Overnight Success is a Myth

A friend told me a story about a fellow who went to hear a band play at a club. This guy was so taken by the bands performance, and very impressed with the drummers skills. At the end of their performance, he walked up to talk with the drummer. The conversation went something like this;

Man: I'd love to do what you do.

Drummer: No you wouldn't.

Man (obviously surprised): Sure I would.

Drummer: No you wouldn't

Man: Why do you say that?

Drummer: Would you like to practice everyday for 4 hours since you were 9 years old?

Man: Uhm, no I wouldn't. I didn't realize it's that much work.

Drummer: Thanks for stopping to say hello.

Before you start laughing at the man for even thinking such a thing, be careful. We all share some responsibility in this thinking. We either have said or thought the same thing at some point, or we have focused on celebrating the success of  stellar performers without bothering to celebrate the drudgery and tedium of repetitive practice they have had to endure do years to get where they are today.

Talent is important, but it is nothing without the commitment to intense and sustained development. There is no way around the hard work required to become world class in any endeavor. Your talent makes you naturally average. Those without talent in a particular thing start out at less than average.  If the person without talent gave themselves to systematic development, practicing for 3 - 4 hours a day for 7 years or more, they will become experts and great at what they do.

The best doctors, singers, scientists, entrepreneurs, businesses, chess players, parents, spouses etc., do not get their overnight; they have been growing daily.

The secret to success is not found in the proof of success, but in the years of hard work leading up to the announcement or emergence of success.

In my next article we will explore the keys to systematic or dynamic development; how high performers become super performers in their field.

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Talent Resources

DNA of Talent
A Blueprint for Discovering Your Talents and Putting Them to Work

Finding Your Sweet Spot
Where your Talents, Interests and Passions converge to deliver the life you were born to live.