Doing the bare minimum

“Doing the bare minimum” by Mr Koketso Molaolwe

On the 18th of July this year, I had the privilege to visit Freedom Park after many years of contemplating to go with no action. The architecture of the place is what firstly arrested my mind and as I walked along the walls of Hapo museum reading about great men and women who fought forliberation and equality for all people, learning about African heritage and how we as an African people have progress my mind was completely captured.

I read the names on the walls and I said to myself “One day I would like my name to be written on these walls”. Most of us are attracted to great things, beautiful things and outstanding achievements. Most if not all at least want a life of greatness. We want to be known for having achieved great things for both ourselves and those important to us; we minimally want to leave a legacy.

To want to be great is not exclusive but being great is. It is a simple phenomenon that baffles a lot of people. Everyone wants to BE great but not DO great. To BE we have to DO.

Most people hardly know the level of greatness they posses because they have adopted the “doing the bare minimum” attitude. Wanting to put in bare minimum effort; just doing what is required of you, might (and this is a very big might) work if you are looking to fit in and maybe do good. But if you are looking to be great; you need to aim for what seems impossible and push yourself until you shock yourself.

In everything, things that you believe you cannot achieve lays and opportunity for you to do and be great.Admitting that you are unable to perform a task does not change your inner ability to do it, it just cripples your mental will and once that is defeated; you cannot do anything beyond such mental limitations. People who always want to do the bare minimum are always waiting on opportunities to emerge and even then they do not explore such opportunities to the maximum because of their “bare minimum” attitude.

What we do not realize is that while we are doing only what is required or what we have limited ourselves to do, we live only to the expectation of our surrounding and we get stuck there.

Doing the bare minimum gets you stuck. It tells you that you are no better than what you are doing now and it gets you comfortable with the minimum results. Often time people settle for the bare minimum because their motivation is not misplaced. To act at your best level, do not force yourself, motivate yourself. The mind set with which you get out of bed every morning determines how the day will play out at the end. People with a “bare minimum” work ethic find themselves doing nothing in the event where no one is giving them work to do. Such people sit and wait around for the next instruction. The challenge with this is that’ while you wait for an opportunity, someone is creating an opportunity to use you.

We live in a world where change is constant and this calls for continues personal development and with any development lays an opportunity. If you are looking to just do the bare minimum; you will miss most of the opportunities before and around you, with only the possibility of working for those who create such opportunities. You need to equip yourself mentally to go beyond the norm and you have to be in the right race to win the right goal.

You cannot expect to win a world tournament while only competing at local level, you need to act, think and have the mental strength of those that are in the same level as the goal you are gunning for. The most powerful way to move from the level you are to a higher one; is to conquer all opportunity at your disposal in that level and create one’s that shows that you are now ready for the next level.

Opportunities often come disguised as challenges and those that have adopted the mentality to do only what is required of them are first to complain when such challenges emerge. Most of the limitations that you impose on yourself are not a question of what you do not want to do, but more a question of who you do not want to be.

What you continuously do everyday eventually becomes a part of who you are. If you subscribe to doing only the bare minimum; you are well positioned to be referred to as a worker for the whole of your life. Think of it this way; if you do only what is required of you, you give up the power to determine the results of your action but when you go beyond the bare minimum; you exceed the expected result, set your standard and determine what your reward should be. Success, winning and being great are all performance based. They are not a standard benefit for living. Being great is not something that you inherit because you are living, it is not a minimum right for the living, you have to do great to be great. No one owes you the right to make you great and if you do not put up the effort to earn that right you will never have it.

The principle here is really simple; you cannot be great doing only what you are told to do, your attitude should always inspire you do go beyond the minimum requirements. Set a standard that makes you stand out, that makes your name great and that attracts the attention of great people.