A Fruit Loop in a world of Cheerios – How to add value without any talent

Most things that we do on a daily basis are monotonous and routine. Routine brings comfort and security, everyone copes better with routine. But monotony? This brings boredom and a sense of self dissatisfaction, making us blend in to everyone else around us. We become run of the mill Cheerios, (without the cheer)! Why be a Cheerio when you can add value through a few simple conscious decisions? Come on, be a Fruit Loop.

1. Be polite. Manners go a very long way; people are sporadic and inconsistent with when they deploy a ‘please’ or a ‘thank you’. Consistently being polite gets remembered and makes people a lot more likely to help you or be receptive of what you have to say.

2. Be on time. Sort of linked to manners, but showing up late is never a good thing. It creates the impression that you don’t attribute much value to that person’s time and/or suggests you are incredibly disorganized. You don’t want to be that person who gets told to meet at a wholly different time to everyone else as you have a reputation for tardiness.

3. Be enthusiastic. Don’t mistake this for ‘gushing’ as this can be perceived as fake. Instead; smile, listen and acknowledge what is being said to you and reiterate what you have heard in your response. That way you are demonstrating that you have been an active, rather than a passive listener.

4. Demonstrate tenacious work ethic. Let your actions do the talking. If there is an aspect of something you don’t like doing then either don’t do it, or get so good at it that you won’t have to do it in the future. In the process you may learn to love it. 

5. Have a good attitude. Attitude is everything and is something I need to work at. I am guilty of approaching some things thinking I can’t do it and then get really disheartened when I can’t do it. Is it any wonder? Your body will do whatever your mind tells it. If your mind isn’t in the game, then neither is your body.

6. Be willing to learn. Don’t make yourself seem superior. No one is too good to learn something new and there is nothing more off-putting than someone who has an over inflated ego. Be open to learn from anyone and everyone, you have no idea what you may learn or who you may meet along the process.

7. Be passionate. My Mum and I were talking about passion yesterday, and in fact, it was this attribute that made me write this blog post. It doesn’t matter what your passion is, but being passionate about something makes you exude enthusiasm, positivity and knowledge. All these things make you desirable to spend time with. When I lost my passion for teaching, I became incredibly self-conscious and aware that I wasn’t much fun to be around. Someone who is passionate personifies being ‘alive’.

8. Going above and beyond. Seeking out ways of going beyond the bare minimum really will set you apart. Whether this be taking on new responsibilities at work; cooking a surprise meal for a friend; sending an ‘I love you’ message just because or doing an extra set when you could have easily left the gym. All of these are just a few examples of going above and beyond.

Although all of these traits require zero talent, they do require 100% conscious commitment. I constantly strive to achieve these in all aspects of my life as I feel it makes me both a much kinder and a much more successful person. Some of these come more easily to me than others. I am great at being on time, being polite and going above and beyond. I am less good at some of the others, but I sure don’t want to be a plain Cheerio and will continue striving to be the fruitiest loop of all.

-Benchpressingbaubles, x

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