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Why Good Is No Longer Good Enough

13/10/2014 12:03 BST | Updated 10/12/2014 10:59 GMT

Expectations are higher than ever. We want everything bigger, better, bolder and faster. On the flip side we'd also like to do less, lower our commitment and, while we're at it, reduce the price.

Your average guru would argue that if you want more you have to give more. If you really want to be the best then you have to give up everything else and commit 100%. After all, that's what the Olympians do.

But what if that's not true for non-Olympians like you and me.

What if there really was a way to have more, be happier, get a pay rise, live the life you want. How much would that cost? Well it's not quite free but it might just be on special offer.

Ten years ago I wrote a book called How to Be Brilliant. The sub-title is 'Change Your Ways in 90 Days', catchy?

A decade ago, if I'd had to choose the top three tips from my book I'd have struggled, claiming they were all important. But if you asked me now for my top three tips it's easy.

Take Action

Any action. Even the wrong action! We are a nation crippled by inactivity. Perhaps it's the fear of getting it wrong that far outweighs the potential benefits of getting it right. And taking action starts with the simplest of things - words.

What does your choice of words say about you?

I really do mean choice.

When you're asked how you are, surely you can do better than, 'Fine' or 'Not bad'. We have over a million words to choose from in the English language!

Maybe it's time to test yourself.

Imagine if, rather than using weak words like 'try' and 'I'll see' you replaced them with, 'Yes, I'll do that' and 'Let's make it happen.'

Psychobabble? Just test it out for a week and you'll notice the difference.

Become dissatisfied with good

Entrepreneurs thrive on this. They see something that could be better, become dissatisfied with it, change it/fix it/repackage it and boom there's your next Trunki.

But you don't have to impress a 'Dragon' to get ahead. Just choose a handful of important areas in your life and choose to be better rather than good.

If you're a father ask yourself what would a brilliant dad do? If you're in a relationship, work out what would make it brilliant - it won't take a huge amount of effort but the impact could be massive. If you're a Manager, consider the difference between being a good boss and a brilliant boss. Then work on filling that gap.

There's just a tiny step from good to brilliant.

So why doesn't everyone do it? Simple, because average is easy. There's always someone whose marriage is worse than yours. It's not hard to find a crap dad or a bad boss.

So the idea of just being a little bit better than them makes what you feel fine.

Not the best epitaph, 'Did alright, could have been better'.

Ask for help

Here's something that as a nation, we British are world class at - struggling on!

The idea that you must do everything under your own steam, learn from your mistakes and put on a brave face whilst suffering adversity is redundant.

Smart people ask for help and here's how to do it.

Always use these magic words and in this order, 'I need your help'. We are conditioned to respond to those four words, so use them. Much more effective than hinting, wishing and blabbing on for hours hoping that someone might take the hint that you need some assistance.

And when you do ask for help make sure that you're very clear with your request.

Imagine you have a well-connected friend and you're desperate for a new and interesting job. It just so happens that your mate could help you. So you could; drop some hints, start telling them how tough things are, ask them if they still see 'whoever'.

Or you could have a conversation like this,

"I need your help."

"Sure, what can I do for you?"

"I'd like an introduction to your friend Sam Smith at Funky Biz International. I'm looking for a new job and I think Sam could help me in the process. Could you do that for me please?"

There is no downside. Even if your mate says they can't help, you're exactly where you were before. But that probably won't happen.

You'll get your introduction to Sam, you'll take action, you'll make a brilliant impression and next month you'll start your new career at Funky Biz International.

Brilliance isn't about being unique, overcoming extreme adversity or creating life-changing experiences.

It's simply taking action, and doing what the average don't.