Even though Billy Joel is sixty-seven years of age and has not written a pop song in decades, he still performs at sold-out concerts and has been declared the third biggest selling artist of all time in the United States. During one of his media interviews he was asked about why he has had such a successful career and replied: "When you are competent and you live in an age where there is lots of incompetence it makes you appear extraordinary".
Is it just me or have you noticed that there seems to be less competence in the world today? Often customer service in retail outlets is non-existent or ineffective. It is more and more difficult to find telephone numbers for online companies. Emails are often ignored or replied to with inadequate or inappropriate information.
Recently I wrote an email to a large organization asking "HOW" to perform a specific task. I received a three word reply "Yes you can".
Common sense isn't common anymore and it doesn't make sense to everyone. It's frustrating.
I also find it interesting that sometimes a person is extraordinary in their career but a mess in their personal life - or the other way around. It takes time, effort and focus to develop balance.
But, the good news is that the incompetence and lack of balance in the world today leaves the door open for each of us to adopt Billy Joel's theory and become "extraordinary". It seems almost silly for me to make a list of things that we can do to make our world better but here it is:
1. Smile and greet others who you meet. There are so many lonely people in the world and even a friendly encounter of a few seconds in length can be a lift for them.
2. Read messages carefully and reply in a timely and appropriate manner.
3. Listen when people speak so that you facilitate understanding and connection.
4. Share your knowledge, blessings and skills with others.
5. Offer encouragement for those who are struggling or facing a new situation.
6. Develop your experience so you can provide excellence in your work environment.
7. Protect the environment by picking up rather than spreading waste, conserving water and electricity, as well as recycling.
8. Take care of your physical and mental health by accessing professional resources so that you are a good example for others.
9. Feed your brain with positive information that will keep you sharp.
10. Fulfill your commitments. When you say you will do something - do it!
11. Embrace honesty. It is far easier to tell the truth than to try to remember lies that you might be tempted to tell.
12. Choose to be happy. One person with a good attitude can have a powerful impact on others.