Laziness is inherent in all of us. It is a trait we all too easily slip back into?
Why do we do this?
I am not suggesting that you are lazy by the way, however it seems to me that we all can accomplish so much more with our lives. What stops us from doing so?
Today our discussion will focus on identifying why laziness plays a big part in your endeavor to achieve greatness.
I see it all the time, Some people will go to extraordinary lengths to succeed. Whilst others will find excuses. Is this what separates the brilliant from the mediocre?
To a certain extent it is!
We all have the ability and talent to succeed. Our lives were designed with the intention that we grow into successful individuals. Nothing was left to chance. Yet for many people success is defined as purely existing.
Most people look at somebody who has climbed to the top of their profession or sport and assume that they were the lucky ones. Yet when we take a closer look at their achievement invariably we see dedication, persistence and deliberate practice over many years. In fact research shows that it takes ten years of extraordinary commitment and work to achieve this feat.
I’ll give you a classic example of what I am talking about here. Many will argue that Tiger Woods is too young to have committed ten years of his life towards achieving greatness in his sport. The beauty of Tiger Woods story is that it fits t in brilliantly with the statement of it taking ten years to achieve greatness.
Earl Wood, Tiger’s father trained and mentored Tiger from an early age. Earl was a teacher, and a man dedicated to discipline through his military service and on top of all that he was also a golf fanatic.
Tiger Woods was virtually born to play golf, at the age of seven months he was given a putter to use.
Earl and his wife devoted their whole life to ensuring Tiger Woods grew up into the champion that he is.
Tiger Woods was given expert deliberate practice from an early age. Tiger’s father taught him everything he knew about golf and discipline. Tiger was also introduced to expert teachers after the age of four and right through to the age of 17.
In the book “talent is overrated’ by Geoff Colvin we are informed that people are not just born to be champions. World class performance is only really achieved through hard work and deliberate practice.
On the one hand a person with ability who is very good at what they do, can plateau out by not practicing and putting in the hard work and thus never really achieve the results they want.
On the other hand a person can start out to be just like everybody else and grow into a world class performer in their chosen field without ever having any special attributes to begin with. This can be true in business, sport and in life.
So what is it that enables a person to achieve greatness? Is it physical ability, memory, intelligence, size, gender, opportunities or lack of them?
Geoff Colvin’s research indicates that whilst some of this can play some part in contributing to the end result, there is a more important factor at play. This factor is linked with belief, dedication, the amount of work and the quality of the practice over an extended period of time.
The whole scenario is even complicated further by the notion that it is not just the time you spend practicing but the quality of the practice itself.
Geoff Colvin alerts us to a situation where people plateau out. They reach a point in their career, life or business and just seem to stay there without progressing any further. In fact they get stale. Most of these people become dissatisfied with their work and life in general. In manky jobs people either don’t have the ambition or in some cases the opportunity to keep learning and growing.
Once upon a time it was believed you could only continue to learn and grow up until a certain age in your life. Geoff Colvin’s research suggests otherwise. He looks at what separates world class performers to everybody else. His findings lead us to conclude that performing at your best is governed by the amount of time you invest in what you do and the quality of what you do not your age.
The most important factor in performing at your best is deliberate practice. Deliberate practice is continuous practice that continues to improve your performance at your sport or business. It is not just mindless repetition that enables you to do a task over and over again as if you are on automatic pilot. In many case this is exactly what it seems like. The truth of the matter is that deliberate practice is like a science. It is about experimenting on how you can perform your best under pressure and knowing how to execute the right move.
It involves many hours of practice and repetition with feedback and challenges to improve your performance. It often involves the services of a teacher, coach and mentor. This makes all of the difference for you to take the next step towards greatness. The reason for this is that the people you are working with can see what you can’t. They also have the knowledge to help you see how to get to the next stage of your development.
You can’t achieve this just through mindless repetition. This will not allow you to take the next step. It will just improve what you can already do.
Many people will find this too hard to even contemplate and they will just revert to their state of laziness. Some will be inspired and will want to find out more by reading “talent is overrated”. A few might even start to use deliberate practice to improve their performance and begin the journey to greatness.
Where do you fit in?