How To Get To The Top

What is the top? That’s the question. And how do you know when you’re there? People who strive are never satisfied, even when they are straddling Everest, industry or the local branch of Boots. They might know they can go no higher on this particular mountain range but all that means is they must find something else to conquer. I like that about striving. I strongly advise you to strive. But find a top you can call your own.

Career structures are all very well for the that-way-inclined but have you seen them? They are made of straw in this day of the short-term contract and you can topple off over and over again through no fault of your own. You might get shoved, a rung might collapse beneath you, or you might just get fed up using a whole lot of energy on stuff that has nothing to do with the job you like. Structures don’t recognise true worth either. I have always avoided them.



This could be because I am overcompetitive or undercompetitive. Maybe it’s fearfulness of competition, fearfulness of what I become when competing or fear of failure. Who cares? The point is knowing where you work best. For me, that’s at home with one eye over my shoulder for younger, cleverer people I will never have to meet.

You, on the other hand, may flourish in the face of immediate competition and relish the neck and neckness of it all. Just watch out for people who play dirty. They will subvert your best efforts, refuse to involve you and try to make you look incompetent, like the cows at school. Deal with them however you see fit though not by punching or you will end up in court.

Competition is currently back in fashion because it’s said to bring out the best in people. It is currently not the thing to ackowledge it also brings out the worst. Speaking for myself, I’d rather lift my game on my own account than for the sake of thrashing someone else into the ground and I would suggest you do the same. This isn’t to say you can’t delight in someone else’s lacklustre performance. Of course you can. I do all the time.

Limitations and the folly of recognising them

Someone once said to me, ‘What I like about you is you know you’ll never be another Ralph Nader.’ Even then I had to laugh. ‘Ralph who?’ you will be saying. Precisely, Ralph Nader was a consumer campaigner who peaked in the seventies.


Why would I ever have aspired to be a Ralph

It’s a terrible mistake to define your aspirations in terms of anyone else, alive or dead, let alone accept you’ll never reach anyone else’s dizzying heights in the field of customers’ rights. Not only would I never admit Ralph Nader into my focus, I wouldn’t even include William Thackeray or Elaine May, and I admire them hugely.

You want to be whoever you are going to become and you should do your darnedest to be whoever that person is. Give it your all but make it your all, not blinking Ralph’s.

Filed Under: Lifestyle & Personality


About the Author: Alan Kennon lives a very happy life with two kids and a lovely wife. He likes to share his life time experiences with others about how they can improve their lifestyle and personality.

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