by Darrin Schenck

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by Darrin Schenck

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It doesn’t matter who you are, HARD WORK is necessary. If you are going to rise above wallowing in mediocrity with the masses, you have to work. As Bruce Lee so deftly put it:
“Preparation for tomorrow is hard work today”
Whether an artist honing her craft, an athlete perfecting his skills, or anyone striving to be better at something than the rest, the path to excellence is forged in diligence. The reason I show up every day at Starbucks at 7am to write is to inch my way forward in my quest to be better. The context or the goal does not matter, it is the consistency and commitment that does.
The same principals I applied to my racquetball career, to writing any of my books, to becoming a public speaker, all apply to everything I do, and everything you would do as well. It is not rocket science; but everyone wants the short cut, the magic pill that vaults you to the top over everyone else. It doesn’t work that way, you have to build the base and do the work to get to the upper echelon of any endeavor. You will literally be standing on all of your work and dedication of the past as you progress forward. If you don’t lay that ground work over years of toil and struggle, you have nothing to keep you in that rarefied air.
The struggle many people have these days is directly due to the parenting they received. I am not chastising the parents, but I believe the “millennial problem” that people complain about is a product of the desire to give your children the best life possible. People in my generation had it better than their parents did, and the desire to provide the same or more has the best of intentions behind it. However, the consequences of this have been damaging in ways we didn’t see coming. Too much entitlement, too many bubble-wrapped kids trying to enter in to the real world while greatly lacking the real skills needed to make it out there. Sorry to break it to you, but getting into the habit of using your anxieties as a crutch is handcuffing your opportunities for success. The corporate world isn’t going to give you extra time to do an assignment (your job) just because you struggle with handling the normal pressures everyone else finds a way to deal with. That sh*t doesn’t fly in the real world, so don’t practice it while in school. I’m not a psychologist, and don’t have any real business making a statement like the previous one, but I did, and I did because it it reality. Grab a helmet, life is about to get a little tougher than you’re probably used to.
If you want a way to combat that, I have a few suggestions. I am a big advocate of voluntarily doing something that is a struggle. Whether it is learning a sport, playing an instrument, heck even a hot yoga class twice a week is a good start to learning to endure. That is the key to success…put in the work and endure the process. If you are lucky, and you really want to go far, you will learn to enjoy the process, not just endure it. If you can learn to love pushing your own boundaries and limitations, and the TEMPORARY pain that goes with it, you have cracked the code on achieving almost anything you want to.
If you want to be an entrepreneur, you need to develop the intestinal fortitude to handle being all things to all people, and having the weight of the world on your shoulders. Just having the money to fund your start up doesn’t make you a business owner and operator. You have to understand the pain and suffering that goes along with starting a business, getting a sports or academic scholarship, or landing a corporate job of your choosing. Everything is harder than you think, but that is what makes those things worth while. If everyone could just pick up a racquet and hit a backhand like Roger Federer, he wouldn’t be revered and loved by million around the world. It the work to achieve a high level of proficiency that we as onlookers admire. LeBron James is a physical specimen for sure, but is also one of the hardest working athletes in his sport It is no coincidence that he has had the successes he has achieved when you measure the amount of work he has put in.
Regardless of your chosen endeavor, you don’t have to be the best at it, you just need to be a tiny bit better than the rest. Getting hired may hinge on how well you interview, and being a slightly more appealing candidate than someone else. Once you get your foot in the door with anything new, then you can really dig into the details of what it takes and develop those specific skills to excel. Character traits like determination, diligence, etc., can all be developed and honed; not many are born with all of those already in hand. Learn along the way and slowly but surely outshine the competition and rise to the top. Be patient, as it will take time, but you can do it I have faith in you, and if you need help, let me know. Maybe I can shorten your learning curve a little bit.
I wish you luck in your endeavors.

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