The problem I see in today’s world is that everyone wants instant results and instant gratification.
Life doesn’t work that way.
Most are hoping for maximum returns for minimum investment.
Very few people are committed to true greatness. Even though we’re literally hardwired to achieve it. Those who master their craft are few and far between.
There’s an interesting phenomenon you’ll discover in the studies of true masters. All masters have an inherit love for what they do. Actually they have an obsession.
What I call a Magnificent Obsession.
If you go after your work without heart, you’ll produce lackluster results at best. If you’re doing something for money or success alone, something without a real emotional commitment, it will translate into something that lacks soul; and has no connection to you, nor will it ultimately connect to others.
Minus heart, purpose, and love,
your work will become a cliché.
This is a very deep and difficult discussion.
I was coaching and mentoring a small group recently and the question on the floor was, “How do I find my purpose and unique genius?”
Secondarily, “How do I build a business with it?”
These are the questions of the century now aren’t they; and they’re too deep to get into entirely here.
But let me assure you that you must first go deeply and honestly inside. You must find something that is authentically you. Something that resonates with your inclinations.
The critical, and most difficult, task to doing this successfully is to ensure with absolute certainty and clarity that your choice is not driven by a fad or some current trend in the market.
It also can’t be solely driven by something that you think will “make you money.” Please read that again.
Following money, fame or fad alone
is a surefire road to lack of happiness and fulfillment.
When you become a carbon copy knock off of what you see someone else doing, or what you think works in the market, you will ultimately end in frustration and failure.
The marketplace is wise, and while being a knock-off may work short term, the market will soon tire of your lack of originality and go looking elsewhere.
If you’re doing your work just to meet a market and potentially make sales you’ll never bring
true greatness; and it won’t sustain.
There’s a predictable process of which we all face. Both masters and beginners alike.
There’s the early inspiration faze that invariably at some point comes to a halt.
There’s no exception to this.
The only exception is when it will stall and for how long.
Once inspirational energy has exhausted, the preparation phase kicks in. Preparation is what separates the dreamers from the achievers. And the preparation phase is the longest most difficult phase of all. <How to Leave a Lasting Legacy >
We could easily slang this post inspiration phase as perspiration—and rest assured, plenty of it!
I’ve told you time and again that there’s always a price for the prize. If instant results are what you want then knock yourself out.
Let me know how that one works for you.
I wish you the best.
Quite simply, I’ve found there are two basic types of people in the world:
- Those who want the easy quick fix. Maximum return for minimal investment.
These individuals are constantly jumping from this shiny object to the next. Incessantly looking for the magic bullet, the secret sauce, or the enchanted pill. Frankly, I can’t work with these people.
- Those committed to doing something great with their lives. Willing to roll up their sleeves and do whatever it takes to make their vision a reality.
These are the people that I absolutely love to mentor and coach. These are the people who get the job done and leave this lifetime looking back across a life well lived. <Ultimate Performance Coaching>
In the words of George Bernard Shaw, these people become a “force of Nature versus a feverish selfish little clod of ailments and grievances complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy.”
Which type are you—force of Nature or feverish clod?
If you choose to be a force of Nature. If you choose to bring your own greatness to the world, if you choose to leave a lasting impact and legacy, then buckle up and sink down because you’re in for a long ride.
You must be willing to invest a decade in obscurity
to leave a lifetime legacy.
While we’re all hard wired to greatness, I’ll be the first to admit that most are not willing to do what’s necessary to achieve their greatness.
There’s really no formal training in what it takes, unless you’re blessed enough to meet and work with someone who has mastered their craft. They’ve been there. They’ve done it. They know.
I’ve been blessed with several mentors throughout my life. None of them were perfect—none of us are. But they were invaluable.
My mentors have proven invaluable to me. If you’re blessed enough to find someone who’s mastered their craft lock in and hang on for all it’s worth.
And by the way… a true master is not a flash in the pan. Some have temporary success but have not been through the fires and the flames and the Tsunami’s of life.
When you choose a mentor or coach be careful that you choose someone who’s actually been through life, fallen into the traps and pitfalls, been kicked and beaten and bruised; and yet still clawed and climbed back out.
When you choose a mentor and coach who do you want? Someone who has read a few books
and had a few results? Or someone who is battle scarred?
Someone who has fought and beaten the beasts of life and has yet continued no matter what?
Who do you want in your life? Book reader or beast beater?
For me, those who are battle, scarred and time worn—the true beast beaters—are the only ones who can truly provide me the insights and wisdom to succeed.
John Coltrane is arguably one of the best jazz saxophone players of all time. Many would rightfully argue that Coltrane changed jazz in a way that none before him ever had, with the possible exception of his true inspiration Charlie Parker. Most would agree that Coltrane surpassed Parker.
After meeting Parker, Coltrane became so transfixed and obsessed with the way Parker played that it would change the course of his life and music.
Coltrane had no idea how to make his sax sing like Parker did, but he began to practice with such assiduity and intensity that his reed would be covered in blood.
For ten long years he studied and practiced in relative obscurity. Not confining himself only to jazz, he began to internalize every conceivable style of music. This intense and eclectic approach would later become his hallmark.
Few in today’s world are willing to do a true apprenticeship.
You can’t command the stage until you spend years diligently working in the front row of the audience.
Wolfgang Mozart was driven by his father Leopold from the tender age of four years old. Only at 14, a full ten years of arduous work later, was he considered a child prodigy. Another ten year stretch compiled his twenty year apprenticeship, at which time his greatest works were born.
Einstein worked for ten tiring years on his theory of relativity. Toiling away day after day, night after night, until finally he was convinced he would never figure it out; and he decided to quit. He went to bed early that night and awakened the next morning with the answer.
Gates invested well over 10,000 hours in relentless practice, programming and tinkering away on new ideas while massive mainframes were the mainstay.
Please note that he was not following a fashion or trend.
When the tides turned, his decade or more of diligence had him perfectly positioned to rule an emerging market.
Such is the structure of greatness and there are plenty more examples.
But then again… we have Justin Bieber who flips up a YouTube video and becomes a sensation. Or Kim Kardashian who releases a sex tape and becomes famous as well. But I’m sure few if any would argue that they are masterful.
You be the judge.
Fame and greatness may sometimes coexist
but they are not the same.
I’ve shared previously that if you go out into the market too early you may not finish your work. Once in the market, and under all the pressures it brings, you just won’t have the time required to master your craft. When the pressures of running a business and life itself come crashing upon you they demand your full attention.
It’s tough. Family and financial pressures abound. This is why it’s best if possible to start early in life. Tiger Woods started when he was two years old.
Chances are great that you’re already past those early years or you wouldn’t be reading this blog.
I get it, me too.
So you think it’s too late?
Tell that to Nelson Mandela who spent 27 years in prison to be subsequently elected as president of South Africa at 75 years old.
It’ll take too long you may think?
Let me ask you…
What else are you going to do with the rest of your life?
It’s time to decide.
Stay Awake, Love Life, and Be Epic!