“So you really like proving to yourself how good you are, don’t you?” I was asked by Maria, one of my colleagues, recently.
Maybe some time ago, that would be a completely fair comment, but now, I couldn’t agree.
A few weeks ago, I’ve sent to a couple of my teammates a link to a 1-minute typing speed test, asking them to measure their typing speed. Two of them replied, but the rest of the team remained silent.
One of those that didn’t reply was Maria – who, in the office, was known to be a particularly fast typist. So I went to ask her if she’d like to do the test. You’ve seen what she said.
Well, I admit – of course it gives me a quick tiny feeling of pride whenever I see that I’m better at something than someone else. Including typing. Even though I’m not convinced that typing speed would be crucial to determine my overall success in life, career and everything.
But that does not mean I asked because I wanted to find someone who would be slower typist than I was. On the contrary – I wanted to find someone that would be faster. In best case scenario way faster than me!
Over the past couple of years, I have found out that being around people that are way better than me is a perfect growth opportunity. I can ask them how they do it, I can observe them doing it. I can set hypotheses that would explain how it is possible that they are so good – and test them myself.
It’s nice to see a video of Keith Ferrazzi and admire how brilliant he is at connecting with people – but it’s way better to have a skilled networker around, whom I can actually ask questions about how he became so good at it.
Moreover – when I see people around me having unbelievable results – it extends the boundaries of what I perceive as possible. One of my friends reads 3 books per week on a regular basis, another one can give a captivating 7-minute speech with just 5 minutes of preparation, yet another one starts entertaining crowds at any party within less than 30 seconds since his arrival.
Now I don’t ask myself: “Is it possible to read 3 books a week?” I ask: “What do I need to do in order to be able to read this much?” When I spend whole Saturday preparing a 10-minute speech, I’m telling myself: “I have to find a way how to do this faster, if he can do it, so should I!” And if I’m at a party and nobody’s talking to me – well I know it’s high time to extend my party-joke library.
When I sent out to my colleagues the link to the typing speed test, the goal was to find someone who would be ahead of me – and who would push me to improve.
Which reminds me – how about you – what’s your speed?
If you’d like to work on your typing skills first – here’s a good place to go.
By the way, if you scored more than 96 WPM (words per minute), you must tell me – how come you are typing so fast?
Maria is not the real name of the colleague.
Featured image by r. nial bradshaw, taken from Flickr, under Creative Commons licence. Brightness of image adjusted, image cropped to fit browser.