There is a famous story about a man would wanted to learn the secret to success. He traveled far to seek the advice of a guru. When he arrived, he asked the guru “What is the secret to success?” The guru motioned for him to follow. They walked down the the edge of the lake, and the guru motioned for him to get into the water. The traveler did, and suddenly the guru grabbed him and dunked his head under water, holding him there until he was sure he would pass out. The guru lifted his head out of the water, just long enough to take a breath, and shoved him down again. The traveler struggled and fought, and finally the guru relented and let him out of the water. “Why did you do that!?!?! the surprised and frustrated traveler blurted out. The guru said:
“When success means as much to you as your next breath, you will find a way.”
There are a lot of people who want to be successful at something, but not very many people are willing to put in the work, to suffer, to persevere through every trial and tribulation that gets thrown your way. As I have stated many times before, I had a losing record as a Pro Racquetball player. A lopsided losing record, not even close to compared to the few wins I had sprinkled in the mix. I didn’t set out to be number 1 in the world, I didn’t really believe that I had that in me. I didn’t have the physical gifts typical of the guys who had held that rank before. But I was sure I could work hard enough to be a top 20 player, and I was right. I was sure I could do the work, suffer the punishment and bear the burden to get there.
It took ten years of solid, dedicated, unflinching work. Every day was spent practicing, learning, sculpting myself into the player I wanted to become. Every decision I made ran through the filter of “Does this help me become a better player?” There was nothing that mattered more. It was the air I breathed. Now when I look back at the hours I spent chasing that goal, I have mixed feelings. But I KNOW, for a FACT, I never would have found my true potential and been successful without that level of commitment. Some guys with more talent may have, but not me. It took every ounce of will I could muster, every ball I hit, every lunge I did, to achieve that level of success.
If you are looking to start a business venture, or a career, you’d better ask yourself one question: Am I all in? If you are not, you will fall short. If you are not ready and willing to suffer, to live lean, to work in the shadows day and night before emerging ten years from now, don’t bother. You’re not going to make it. If you are, you’ll need a strong stomach, an unbending intent, and help from everyone you can enroll in your dream to make it work. I wish you luck. That is why people say “I really look up to a guy like that”, what they mean is that person has climbed farther up the mountain than they have. They are literally looking up to them, and they wish they knew and saw what that person saw. The view is better from the top.