The more high-achievers I meet, the more I’m convinced that there’s ONE primary factor that makes them different from everyone else:
They hold themselves to higher standards.
Every one of us has imaginary “lines” that we draw in our minds.
Those lines represent the MINIMUM that we consider to be acceptable and normal in life.
We have “lines” for the quality of our relationships, the size of our income, the intensity of our work ethic, our health/fitness, our cleanliness, etc.
We are naturally wired to stay above these lines, and we feel TERRIBLE when we find ourselves operating below them.
I think, on some level, our brains probably connect these imaginary “lines” to actual survival (fear of rejection/abandonment, etc.).
Ultimately, high achievers simply seem to draw their lines a lot higher than everyone else.
When a high-achieving student takes a test, it’s not like she just “wants” an “A” and would be OK with a B…
…more often, she feels like she absolutely MUST get an A…to the point that she might even be SCARED of getting anything less.
If you want to achieve more than you do now, you have to re-draw your lines. Set higher standards. Re-define what “enough” means.
Whatever your minimum acceptable norms are, and wherever your lines are drawn, you will tend to naturally rise…or fall…to meet them.
So draw carefully.