Obliterate obstacles

It's easy if you've got what it takes to make them vanish

Barrier-breakers are people who are purposeful and embrace adventure and who keep forcing themselves out of their established comfort zones into zones of high achievement. They’re the people who learn how to overcome the deadening forces in their lives, people who transcend “good enough” and learn how to demand the best from themselves on a regular basis. For these folks, there are no limits to self-improvement and achievement.


  1. Possess uncompromising integrity. They don’t cut corners. During good times and lean, their values remain the same. They don’t violate their own ethical standards for short-term (or long-term) gain.
  2. Develop and maintain extremely high personal energy levels. They focus on people and things that energize them. They refuse to get involved in anything petty.
  3. Are good at working priorities. When they wrap up work on their No. 1 priority, they treat the next item on their list as if it were their new No. 1 priority.
  4. Are courageous. They don’t let fear dictate their agenda. They know that life is a series of risks and that avoiding them is pretty much impossible.
  5. Are truly committed and dedicated workers. They need no supervising, and they are masters at motivating themselves. They do what they love, and find it easy to channel their energy into realizing their objectives.
  6. Are a bit unorthodox. They don’t worry about the consequences of not looking, sounding or acting like other people. They aren’t afraid to try new approaches or challenge the established routine.
  7. Are goal oriented. They take decisive steps to bring them closer to a particular, predetermined goal, and they’re willing to face adversity for a time to achieve it.
  8. Have an inspired enthusiasm that’s contagious. They choose to affect the world positively because they know everything they do affects the world around them
  9. Are levelheaded. They aren’t easily distracted; you won’t find them pretending to know something they don’t. They grasp new facts quickly and easily, and are usually undaunted by the most seemingly difficult situations.
  10. Want to help others grow. They support the aspirations of others and don’t invent new enemies whenever there’s a shortage of old ones.

Immediate Action: Take a few moments to give yourself a rating, on a 1-10 scale, on each of these characteristics. Have someone else-a colleague, close friend or family member-rate you as well. If your numbers are higher than the ones the other person assigns you (and they probably will be), consider these your target numbers-the level you’re shooting for-and the lower ones to be your starting point.

Based On There Are No Limits: Breaking the Barriers in Personal High Performance by Danny Cox (Career Press, $24.99). Copyright 1998. Reprinted by arrangement with Career Press.

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