There is a lot of great literature, books and advice that focuses on looking good.
So much is said about looking the part, having the right words, hanging out with the right people.
We know a lot about how people perceive us, how people think about us and how we can do this and that to persuade people.
It is no coincidence that “How to Win Friends and Influence People” was the book that invented the self help genre.
Looking good, however, is not all that helpful if you have not done the work to get good.
Simply looking good can mask competence for a while. But, not for long.
At some point just looking good will catch up with not doing the work.
So, what do we know about getting good?
I think there are three things we know about getting good.
First, we must commit to getting good. It has to be intentional.
It does not really matter what we choose to get good at. It just matters we choose something.
We don’t need more confidence. We just need more commitment.
Second, we must apply the principles of deliberate practice toward our journey.
To get better at our craft, we must be disciplined and train relentlessly, seek task specific feedback from a coach or mentor and push ourselves to expand our comfort zone.
No coach? No worry, find people who have done it before and mimic their approach until you find your own style.
The end result from this process is developing a mental model that enables us to “see” the world differently. It is these mental models that help us make consistently better decisions.
Finally, once we get good, we must then commit to a life of depth.
Becoming good does not mean we will stay good.
To become experts, we must consistently hone our skills and commit to a process of lifelong learning. We do that by building a deep life, one where focus, commitment, and mindfulness are the norm.
It is the sort of life where we distance ourselves from the noise of distraction and keep our focus on the things that truly matter, good self-care, good people and a focus on the work that helps us make the world a bit better.
A deep life is the surest sign of a good life.
By all means, continue the conversation on looking good. But, if we are going to run the marathon, let’s make sure we are fit enough to go the distance… and then maybe go some more.
Put in the hours and do the work.
Hard work is attractive.