In his 2008 release, Outliers, journalist Malcolm Gladwell introduced the notion that one has to spend 10,000 hours working at their craft before they can become a true master.
Now, even though the idea is catchy, and it’s a valid one indeed, there’s a lot to be said about the kind of work one has to put. It’s not just work-work, but it’s working towards mastery, a competitive and aggressive way of working towards bettering yourself day in and day out.
10,000 hours of that, and you’ll become so good they can’t ignore you.
Rock bottom is never the end. It’s only the beginning.
“When this ultimate crisis comes… when there is no way out — that is the very moment when we explode from within and the totally other emerges: the sudden surfacing of a strength, a security of unknown origin, welling up from beyond reason, rational expectation, and hope.”
I remember watching one of Jim Rohn’s speeches. He was sharing with the audience the story of being 25, a college graduate, freshly married, and not being able to afford to pay the girl scouts who knocked at his door to sell him cookies.
Ah, your twenties. A decade of marvelous growth, decadent spending, and quite a few heartbreaks. Just like the 1920s.
That’s when you figure out a lot about life. What your teachers didn’t want to tell you, didn’t like to tell you, or didn’t know enough about to tell you.
That’s when you’ll probably fall in and out of love with life, with your soulmate, with your passion. That’s when you will get your heart broken, and when you should fail at something you were passionate about.
There’s a fascinating story about the biblical King Solomon. It is said that he was searching for a cure against depression. He assembled his wise men together, which gave him the following advice: to craft himself a ring engraved with the words ‘This too will pass.’
We fall in love with fairytales because they promise us, “happily ever after.”
One of the most toxic mindsets that we can fall in love with is that of desiring completion. This fantasy that, once we reach the top of the mountain, our lives are going to be perfect.
As I am often too fond of quoting, life is pain. And anyone who tells you differently is trying to sell you something. And make no mistake, some folks make quite a bit of money by selling you this idea, by making you waste your time waiting for the weekend, for a vacation, for retirement, or for heaven.
There is no completion. There is no top of the mountain.
“Every struggle is like mud — there are always some lotus seeds waiting to sprout.” ― Amit Ray
I am writing these words to you, who are struggling. I am writing these words to let you know that this is the moment when you want your dream to come true, but it doesn’t.
You gave it your best shot, but it didn’t happen.
And this dream of yours, it could be anything. Writing a book, starting a business, landing a new job, losing a few extra pounds, or finding your soulmate.
It’s what you want to be doing, what you know you should be doing, but you’re struggling. You want to throw in the towel.
Because it’s not working out. It’s all setbacks and restlessness and this pitch darkness when you think about the future. It’s no visible progress. It’s fear and anger and bitterness and envy, all mixed up together, all demons afraid of each other.
Maybe that’s not your thing, after all? Or are you paying your dues?
Are you wasting your time or are you on the way to success?
There’s a Japanese word that has become synonymous with continuous improvement.
It’s a term used to define small, daily improvements. The 1% daily improvement. The compounding effect of such improvements.
It’s a wonderful dream to aspire towards daily improvements. Most of your days should and can be about small, constant, improvement.
There are days when that’s just not possible.
Maybe it’s because of failure or setback, but I find it’s rarely the case. Mostly, it’s because of lack of success.
The daily failure.
Maybe your online store isn’t selling enough products, maybe your content isn’t consumed or appreciated.
It’s not the spectacular failure or rejection that breaks most people, but rather a constant lack of success, of something worthy of celebration.
During those days, the best thing you can do is to simply go through the motions. Yeah, I know you don’t feel like it. And I know you’re sure that nothing good will come of it, but the trick is to do whatever it takes to keep going.
That’s all it takes. If you don’t give up, that’s the kind of success you can be proud of, because that’s exactly when most people quit.
When you feel like throwing in the towel, imagine that almost everyone else but those you admire most quit.
Now, do you want to be like everyone else or do you want to be like those you admire?