No Such Thing as Overnight Success


I was having a discussion with my life time friend, Luca. It was a bit of time ago, say twenty to twenty-five years, but funny how certain conversations just seem to stick.

Both of us were nearing the exit to our time in university. I was already slated for a pilot slot with the Marine Corps and he was looking at continuing with his PhD in Nuclear physics from Cal. We were geniuses before our time as the topic of discussion was ‘how the world works’. No easy feat, but our answers came flowing like a chocolate fountain in one of those fancy parties.

We talked in the context of both of us at the very entry of a period of time when long hard work was the order of the day, for the next five years at least. We wondered what it would be like to be a professional golfer or better yet a professional musician. “They have it easy!”

We talked about the golfer living a life of going from one country club to the next just ‘playing a game’. The musician was given even less love as the creative side seemed all but a fanciful dream of what life could or should be, but not very realistic. Hard work was the order of the day! Anyone who makes a success of themselves without hard work is missing the journey. They will never cherish what they have created because it will have come so easy for them. We have all heard these tenets.

So I have been all around the world and seen many places and people and have asked them about their professions. I have met the golfers and musicians. The professional golfers, sans Jon Daly, were in excellent shape with an undertone of intensity and a confidence only developed from hours and hours of swinging that dam club (I was told 5,000 times a day, but this might have been for effect). You can tell what instrument a musician plays by where his or her calluses are. This, of course is from hours and hours of practicing the same freakin note, again and again. You and I can get that good swing or hit that perfect note from the start. But try to do it again and again. That’s where the work is in the creative and sporting endeavors and any other profession for that matter.

If you too want to meet these people, just go to You Tube and you can hear the famous ones talk about their time. Listen for the one recurring theme across any discipline. They all have a wickedly high work ethic. Not necessarily running 24/7 but taking the time they do have and concentrating. (For those thinking next level, concentration is a precursor to meditation. I’ll get to that in time.)

No one gets to the next level of anything without putting in the hours. Time + Energy (focused) = Results This is a universal law that the physics books don’t ever discuss. What sucks is that some things take a such long time! “Are we there yet?” For this I can only close with a paraphrased quote (because I am not that smart) from a smart person.

“Many of life’s greatest failures are from people who didn’t know how close to success they really were.” T. Edison.