The Advancing Man –The Art of Making Progress

The advancing man - introduction

Are things routine and unchallenging for you? It could be that you have gotten so proficient at what you are doing and that may be hindering your progress.

If you are not growing beyond your present circumstances then it is very likely you are not making any progress. “You can advance only be being larger than your present place; and no man is larger than his present place who leaves undone any of the work pertaining to that place,” according to Wallace D. Wattles, author of The Science of Getting Rich.

The advancing man – progress without effort?

There is a culture in our country of wanting to make progress without fully utilizing or fulfilling our current responsibilities and positions. This group of people feel entitled to promotion simply because they have spent a long time in a job. When someone younger, more knowledgeable and skilled comes along and gets the job they have been sitting and waiting to get, they feel cheated. Their “time qualification” is often their strongest and only reason for thinking they deserve the job.

What they often forget is that although they have spent a long time in it, they have not grown larger than their job. In fact they may even be underperforming in their current position. So how do you give a promotion to someone that has been doing the same job for years or decades and yet still cannot do it well? The second group of people, who are merely performing the requirements of their work satisfactorily, also do not deserve to be promoted, although they expect to be.

Wattle goes on to say “The man who is merely a "good" workman, filling his place to the very best of his ability, and satisfied with that, is valuable to his employer; and it is not to the employer's interest to promote him; he is worth more where he is.” It is the exceptional person, who outgrows their current work or challenges and is seen to be capable of taking on much more responsibility than they currently have that deserves to be promoted and to advance.

The advancing man –become too big for your place

Wattle adds: “The man who is certain to advance is the one who is too big for his place, and who has a clear concept of what he wants to be; who knows that he can become what he wants to be and who is determined to BE what he wants to be.” In the workplace, advancing yourself should not be just for the sake of getting promoted and earning more money.

You should have a desire to advance yourself simply to make yourself a better person and get all the knowledge and skill that you can. Work should be your learning ground for things you can use in your own life and business. Then it will no longer be just work. It will be your preparation for a better future.

This is not only true in the workplace, but in every endeavour in life. You must become bigger than your present place if you are to advance to the next level. Satisfactory performance simply does not cut it. Advancement requires something extra, above and beyond what is asked and required of you.

The advancing man –restlessness and discontent

Thomas Edison observed that “Restlessness and discontent are the first necessities of progress.” The people that advance in life are those that are not content with what they have achieved. They know that they can achieve a lot more no matter how great things are. That is not to say that they are unhappy with what they have achieved. It is possible to be happy with your achievements and yet at the same time be discontent because you realise that you have a lot more potential in you that needs to be fulfilled.

Advancement in life requires that you never get satisfied with where we are. However well you are doing, you can always do better. Increase is the law that you must live by. No matter how much you know, you can always learn more. No matter how much you earn, you can always earn more, no matter how much you give, you can always give more. There are no limits to our abilities apart from those we acknowledge. That is something that the ever advancing person knows and lives by.

The advancing man – be different

Progress or advancement further requires that you dare to be different. Harry Milner said “All progress occurs because people dare to be different.” What sets you apart from your fellow workers? What makes your business different from others? How are your products and services different to what others are offering? You cannot advance if you are simply following the trends and the bandwagon.

If you are, you will always lag behind and never be a leader in whatever you are doing. Advancement requires that you have the courage to be different and to stand out from the crowd. Admiral Grace Hopper said “The most damaging phrase in the language is, "It's always been done that way."

The advancing man – keep an open mind

An open mind is crucial to making progress. Opportunities are everywhere, but without a mind that is curious and open to new ideas, they will pass you by. That is why preparation is so crucial. It may seem that you are wasting your time reading this article, reading all those books and studying all those courses right now. But what things like that do is they prime your mind to be ready to accept new ideas and to see things in a way that others don’t see them. Your mind becomes magnetized to attract and recognise the things you meditate on consistently.

The advancing man –conclusion

Have you ever bought a car and then it suddenly seemed like there were many of the same cars on the road? It’s not that everyone else decided to buy the same car at the same time as you. The cars have always been there, but your mind has now been primed to notice them. It’s the same way with opportunity and progress. If your mind is primed with the right knowledge you will be able to recognise opportunities and take advantage of them when others can’t see them.

In the words of Ralph Waldo Emerson: “Progress is the activity of today and the assurance of tomorrow.” What you do today will prepare you for a better tomorrow.

You are all you can be. Go on and be it.

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