by Darrin Schenck

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by Darrin Schenck

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Love this quote, and certainly agree. The modified version of the quote that is the title of this blog is from Raymond Teller, better known as the non-speaking half of magic act Penn & Teller, and it actually goes like this:
“Sometimes magic is just spending more time on
something than anyone else might reasonably expect.”
Ain’t it the truth; outworking everyone at something is the key to success. Being willing to suffer just a little longer than the rest is all that it takes in some cases to rise above. Talent doesn’t always cut it; if you don’t have the work ethic, your talent is only going to take you so far. I say this from experience, as I never considered myself a super talented or gifted athlete, but rather I out worked everyone in my sport to get to the top level. I was around guys who were unbelievably talented and were very accomplished players, but they didn’t have the work ethic to be the best. I wasn’t the best, but I truly believe that I maximized my talent, and arguably over-achieved. I only was able to do that through more hard work than those around me.
If there is one thing I believe you MUST learn to do in life, regardless of the endeavor, it is learn to suffer longer. Whatever your current capacity for suffering is, it can get better. You can learn and develop the capacity to take more. More pain, more hours in the gym, on the court, whatever. Tolerance is like a muscle, and the more you use it, the stronger that capacity gets. You start small, you slowly improve, and get better at taking more.
As Raymond Teller states, practicing longer than most people would consider reasonable is the key to “magic”. In his case, he really does mean magic, as that is Penn & Teller’s profession. They have been considered one of the best magic acts in the world for a long time. They didn’t fall onto the top of that mountain, they climbed there with years of “unreasonable” practice time. They put in the time and the work to get there, plain and simple.
It does not matter what you choose to pursue, the key to success is work, hard work. You have to log the miles and do the work to get yourself to the next level. And then the next one and so on. Ideally that never stops…there is no “arrived”, you still have to work. Others are closing in, watching your progress and looking to take your spot in the food chain. Roger Federer, considered the greatest tennis player of all time by many in the game, has added new facets to his game, brought in new coaches and implemented new strategies despite having spent more weeks at number 1 than all others who ever played Men’s tennis. He never settles, never rests on his laurels, and is ALWAYS looking to improve. THAT Is the mark of a true champion.
You can do the same thing, whether you are a fireman, a school teacher or an athlete. Being the best parent or spouse or architect all can follow this same principal: Constant improvement is the key to success. The desire to improve, to refine, to elevate comes natural to some and to others it needs gasoline thrown on it to light that fire to the level necessary. Success begets success, but it begins with the desire to improve and the work ethic to log the miles needed to start the climb. You can’t fall onto the top of the mountain.
To recap:
  • In most cases, outworking everyone is the key to success
  • This applies to everything in life, not just sports. The aforementioned magic team spent an “unreasonable” amount of time practicing their craft.
  • There is no “arrived”, there is no finish line. It takes just as much work to become the best as it does to stay the best.
  • Constant improvement is the key to success; you can’t fall onto the top of the mountain. You have to climb, scratch and claw your way there…
I wish you luck in your endeavors.

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