A guest post by Armen Shirvanian

If you want to stick to a continually motivating way to act, getting and maintaining a lead in some aspect can do the trick. This lead can be as compared with other people, or with your past ability, as either way works. Having a lead can provide a real feeling of being in a good place in the present moment, which leads you to make more progress. Here I discuss what you can see as a lead, and how staying ahead is easier than catching up.

What Is ‘Being In The Lead’?

Being in the lead is fairly easy to define in most cases. When running a race against someone, the one who is in front of the other on the track or race path is the one in the lead. From a business standpoint, the one in the lead can be the one with a larger net profit, or more quality employees. For a scientific researcher, being in the lead means getting and publishing certain results before other scientists do. It is usually time-based, but sometimes it can be more about position.

Find Some Aspect You Can Obtain The Lead In

This includes finding out if you already are in the lead in some way. If you can find some aspect of what you are doing where you are already ahead of others, work with that, and maintain it. If you are a graphic designer, and have recently worked for more customers than some of your peer competition, go with that as your aspect to focus on. If you don’t currently see yourself ahead in any category, you are going to want to focus on one specific thing.

Student Example

This fits well for those who are students. In a class with a curve, competition is a big part of the experience, although it is not actually too impacting on grades in most circumstances. To fit with the concept of this article, you would want to put out all your effort at the beginning of a quarter or semester, in order to get ahead of the curve. This can make all the difference in the world. It takes about a month of really focusing, obtaining great early results, and then holding on to the good position.

The big difference between maintaining a lead and catching up is the feeling you have throughout the process. Someone who takes an early lead, and then holds on to it, feels much less stress, and feels like they “get it”. Someone who falls behind in some way, and then is stuck there for a long while, before trying to catch up, feels loads of stress, and can easily feel like they are doing things wrong. They might not even be in that bad of a shape at that point, but it is just like with running, where running a whole race a lap behind someone else is not appealing to most folks.

Charity Example

Let’s say you run, or are a member of, a charity or relief organization, and you want to expand the presence of the charity in your state. With the recent turmoil in Haiti, you would want to start helping, or putting the word out about your charity’s efforts, as soon as possible. Growing a help organization or charity is like growing a business, and so being early to respond could mean the difference between becoming an organization that is referred to on the news, or remaining as a relatively unknown entity.

Once you are quick to respond, and become known as the go-to charity or help organization, all you have to do is keep up your system, and people will start to see you as the main resource. You won’t have to send out as many fliers or phone calls, but this is based on getting ahead at some point, in some way.

Closing Point

A day or week or month of intense effort early on in a struggle or competitive environment can be worth weeks or months of much easier time in the future. If it weren’t for future benefits, there would be little to gain from an early lead, because it would just mean harder work at the outset for no reason. It is those who see this future value that are able to acquire and maintain an early lead.

Armen Shirvanian writes words of wisdom about mindset, communication, relationships, and related topics at Timeless Information. You can also follow him on Twitter at @Armen.

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