How do we get to Carnegie Hall? Practice. (That’s a fun one to ask to see the reactions of people’s faces, ha.) Most humans have comparable talent levels. We may have different physical attributes, but we’re mostly together mentally to reach comparable achievements. The difference comes in how we’re raised, social community, and our mindset — we have to want it. To reach the upper echelons, we nearly have to dedicate our lives to it, such as playing at Carnegie Hall. Sure, there are prodigies that reach the pinnacle, but there are also people who practiced their way to the top.
Some of us were born on third base, and others with two strikes. Not everyone reaches home from third, and some people hit home runs down 0-2. At the end of the day, it matters on us as much as anything else. We have to commit ourselves to success and achievement. The more we do something, the more “talent” we realize we have. Once we realize we have that talent, we keep on going because we realize we’re good at something. It comes from practice. Sometimes, relentless.
Ever do a “30 day challenge”? What did you learn? You probably learned a lot about the results from sticking with something for 30 days. After 30 days, we get better at it, we learned we’re probably pretty good at it, and have learned to have dedication to do something for thirty days.
This blog is an example of practice everyday. The “quality” may fluctuate, based on topic and where my mind is — hey, I’m human! But I’m here everyday writing. It gets easier over time. I believe I’ve improved at being concise, my sentence structure, editing, etc. — things that I wouldn’t have improved upon from blogging 2-3 times per week. But, when a friend challenged me to blog everyday, I took it as a personal challenge. He said that “trickling” wasn’t as effective as blogging everyday. That created a spark, and wanted to tell him how I blogged consecutively for a month motivated as my ambition.
It may seem extravagant – and it is – but that’s the way we crawl our way to the top, obsessive practice. The difference between the 95-99 percentile is lots of hard work and time. The difference between 99-99.9 percentile is even more. A runner may dedicate his or her life to cutting off a minute, a second, or a tenth of a second of his or her race. But the difference may be between 1st and 5th. There’s not much margin for error at the top. To be there, we have to want to be there. We have to practice every day like we want it.
Do most people want to practice that much? First, I don’t think most people have a passion that drives them toward obsession. Secondly, most people who have such a passion will make an excuse to preclude them. It may be lonely practicing, but the rewards can be great.