It was a Tuesday morning at 6:30 a.m. I was midway through a very intense, focused exercise session at my gym. That day’s workout consisted of a series of strength training exercises. In order to make the most of my time, there was very little rest in between sets.
After completing one of the exercises, I took a short break to wipe some sweat off my forehead, catch my breath, and take a sip from my water bottle. Another guy at the gym looked at me and said, “Man, you are the hardest-working person in here. Every day I see you here working your ass off.”
I felt a huge sense of pride wash over me. “Thanks bro,” I replied. “Gotta get after it every day.” Then, I got back to work- with even more spring in my step.
A few minutes later, I had another thought though: “If I actually am the hardest-working person here, is that really a good thing?”
Set the Bar Even Higher
Being the hardest-working person or the “best” person in a group is actually dangerous. Without another person(s) setting the bar even higher for you, you will likely become complacent and stop challenging yourself as much as you could.
The longer you stay in a group where you are already at the top, the more likely you will start to plateau or even regress. If you want to get even better, you need to surround yourself with people who are on an even higher level. Their example will inspire and push you to even greater levels of success.
If you ever think or are told that you are the hardest-working person or the “best” person in a group, you might be proud of that fact. And, you should be. Chances are that it was not easy to reach your current level.
However, you should also ask yourself this question: Why are you not surrounding yourself with people who work even harder and who are even better than you are right now?
No matter how hard you work or how good you are at anything, chances are that you are not the top person right now in the world. You might be the top person in a specific group. However, there are always other people out there who are on an even higher level right now than you are.
Summary and Final Thoughts
Take a few minutes and think about all of the groups that you are part of- personally and professionally. For example, that might include your department at work, a business club or association that you are part of, and a sports or fitness group that you participate in.
Are you the hardest-working or the “best” in any of those groups? If not, you could set a goal to become that person. Don’t stop there though. If and when you become the hardest-working or “best” person in a group, find another person(s) or group on an even higher level.
You never want to be the hardest-working or “best” person in a group for long. Otherwise, you will become complacent and fail to reach your true potential. Always be on the lookout for other people and groups who are setting the bar even higher. Do that, and you will be amazed at who you will become and what you will achieve.
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About the author: Pete Leibman is the Creator of StrongerHabits.com. He is a best-selling author, keynote speaker, executive recruiter, athlete, and peak performance coach. His work has been featured on Fox News, CBS Radio, and CNNMoney.com, and over 500,000 people across the world have read his articles.