Keep reading. Never stop. For too long I didn’t embrace that reality, that I could, as Jim Rohn says, “reach the higher shelves in life by standing on the books you read.”
But not just any books. Books and articles which align with my purpose, my mission, my why: to become more and help others to do the same. There’s joy, motivation and inspiration in a great book where someone else is sharing information they have learned which has made them world-class, or is in the process of helping them become world-class, since success is not a destination, but a journey.
This morning it is my turn to direct the focus of another 3% Club meeting and the topic is easy: hard work. The discipline and practice to do what so many others don’t want to do, have trouble finding the time to do, or simply ignore…to get down and dirty in the process of working from the inside out. Attract success by becoming more and becoming great.
I found an article from 2006, by Geoffrey Colvin, senior-editor at large of Fortune Magazine. A good idea always stands the test of time. This is exactly what I will share with the group today, to kick things off. For you now a sneak peek and inspiration to begin your weekend:
“Understand that talent doesn’t mean intelligence, motivation or personality traits. It’s an innate ability to do some specific activity especially well. In virtually every field of endeavor, most people learn quickly at first, then more slowly and then stop developing completely. Yet a few do improve for years and even decades, and go on to greatness.
There is simply no substitute for hard work.
Nobody is great without work. It’s nice to believe that if you find the field where you’re naturally gifted, you’ll be great from day one, but it doesn’t happen. There’s no evidence of high-level performance without experience or practice. Reinforcing that no-free-lunch finding is vast evidence that even the most accomplished people need around ten years of hard work before becoming world-class, a pattern so well established researchers call it the ten-year rule.
So greatness isn’t handed to anyone; it requires a lot of hard work. Yet that isn’t enough, since many people work hard for decades without approaching greatness or even getting significantly better. What’s missing?
Practice. Practice makes perfect.
The best people in any field are those who devote the most hours to what the researchers call “deliberate practice.” It’s activity that’s explicitly intended to improve performance, that reaches for objectives just beyond one’s level of competence, provides feedback on results and involves high levels of repetition.
For example: Simply hitting a bucket of balls is not deliberate practice, which is why most golfers don’t get better. BUT Hitting an eight-iron 300 times with a goal of leaving the ball within 20 feet of the pin 80 percent of the time, continually observing results and making appropriate adjustments, and doing that for hours every day – that’s deliberate practice.
Consistency is crucial.
In a study of 20-year-old violinists,the best group) averaged 10,000 hours of deliberate practice over their lives; the next-best averaged 7,500 hours; and the next, 5,000. It’s the same story in surgery, insurance sales, and virtually every sport. More deliberate practice equals better performance. Tons of it equals great performance.
It’s all about how you do what you’re already doing – you create the practice in your work, which requires a few critical changes. The first is going at any task with a new goal: Instead of merely trying to get it done, you aim to get better at it.
The benefits of deliberate practice – are worthless without one more requirement: Do it regularly, not sporadically.
The critical reality is that we are not hostage to some naturally granted level of talent. We can make ourselves what we will. Strangely, that idea is not popular. People hate abandoning the notion that they would coast to fame and riches if they found their talent. But that view is tragically constraining, because when they hit life’s inevitable bumps in the road, they conclude that they just aren’t gifted and give up.
Maybe we can’t expect most people to achieve greatness. It’s just too demanding. But the striking, liberating news is that greatness isn’t reserved for a preordained few. It is available to you and to everyone.”Have a great day. And until next time, thanks for taking the time.