Build Your Competence to Soar Higher!

This week's article will discuss the third element of what I call the "pillars of a fulfilling life." If you recall, the first two were autonomy, that feeling of being in control of your world, and relatedness, having connections both with close relations and society as a whole. As always, if you haven't read these posts I strongly urge you to go back to my website at and do so.

The pillar that we are going to discuss today is competence.

When most people think of a "competent" person, they think of someone who is able to get the job done. That is a pretty good definition, but the only problem with it is that it assumes that someone who doesn't get the job done properly is incompetent. That is simply not the case.

Repeat after me: "Competence comes from confidence. Confidence comes from failing until you LEARN."

I was talking to a fellow speaker at a recent event and he related to me a story about when he was first starting out at one of his first paid engagements. At this event, an older lady stood up and announced that she had known him all his life and asked why he thought anyone should listen to him given his shameful and unscrupulous background. She even illustrated her point with some dark events from his past.

His reply was pure gold.

He told this "heckler", for lack of a better word, "Ma'am, you're right. I have been a low-life, a womanizer, an addict, a terrible father to my kids when they were young. I have possibly made every mistake a man can make in this world and that is exactly why you should listen to me."

His point was that he had made his share of mistakes. He had done things he shouldn't have. He had been places that he shouldn't have gone. More importantly, though, he had learned from all those things.

Today, I am proud to say that he is one of the finest gentlemen I know and he is very competent in the advice he gives to people.

The same lesson applies to every facet of life. Just like mastering a video game, you keep playing the level until you pass it, which prepares you to face the next challenge. I may not be a fan of these time-wasting video games, but even they can teach us a lesson: Never give up!

The competent person is the one who has tried more times than they have failed; the master is the one who has failed more times than others have tried. If there is an area of your life where you don't feel competent, then keep pushing. Rejoice in your failures and learn from them.

My challenge for you this week:

Become competent in something that will help elevate your life.

  1. What is something you want to master?

  2. Take an hour to surf the Internet so that you can compile a list of competencies that would be required to master that "something".

  3. Select one competency that you will commit yourself to developing.

  4. List the action steps you will take to develop that competency.

  5. Make your action steps a daily ritual, without excuses!

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