Stretch: as in stretch yourself. Always push yourself to the edge of your ability. It's on the edge where the biggest leaps in growth and development occur. The edge is where you potential resides. But you have to have the courage to leave your comfort zone in order to get out on the edge. So that question is this: "How bad do you want it?"
A recent scientific study showed that our minds are literally hardwired to perform at their best not when they are negative, or even neutral, but when they are positive. Salespeople outsell their pessimistic counterparts by over 50%, and doctors make more accurate diagnoses almost 20% faster. Leaders set the tone for the work environment. So the question you have to ask yourself is this, "Are my leaders creating a positive or negative work environment for their employees?" I'm sure you'll find the answer to that question in you P&L.
Knowledge and intelligence are both useless without action. It's as simple as that. Successful people know that a good plan executed today is better than a perfect plan executed someday. Successful people don't wait for the "right time" or the "right day" or the "right circumstances", because they know these reactions are based on fear and nothing more. They take action here and now, today - because that's where real progress happens.
You learn best when you're stretching yourself beyond your previous level of comfort. It needs to be hard and uncomfortable. That's how your brain grows. We learn when we're in our discomfort zone. When you're struggling, that's when you're growing and getting smarter, by challenging your brain. The more time you spend there, the faster you learn.
According to a recent study, employees who spent the last 15-minutes of each day of their training period writing and reflecting on what they had learned did 23% better in the final training test than other employees. "Learning by doing" is more effective when coupled with deliberate reflection, or "learning by thinking" the study shows.