, usually is a big downer. What will certainly give you results is being invested in whatever you choose to do and keep doing it consistently, growing and improving yourself while moving towards your goal.
Pick up a task and give it your all. For example, if you want to lose some weight, or gain some weight, set a target and go after it until you achieve it. You are not allowed to cheat, no lags, no appreciation until you achieve your goal. It’s called having a tunnel vision. This was a small example. If you have picked a profession, analyse your skills very carefully, because no one else is going to do it for you. Observe yourself, observe your behaviour and moods, what makes you feel happy, what do you do the best and stick to it, master the art of it and you will see the tables turn in your favour.
I am going to take this opportunity to recite a very small story, a story that I have witnessed happening right before my eyes. I had a friend growing up and he was an excellent artist. From school to college, he won a ton of drawing and art competitions at state and national level too. As one would expect he decided to study arts, and further excel in the field he was so passionate about. For years, he worked hard and excelled at what he was doing. The ultimate goal of any professional is to make money out of the work he/she is doing. If your passion and your hard work does not gain you any money, the chances are you will lose your motivation. So, this person, started working as an illustrator in an advertising agency. He was doing just about ok, because there are tons of illustrators and freelance artists who would do the same kind of work and may be not expect a ton of money. One day this guy gave it a serious thought and decided to quit his job and start his own company. A company that specialized in portrait arts, which would further specialize in drawing human portraits with expressive eyes. Any message the portrait has to convey would be conveyed through the eyes in the portrait. He created a specialization inside his specialization and made a very unique case. It was intriguing and unheard of. Soon he had multi-national ad agencies offering him amazing jobs. He gained that special position no one had aimed at before. His idea was a huge success because whenever anyone thought of creating a portrait ad with a focus on human expressions, he was the go-to guy. From zero to a hundred with a single idea. It’s also called, building a brand for yourself.
Every brand has a unique story. Think about Twinings, one of the most sought after tea brands in the world. Think about Costa coffee, they`ve got the best coffee on the go. The `have a brand story`, something that sets them apart from everything else and this is what sells. Similarly, every individual has to think about what is it that you love to do, what is it that will also give you money and will also be useful to others, also known as Ikigai. If you have a passion which is completely useless to everyone else, it will be a hobby and it cannot be a thing for you to do.
Why is creating this brand for yourself so important? The number one reason is competition. Competition, not just within your school for Year 6 SATs and your university admissions, but competition at a Global scale. Can you handle this, can your child or student handle this? The best way to stand apart from the crowd is by becoming a specialist. Be so good at the small thing that you do that the small thing becomes the biggest thing for you. For example, if you want to be a computer engineer, sure go ahead and be that, but choose a niche within it, like maybe a computer engineer who specialized in software upgradation. Does that make sense? If you want to be a Doctor and you specialize in Dermatology, dig in further and be a dermatologist who specifically deals in acne and gives 100% results if a patient enters his/her clinic. If you are a musician, specialize in creating music that achieves excellence with just a few simple notes.
How does this work in your favour? It’s very simple. It’s called brand recognition. Once you are known as being a specialist in a particular field you automatically eliminate all the competition. You become extremely easy to recollect. There may be several other people doing the exact same work but are not a 100% dedicated to a particular specialization like you would be. This is what will make you a well-known expert in your workspace. Imagine you are in a team of five people, in a criminal investigation field, everyone with the same job profile, but you go a step further and invest yourself in evidence collection and investigation. You will be recognized for that and you will be the one who will stand apart from your peers.
Being a Jack of all trades is good, but now its good only at an individual level. When it comes to progressing your career to the next level it’s this expertise that becomes crucial. Be the Master of one, and create your own unique space.