Like a great many of you reading this column, I spend several evenings, afternoons and even the occasional breakfast time each year attending various corporate dinners, lunches and breakfasts. They do, of course perform various functions. For a great many charities that benefit from them, these are part of the lifeblood of their fundraising. For businesses, they can be a great way to keep in touch with a wide network of contacts as well as giving us a chance to meet new potential business partners in a more relaxed setting. They can also often give us a chance to be inspired by a remarkable story, or simply to hear from one of our heroes.
As a great many of us seem to have aspired to become a sporting superstar, but ultimately had to compromise on those dreams, many of the people we like to hear from are those who did not compromise, and who did go on to play for their country and/or win that Olympic medal that the rest of us only achieved in that commentary in our heads as youngsters.
It can be great to reminisce on their moments of glory, maybe taking us back to when we shared their triumph as we cheered from the side-lines or from the sofa.
We continue to admire their efforts, their skill and often their self-belief. Often we wonder if we can learn from what they have achieved and translate that lesson into what we do as we “compete” in our everyday work lives and seek out success.
There is a temptation to think that whilst we may not be able to match their skill levels (though let us not forget that there will be some amongst us who have world class skills in business), we can at least achieve much more if we believe in ourselves or if we want the success strongly enough.
There are many speakers, and certainly a lot of publications and quotes, exhorting us to believe strongly enough in ourselves so that we can achieve our dreams. But as with so many things does there not have to be a balance?
I would not decry self-belief in any person. We all have skills and talents, and we should look to make the most of them - ideally within a society that recognises that a diversity of strengths enhances everyone’s lives.
The balance comes with the application and effort required. I could dream of, and believe in, my prospects of achieving Gold and do so with an incredible conviction. But even if I had that, and the incredible talent to go with it (which I do not) the other ingredient is sheer effort, best summed up by the late (great) Sir Terry Pratchett, “If you trust in yourself .. and believe in your dreams … and follow your star ….. you’ll still get beaten by people who spent their time working hard and learning things and weren’t so lazy.”
Just a thought
What dream are you working for?