035 - success is NOT a straight line...


There is no such thing as “as the crow flies” when it comes to success. It’s not linear, no matter how much we want that to be so. And this is a lesson the next generation must learn to comprehend, as if they don’t, when the “lows” come, it’ll hit them harder than they should, and they’ll stay in the valley too long… instead, they need to know there will be steps backward, and that it’s a natural part of life and the journey of success…

They say there’s no such thing as an overnight success - and they’re correct. Malcolm Gladwell calls it the 10,000-hour rule, whereby it takes 10,000 hours to master something or to finally be “seen” by others - which is the equivalent of about 10 years

10 years of practice. 10 years of dedication and honing your skills… training and developing yourself. 10 years of trying things and not having them work out… 10 years of patience and taking two steps forward, one step back…

10 years of doing the work, hard work

And yet, thanks to the likes of social media, we don’t see this past. We don’t see all the hard work, sacrifices, commitment, and dedication that’s gone into helping people get to the place they are today

Success is like an iceberg, we only see the small amount that peeks out of the top of the water… we don’t see that over 90% of the iceberg lies below the water

The top of the iceberg is what we see when it comes to success… and below, is all the hard work, commitment, overcoming on negative self-talk - the things we can’t see and refuse to accept

But the honest truth is, regardless of what you’re trying to achieve in life, the answer lies in doing the work - day after day, week after week, month after month, year after year

It lies in staying consistent. Being able to take three steps back in order to take one step forward. Being able to roll with the adversity that will inevitably come, and roll with those punches

Rocky said it best in the “Rocky Balboa” film…

“life isn’t about how hard you can hit, it’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward”

And herein lies the key to success that we don’t want to see or acknowledge - that it’s hard work…

And nobody knows this more than Kobe Bryant. There’s a story by Jay Williams, one of the most accomplished college basketball players of all time, who played for the Chicago Bulls prior to a career-ending motorcycle accident. Jay tells a story about how he was always the first to a game to practice, and would always try to make 400 shots before leaving the floor

One night, they were playing the Lakers. And Williams’ rocks up earlier than everyone else to begin prepping. To his amazement, what does he see? Kobe on the court, already dripping with sweat…

So Williams’ begins going through his paces - and Kobe doesn’t slow down… Williams finishes his (what he thought was intense) 90-minute warmup, and Kobe is still going… And Kobe continues to go for another 30 minutes after Williams finished

After the game, Williams approached Kobe and asked him if he always practices that long and hard before a game, to which Kobe replied: “I wanted you to know, that it doesn’t matter how hard you work, I’m willing to work harder than you”…

Hard work is the variable of success. It’s what you do behind closed doors when everyone else has gone home and the lights are off that matters most. It’s the 90% of the iceberg that lies under the water that nobody sees…

And that mentality, living that, is what sets you on the path to achieving “success”


Actionable Tip + Questions:

  • Do you show the patience needed to get to where you desire to go?
  • When you hit a roadblock or take a step back, do you quit, or do you work harder?

  • Are you currently making the sacrifices, showing the dedication, and working as hard as you can to achieve the success you desire in sport and life?

Nick Maier