Performing professionals seem to do unreal, never-before seen feats: Steve Jobs’ distribution of millions of MacBooks, Julian Edelman’s Super Bowl catch, or Victor Pride’s deployment of a million dollar blog. These authorities appear to be born with their skills, but the truth is, they’re not that much different from you and me. Like an iceberg, there’s lots going on below the surface that led to their success.
The most important realization that you can take away from this article is that these PEOPLE are not some strange beings created in a laboratory. They came from the inside of a female, just like you and me. These powerhouses are human, too, yet everyday people praise them like they’re saints with unattainable levels of influence.
Excuses: The Reason for Failing (or Succeeding)
There are a few clear differences between an average person and a professional. The most obvious is genetic build. What frustrates me and makes me want to blow someone’s head off is when they say, “he (or she) is only that big (or strong) because of genetics.” It’s a bold-faced lie. It’s one of the many excuses people tell others and themselves when something unexplainable happens. It’s unexplainable because they couldn’t find a way to do it, most likely because they didn’t even try.
That’s the difference between us and them. We actually put in the work to get to that level. My very first day in the gym, I started squatting, benching, etc. with the bar. After only three years, I was able to squat more than anyone in the entire gym, and obtain the strongest deadlift around without a belt. This comes after months – heck, years – of paying no attention to silly, retarded excuses like “don’t weightlift or you’ll stop growing”.
I grew two inches after weightlifting, and I gained 60lbs (27.2kg/4.3 stone). Get this, ladies and gentlemen: not eating will cause you to stop growing, and so will excuses.
That’s just one field in which excuses can severely disable growth. They work so well at killing progress because they’re a type of story, and a story told well can convince. Unfortunately I was a victim of this, too. I gave up weight lifting for a while after mistakenly listening to it. I distinctly remember the moment it happened, and it was after reading this:
This is real trash talk. It doesn’t attack you personally. Instead, it attacks the activity you’re doing as a waste of time. THAT is an insult: to how you’re spending your time, to your values, and to your vision.
It is I that needs to convince myself before I can convince others. You, too, must do the same. You must have a tough and tenacious position of your mission, because there WILL be situations where someone flings reasons for you not to do something.
Strengthen Your Beliefs
Such situations allow for an excellent exercise to take place. You become a lawyer defending your client, who happens to be your mindset. With regards to the above squabble, here is how I would have refuted it:
Lifting weights IS a business. Professionals use it to develop athletic skills, participate in competitions, or bond with teammates. Success does not require sacrifice, because I’m realizing my dream – how is that in any way a sacrifice? (Hint: It’s not.) Investing cannot be a “suck”, by definition. The maintenance size and strength require pales in comparison to the profits: socially, financially, and spiritually.
So what makes professionals stick out from the crowd? Beliefs. That’s why there are giants that don’t play in the NFL, NBA, etc. Some people will do anything to find an excuse. You think big soccer players don’t exist in the top leagues? Think again.
Limiting beliefs determine mindset, and that determines attitude. Akinfenwa didn’t say, “I’m too heavy for soccer coach, I’ll never run as fast as Messi.” NO! He knew how strong and scary he was, and exemplified it. He defined and refined his strengths after endless sessions of practice.
Practice: Enforce and Reinforce Your Beliefs
The harder practice is, the easier the game is. If you perform large step-ups, jog, or dribble with strict, consistent, and challenging form, moving in the game becomes foolishly easy.
I first experienced this phenomenon when I was warming up for a soccer game. As I was jogging I couldn’t help but notice how I jogged. I made a forward leap, then another forward leap, and so on. When I turned or juked, I also noticed the movements behind it.
They were like dance moves, and they had a strange resemblance to kata. In karate, kata are poses held for a period of time. The poses are used to transition into and out of other poses. These poses teach the practitioner how to move and use the bodyweight in order to effectively knock the opponent off balance. Executing kata perfectly in real-life situations isn’t expected, but self-defense becomes remarkably effortless. It has a wonderful transition to soccer.
In practice you’re allowed to mess up. In fact messing up is ENCOURAGED. The mistakes show their face so they can be substituted for better actions. When it’s time for people to see your performance, their attention is engaged solely on you because they’ve never seen a rhythmic, graceful performance before.
In practice, there’s no audience to make fun of your mistakes. But there’s also no audience to support you either. The benefit is that you can practice in front of other people and ignore them. While practicing my ball control last training session I decided to record myself with a GoPro. When I first put on that doofy-looking harness I may as well have looked like the one-eyed minions in Despicable Me.
You must be stronger than your audience. I willfully ignored any judgments because they don’t affect me in any way. When I played back the video I was delighted at the footage and its point of view; it was worth it. Now I feel more confident. More importantly, if I’m faced with a bigger audience and I get booed and whistled, it’s not going to affect me at all. Getting ridiculed in practice is conclusively better than being humiliated in a game, exposed on social media, and probably, losing your spot.
Become a Person with Talent
Showing up to practice is the hardest part. Once you’re there all you have to do is get to business by doing the actions your routine tells you to do. But how are you doing them?
Anyone can show up and perform actions, but there’s a certain way of doing them. If you’re not aware of the details, or you’re not being mindful of them, then your actions are lacking passion. Passion is required to create something great.
Talent (not genetics) sets the boundary. No matter how hard someone works, they just can’t seem to get the success they want. But talent is just another word for skill. What is really meant when someone says “you’re not talented” is you don’t have a compelling reason OR the right idea. There’s always a reason for doing something; the idea supports the action.
Take shuttle runs, for example. Like kata, there’s an idea behind it. When touching the floor with one arm, it’s as if you’re performing a side lunge. The side lunge motion allows for the most effective use of force. I used to look at it the wrong way and think touching the ground was just to make the exercise harder. It does, but it teaches you how to use your bodyweight, making you more agile.
You know what the skill looks like, but you weren’t taught why the skill is performed. Passion carries action and connects everything you do. Once you get the right idea behind a movement, you’ll find yourself doing it with ease and passionately. Without passion, your actions have no purpose and you’re no better than a robot.
Using a Coach to Develop Talent
Coaches take your abilities and attach a rocket booster to them. You don’t need to be under the supervision of a coach 24/7 (although that definitely helps). A coach also doesn’t even need to interact with you personally. If you’re able to read about, observe, or listen to a successful person, you’re successfully being coached.
Coaches serve as great inspiration. They teach players principles that yield large, favorable returns. Those players put it in action and show others. Napoleon Hill taught Victor Pride how to think, and he grew rich. Victor Pride taught me how to behave, ignore naysayers, and write with style – by reading his writing.
The beauty behind it all is able to learn from different coaches. Not only has Victor Pride taught me, but so has Nick Humphries and Christian Hudson (Google them). I’m sure Cristiano Ronaldo, the world’s best soccer player, has his own fair share of coaches. We are able to see farther by standing on the shoulders of giants, not to mention we become the giants for the future generations.
Practicing one idea a day for a week is enough to get you on the fast track to riches. It’s not about the amount, but about the depth. Doing that same idea will teach you the importance of consistency. Then you can add another idea to the mix. Soon your humor will be exuding with passion.