Goodly Morning to y’all. Let’s start with a quote from writer, Gary Rohrmayer;
Every leader will hit a series of plateau in thier lives, the key is not to stay there because settling on a plateau can easily lead to an elongated season of comfort. Being comfortable is one of the leader’s worst enemies.
– Gary Rohrmayer
Leader in this context could be an actual leader (a person occupying a leadership position) or it could be someone successful in a particular thing.
Now what does it means to plateau?
I must confess, the 1st time I heard the word “plateau” was in primary school while reciting States and capitals 😁 – Plateau, Jos – Remember? Later on in geography we were taught plateau is an elevated large level of land(land mass) way above our normal land level here.
But those are NOT the plateaux I’ll be talking about today. There’s another meaning for plateaux though.
According to dictionary.com, to plateau means;
to reach a level of little or no growth… especially to stop increasing or progressing; to remain at a stable level of achievement;
Also according to Oxford dictionary it also means;
…to cease osciliating
Osciliation is a science term. My physics students can relate 😎. Osciliating in simple terms means “movement” or “motion”. More on this anon.
I’ve been on this book for a while, Talent is not enough by John Maxwell, Here’s an incredible story he told.
In February 2006, I was invited to join some friends who were going to a super bowl on a private plane. I sat next to Lester woerner, the owner of the plane and a very successful entrepreneur and business man. He started investing in real estate when he was a teenager, helped build one of the finest turf grass companies in the country in his twenties and thirties, and now in his fourties is the chairman of woerner Holdings with investments in agriculture, real estate and financial securities. Within minutes we were engaged in conversation, and one of the questions I asked him was how he maintained success after achieving it.
Lester described a day when he came to the realization that he had “made it” and he started to wonder what was next for him. “I started to change” Lester explained. “I went from thinking why not about every opportunity that approached me to thinking but why when an opportunity arose. I lost the hunger.”
When Lester stopped seizing opportunities, the opportunities began drying up. And he hit a plateau.
“How did you break out of it?” I asked.
“The first thing was to recognise that I was in a plateau; the second was to close the door on yesterday’s success,” he answered. “Once I did that, I was able to take steps to change, to begin going after opportunities again.”
I told Lester that i found that people tend to celebrate and then to relax when they see success as a destination.
“It’s good to celebrate, and even take a rest,” Lester responded, “but not for long. We must close the door on yesterday’s success.”
If you think you’ve arrived, then you’re in trouble. As soon as you think you no longer need to work to make progress, you’ll begin to lose ground.
That’s one of the “most eye opening” stories I’ve ever read.
Now rest and comfort are two different things. Rest is a planned temporary time to refresh and refocus the achiever. Comfort is when you settle into unproductive routines and accept satisfactory or unsatisfactory results.
This, plateauing, happened to me a while back. I stopped “Osciliating”. I’m NOT saying I’m successful, yet, but I’ve set standards/goals for myself in the past and I’ve met and surpassed them.
In primary school I was one of the best kids if not the best. I was always one of those who topped the class with little reading or effort. I got comfortable. In secondary I did the exact same thing, it worked out for a while, but things started to Plateau and decline in senior secondary school. No drive to get past that plateau. I was infact regressing. I changed for the better. Thank God for changing me and opening my eyes.
It also happens to me sometimes in the university I set goals which I surpassed, I became “comfortable” and then I plateaued. Also sometimes I’ve Plateaued outside school, in my life. I’m changing and working on it and getting better.
Another thing I should chip in, sometimes people DON’T plateau because of past successes, sometimes they plateau because of recent failures.
I love this quote by Clement Stone, I guess that summarises it.
Like success, failure is many things to many people. With Positive Mental Attitude, failure is a learning experience, a rung on the ladder, a plateau at which to get your thoughts in order and prepare to try again.
Conclusively, rest a while after achieving but don’t
rest be comfortable on past Laurels. Don’t hit a plateau because of failure.
Right, that’s it for today, more from me here next Wednesday.
Peace out folks ✌🏽