How stretching helps your career


Did you know stretching can give you tremendous boosts of energy? Stretching helps loosen tight muscles and improves blood circulation. It can also help you develop a more optimistic outlook in life through the release of endorphins. It turns out stretching is not just great for your physical health but also for your career. Reaching out to achieve goals beyond your comfort zone is the stepping stone for achieving significant success. Big goals bring greater rewards but involve more risk and therefore most individuals prefer to “stay put” and do not make any significant changes.

Reaching your potential requires getting comfortable with constantly being “uncomfortable”. There is no limit to how much you can improve yourself. Successful individuals are constantly pushing their limits.

“Only a mediocre person is always at his best”- W. Somerset Maugham

The status quo can be quite a delightful place to many individuals. The “Joy” of the familiar is hard to give up. However, settling into your comfort zone has long-term implications the most noteworthy being its impact on your ability to grow as an individual. The most common example of this is when we try to lose weight. Knowing what it takes to lose weight- long hours in the gym and sacrificing your favorite food , most people will take the easier way out and identify an excuse that justifies inaction. Sometimes it takes a special trainer who has the ability to motivate you to become a better version of yourself by painting a picture of what a better you could look like and what that means to your life. Noted leadership and personal growth guru John Maxwell suggests in “The Law of the Rubber Band” that our personal growth journeys must be like a stretched rubber band – where there is tension required to hold it to its full length.

Growth stops when you lose the tension between where you & where you could be- John.C. Maxwell.

It’s important to keep up the momentum/effort (Tension) required to help you reach your peak potential. Even if you determine that you have reached a certain level of success you sought out a few years ago, you must continue to push harder as your potential is really unlimited. Growth requires tremendous courage and determination. It also requires an open mind to develop yourself to become a new you by acknowledging your areas of improvement and focusing on “strengthening” your strengths.

In the corporate world, it is common to have “Stretch” goals and “Commit” goals. This applies to both individuals and companies. Stretch goals are viewed as “high risk for failure” and “commit” goals typically must be met at any cost. I prefer to not categorize goals as stretch vs commit as this tends to cause undesired effects such as “coasting” when the commit goals are met. Instead, when I coach clients at my Leadership and Growth coaching practice: SuccessSimba, I recommend that the team set goals at 10X levels. This is a principle borrowed from Grant Cardone’s The 10X Rule, and I describe this principle in my Post- How to achieve #10X results in your life and career. To meet the goals, we have to up the ante and take massive action to achieve the goals. This approach ensures that the individuals and the business are firing on all cylinders and are constantly propelling themselves to their full potential. This also tends to open up your mind to think bigger and may change your approach/direction all together.

Another philosophy to maximize potential is the concept of “BHAG” or Big Hairy Audacious Goals. The BHAG concept was introduced by Jim Collins in his book “Good To Great” and it is a clear and compelling goal that unifies people towards a common mission that is bigger than themselves. This is the philosophy that great companies such as Boeing and GE use to achieve bold missions. A BHAG is energizing and creates the momentum necessary to propel forward towards progress.

Think little goals and expect little achievements. Think big goals and win big success. -David Schwartz (Author- The Magic of Thinking Big).

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