Updated: Apr 28, 2021
Have you ever watched a really successful colleague or a professional athlete and think they must have some kind of natural born talent? When you watch them executing they just make it look easy so you think they must be gifted. Let me tell you... it has NOTHING to do with talent, absolutely nothing.
People who truly excel at what they are doing have put in the work over and over and over. They have committed to a process and worked hard every opportunity they have over time. It doesn’t come easy for anyone. You have to commit to the process and work at it.
What makes successful people different is they stayed hungry. They stayed committed to the process they knew was necessary. Regardless of how hard it was they did it. Whether they felt like doing it or not they did it. And they did it day-in and day-out over a period of time that propelled them to where they are.
Do you think Michael Phelps won 28 Olympics medals (23 of which were gold) because he possesses some special talent that no one else has? I really don’t think so. I believe he simply outworked everyone else. Why do I say this? Did you know that while he was in peak training phases, Phelps worked out five hours a day, six days a week? In these workouts he swam 80,000 meters or more a week. That is almost 50 miles of swimming each and every week! Many people told him he was crazy. To fuel his body he consumed 12,000 calories A DAY! For those of you who don’t count calories, I eat about 2,200 a day.
The vast majority of us overestimate what we can do in a day, but underestimate what we can do over several days. Once you know what you need to do, develop your process and
stick with it. To look at something simple like getting in shape, don’t try to do 50 sit ups and 50 push ups once in a while. Rather, do 15 of each every single day. Before too long it will become easy and then you begin doing more. Within a few months you might be doing 50 or 70 every single day and someone watching you will probably think you must have been born with a better body that allows you to exercise like that. (Insert eye-rolling here). I started logging just simple sit-ups and push-ups last month; started small and have steadily increased my reps. I am now up to three sets of twenty push-ups and 40 sit-ups every day... what's crazier? I have now done over 2,500 push-ups and over 5,000 sit-ups!
If you’re a professional, then you know what you should be doing, you just need to do it. If you are earlier in your career or developing what it is you want to do, find someone who has done it and is successful and learn from them. Then go and do what they have done. Of course there are going to be hard days/times and they may even be more numerous than the good days/times. But I am telling you... you need to dig deep down and stay committed to the process. It’s easy to work at it when things are going well, when people are cheering you on, when you are seeing results. But this will not happen every day. You will have bad days. You will have people trying to stop you or discourage you. You will have days when you work so hard and see no results. There will be days when you just want to quit. But that is the time to persevere. Through the tough times you must keep doing what you know needs to be done. This is where true character is built. This is when you begin to master what you do.
You have to outwork everyone else... and when you do, people are going to begin saying that you make it looks easy! Take it from Gary Vaynerchuk, "you have to work your face off".
Reminder: part of growing your success is growing yourself. You need to be constantly learning. Check out what I've been reading.