I recently read a very good article in Newsweek magazine titled Tiger Rules. It delved into what makes a young athlete like Tiger Woods totally dominate his sport. It compared his characteristics to other dominators like Joe Montana, Wayne Gretsky, Martina Navratilova and Bob Gibson. Each of these athletes were not satisfied with reaching one time championship status, but instead continued to work harder than anyone else at their craft, to be absolutely better than anyone could ever imagine.
They all practiced longer and harder than any of their peers were willing to. They structured their time and efforts preparing, so that they would be at their peak when it came time to deliver a spectacular performance. This stuff was really exciting to read because I believe that every one of us has special hidden talents that are just yearning to burst out from inside of us.
When you’re working on those special talents, you actually become one with your work. The line between work and play almost disappears. Your work becomes an extension of you. Just look at Michael Jordan and at how he came out of retirement over and over because he had keep playing. That’s because basketball is an extension of Michael Jordan. This is much different than clocking in and clocking out. If Michael Jordan could physically compete with the younger athletes of today, he would still be playing. Michael Jordan discovered his talents and went to work on them. How about you?
We may not all have the physical attributes to be a football or basketball star. But we all can be great at something. We just have to find that special something and then study someone that has reached the top of that game. How about in your business? Is there a superstar performer? Someone who never says “I can’t,” or “it’s too hard.” Someone who is the go-to-person when the going gets tough? These superstars are everywhere. They may not all be fortunate enough to make millions of dollars like Tiger or Michael. But I believe that those two would be the best at their game regardless of what they were paid.
Your focus should NOT be on the money. Top performers are always saying “Do what makes you happy,” not, “Do what makes you money.” Why do they say this?
To begin with, your work takes up most of your waking hours, so you might as well be happy doing it. If you’re not happy doing it, then how motivated are you going to be? How excited can you get if you hate your job? Now let’s flip the coin over and imagine if you loved your work. All of a sudden you feel like your work has a purpose to it. At times, you have trouble sleeping because you’re so excited and motivated. The difference between Monday and Friday disappears, as does the difference between weekdays and weekends. This is why they say to do what you love!
What about the money? What if there’s “no money in it”? To answer that question, you have to look at the economic laws of supply and demand. Fortunes like those of Tiger Woods and Michael Jordan occur because the DEMAND to see a Tiger Woods play is tremendous. If everyone played like Tiger, then seeing him wouldn’t be anything special and he wouldn’t be as rich as he is. But Tiger didn’t start playing golf at such a young age to become rich; he played to BE THE BEST!
The same principles apply to you. If you’re doing what you love, but not making much money right now, then set out to BE THE BEST; separate yourself from the crowd. If you’re doing what you love, then you’re already ahead of the crowd. You don’t have the heavy burdens of no motivation, no excitement, and no desire. You have the wind at your back. Use it to push yourself higher and higher.
If in the end, you never become as “rich” as Tiger or Michael in “money” terms, don’t be disappointed. You can look back on your life as a time that you did what you LOVED, you were always HAPPY doing it, and you became better and better at it with each passing day. It turns out that you were “rich” after all.
Why not start investing the time into planning, practicing and executing with pride, so that you could walk around with your head up high, proud of your accomplishments and of how you strive to "BE THE BEST?"