It is the process that matters. Life was not meant to be easy, handed to you on a silver platter. There is no value in that, and it shows. People who are given a brand new BMW for their sweet sixteen birthday treat it like it is disposable. If you bust your ass through school, get a good paying job, pay off your debts and THEN buy the beemer, it is your prize possession and you treat it accordingly. Earning things is where its at, and that takes two things: Patience and Persistence.
There is a reason why I am a successful coach. I was not special, super talented, handed the easy road, or grew up in a life of affluence that granted me opportunities others never had. I didn’t have either of the traits I just mentioned when I started. I had to work, really hard, for everything, that I achieved. I didn’t grow up in a country club lifestyle, or have the proverbial private quarterback coach from the time I was 10. I figured things out, the hard way, and with help from those around me. I can relate to the struggles of a beginner, or someone plateaued out at a certain level. I have been there. I understand. I have empathy for your current situation, regardless of where that may be on the path. I have known the ultimate highs of success. I have felt the sting of failure, the grind of work with no end in sight and only incremental improvement. I get it.
But I also know that you need this; I would not be the same person now if I had not suffered along the way, nor will you be at the end of your journey. What I am here to do is help keep you on the path, headed the right direction, and maybe help you minimize the bruises along the way. I just spoke with an up and coming tennis player who is a top level junior player in the US. She is being coached by a good friend of mine, and he asked me to give some input on a few things. We discussed a couple of things, topics I am familiar with and can speak on. She listened, understanding that I am someone who wants to “send the elevator back down” and help her on her journey. At the end of the conversation I made her only one promise, as there are no guarantees in life:
I promised her it would be worth it.
I know, I’ve been there. The struggles, the journey, the adventures, the wins and losses, all of it will shape you into a different person, with a more well rounded perspective of life. That may not happen during the journey; it may be years after when it finally clicks, but the journey will have been worth it. You will have experiences to draw from that few others do; you will have a wealth of knowledge that a rare few of us know. It is a brethren, a family of people who get it, who know what its like to be the man in the arena. Any time I speak with a professional athlete, a highly successful business person, or someone who has risen above the rest, we both know. Game recognizes game. Or for my older readers…A hire gun knows another when he sees one.
Whether you are starting a business, just entering college, or trying to hit the next level in your sport or endeavor of choice, keep the above information in mind. Step back and have a big picture view once in a while. Be sure to change your perspective, just on occasion, to ten years from now and see how looking back at it all feels. Remind yourself that it takes patience and persistence to succeed, and that the shortcuts don’t pay off. Getting it handed to you won’t have the same value. You need this journey; you need every win and every loss, every belly flop and moment of doubt and fear. This is the win in the end. It is the experiences you have along the way. You don’t have to have the multi-million dollar exit or the Olympic medal to show that what you did was a success.
Regardless of where the journey ends, it will be worth it.