The misconception is that talent separates the successful from the rest. It is easier to assume that someone is more talented than us and therefore they made it and we did not. I will not argue that this is not sometimes the case, but it is far less the case than most people give it credit for. At the highest level of competition the successful are separated by a battle of will not a battle of skill.
Successful people have an incredible resolve. They have the ability to push through the toughest tasks because of their mind-set. High achievers never set out to try, they set out to do. High achievers use the word “will” while others say, hope, might, and I’ll try. It is the mind-set of “I will” that separates successful from average. I know there are some people that say “I will” and then quit when tough times hit. This happens because they are either scared of failure, cannot handle being uncomfortable or they were never really resolute in the fact they were going to persist through obstacles. Over the years I have learned three things that keep me going once I start.
I pursue things I enjoy, things that give me purpose, fulfillment, a since of worth, and things I love to do. This is important because often times, people set out to do something because someone told them they would be good at it or someone told them they could not do something. I have never cared what people thought I would be good at and I have never used what people have told me I could not do, as motivation. I could not care less. High Achievers attain success because they want it. When you allow other’s words to motivate you or push you in a certain direction you are giving up power over your life. Those that attain success in their life, first decide what success looks like. Once that happens they pursue that success come hell or high water. Once their mind is set, there is no stopping them. Define your success and pursue it with an undying fury.
Expect adversity and your anxiety level decreases and your ability to focus increases. Nothing comes easy and that is damn near a universal fact. Yes, I can beat my three year old in a race, but that is not achieving success and if you define that as success I hope you stop reading this right now. It is going to be hard, there will be obstacles, you will feel pain and discomfort, and sometimes it may downright suck; but it is worth it. There were days when running stairs until I could taste the blood in my lungs was downright awful, but I knew that all I had to do was keep going, because at the level I was at in Baseball I was going to separate myself through my will. Running sprints was never fun. Doing sit-up and crunches until simple things such getting up out of bed or reaching for a ball thrown over my head caused pain, was never my idea of a great time but I did it because it was the price of success. Know it is going to be tough, know it might even suck sometimes, and know there will be obstacles.
Others are going to quit. When you start out on a journey there may be 10,000 people taking off at the exact same time, but of those 10,000 people, about 1o of them are actual competition. Most people take off because they think it will be cool to be famous or rich, others take off because someone said they would be good at it, and some even take off because people said they could not do it. And even most of the people that took off for the right reasons (passion, fun, and purpose) do not have the resolve to continue in the most trying of times. In 2011 I received my first paid speaking gig. I received a whopping $50 for the gig and then for the next two plus years I did not receive one paid speaking gig. In this same two years, other people dropped out, decided it was not worth it, but not me; I kept going. I made YouTube video after YouTube video, I wrote blog posts, made calls and sent emails too. Over these two years I never lost my resolve. Why? Because I loved what I was doing, it gave me a purpose, I knew adversity was going to hit, and I knew others would quit, and when you do not quit, doors open.
Admittedly, I am not the best speaker in the world, I may or may not have the best content, but what I have is something that everybody wants. I have a passion you can feel whether I am in the room with you or coming through your speakers. Yes, my content is helpful, and yes I do believe my delivery is solid (far from perfect), and yes I have the confidence to deliver my message to anyone, anywhere. None of this would matter if I quit when things were tough because I would not be sharing any of my story. I am a competitor and if we are going to compete two things are going to happen. I am going to win, or you are going to have to prove to me that you not only have the talent to beat me, but you are willing to suffer. If you are going to beat me, you are going to have to sacrifice any sort of comfort you have experienced. Unless you are the World’s greatest you are going to be in for a fight, and even if you are, I am going to make you prove it. This is the trait that allows me and others to continually run down our dreams and goals. It is a battle of WILL, and in that battle you are going to know I came to fight. This story is not just about me, it is about any successful person you have ever met. At some point in time they faced adversity and they were given the opportunity to quit and when that opportunity presented itself, they dug deeper and deeper until they fell in love with their “discomfort zone”.
This life is yours to win, but in order to win, you must love to compete, you must expect adversity, and you must fall in love with your “discomfort zone” because that is where greatness happens.