We always over glorify the performance of superstars. We look at them in amazement at their accomplishments and consider achieving what they have done as impossible. I will never get there, we think. Then worse – I might as well not even try – is the second thought.
We may try, but resigned to the fact that we can never really be good at something, because there is that high performer that is so much better then us. This is what we think.
The reality is much different. Reality is there is just not that much of a difference in the scheme of things. Certainly your age can be a crippling factor, or physical injury, or something like that. However, usually what separates you from that superstar is simply time. I saw a stupefied look on Serena Williams’ face when a reporter was talking about her awesome natural talent, how much more gifted she was then other women in the tennis pro circuit. How much of the physical ability she had because of the natural strength and agility she was born with. I do not remember what she said, but it was something like – yeah, and a lot of hard work practicing.
Which is what I can imagine she wanted to scream at that news reporter. Yeah, I have an athletic build, but you want to know where this success was built? At 14 years old I was spending morning and night, and every weekend in practice, strength and conditioning, eating right. My friends were going to dances, and eating birthday cakes – I was drinking protein shakes and doing power squats in the local power house gym. Her tennis skills were built with time and very little else. She knows how much effort it took and for how long. You cannot fake time in practice.
That is the small difference. The edge someone might get because of a physical characteristic is small, so small, it rarely even registers. Same thing in a game like Chess. A professional chess player has one small edge over his competition. It is not some uncanny mental capacity – it is time. Time playing chess. Plain and simple. Time on feet is the secret to becoming an exceptional runner – very little else makes a difference by comparison. Sure there are smart things you can do – like invest in a good pair of shoes that can prevent injury – but reality is – time on feet is the path to success.
The greatest at what you want to do, are simply better because of time. That is it. Simple and small difference separating the two of you. So I admire a few long distance runners and am in awe of their athletic endurance. I note that they do not look like me, and I have a tendency to think that I will never be like that because I am built different. Complete rubbish. The only real thing that separates us is time spent running. So what is your excuse? If you really want to be great at something, all you need is time. More time practicing, more time training, more time learning, more time trying and failing.
There is your small difference between you and greatness. So why don’t you go spend 30 minutes increasing your time right now at lunch (or dinner, or breakfast depending on time zone).
24 Days Left to 1st Marathon