Needless to say that over the last few decades the pace of life has accelerated and become as fast as never before. The modern world consistently sets the bar high and invites us to step on the fast track.
With the arrival of the rapid technological advancement, people indeed started to feel rushed, busy and overwhelmed.
And it’s no wonder why…
Everyone wants to be everywhere and do everything at the very same time. However, it is unlikely to be an intrinsic desire. It looks more like an extrinsic requirement.
Indeed, the desire to get the most out of your time by taking all the online courses your credit card would allow to take, saying Yes to every single opportunity the world provides you with, chasing multiple careers and trying to launch several businesses at once is provoked by the fear of becoming outdated laggard that falls behind in the global race.
Ultimately, the biggest challenge of today’s life is simple: you need to stay relevant.
Being relevant in the ever-faster world is not only critical. It is the only way to being heard and listened to. It is the unique way to be demanded by the modern society.
Embrace the truth. You are going to become outdated, conservative and straggled one day if you don’t keep improving yourself. Taking into account the pace everything out there evolves with, your today’s knowledge and skills are going to be worthless already in a few decades or even years.
Being adaptive and responsive to the changes is crucial. It is what it takes to stay relevant.
However, the problem is that the nature of relevance is often misinterpreted. The distorted understanding of how to fit the present competitive reality leads to the absence of priorities and chaotic chasing of everything that seems to be important.
Moreover, the tremendous world of social media is meant not to let you escape this race by bombarding your news feed with more and more “newsworthy” and “trustworthy” things…
The truth is that relevance is not about consuming everything you are offered to. It is not about going everywhere you are invited to. It is not about always saying “Yes” either.
Instead, it is about being picky and reasonable when it comes to allocating your time and efforts to the new commitments.
The secret to winning the biggest challenge of the 21st century might seem counterintuitive. However, it is the only way to deal with the earlier unknown speed of life:
Slow down to achieve more
Treat your life like a marathon. Not a sprint.
Do not accelerate too much. Do not try to do everything and be everywhere at the very same moment. Do not try to saturate your life with tons of new projects, new skills, networking, and growth.
Instead, learn to prioritize your commitments and filter out those activities that are not a perfect fit for the person you’d like to be.
It’s impossible to stay relevant at several spheres at the same time. Don’t try to prove it wrong. Ultimately, it isn’t feasible due to the natural time constraints and the infinitely renewable amount of information to process and digest.
Focus on what matters most to you and channel all your energy towards becoming the best at what you do.
Otherwise, you are likely to end up getting your attention scattered, thereby investing your time in things that don’t add any value but only create the illusion of progress.
Being relevant in the 21st century doesn’t require you to be a Jack of all trades. Don’t try to be someone who is decent at everything. Aspire to be the best at some specific thing.
Being relevant doesn’t mean having no weaknesses. It only means being consistent at improving your strengths.
Become crystal clear about the field you want to continuously stay relevant at. Define what skills you need to enhance for that and do your best to become unstoppable on the way towards the ultimate mastery.
However, keep in mind that being unstoppable does not always mean being fast. Very often in order to achieve more growth, you need to decrease a speed and take a break. You need a break to get all the dots connected and get the things settled down in your mind.
Slow down and use this break to define clearly the goals you want to achieve. Visualize your path towards them. Acknowledge the errors you have made and learn from your mistakes. Take into account all the obstacles you are likely to face along your way.
If you can do this successfully, you can actually build a more solid foundation for further development. This way you can maintain your skill set on the level where it stays relevant for a long time.
Slow down whenever you feel you need a break. Slow down before the next huge leap. Slow down to achieve more. Slow down to stay relevant!