How much effort are you prepared to put into your passion?

I was listening to an interview with Malcolm Gladwell recently on the Radiolab podcast in which he was speaking about the performance of Jamaican athletes when he was growing up. He made a comment that part of the reason for their performance is that they trained harder than anybody else.

When Darren la Croix won the 2001 World Championship of Public Speaking, he said that he did not want any of the other competitors to be more prepared than him – he wanted to out-prepare all of them, and he won.

When I was in school, I studied music as one of my matric subjects. In my final year, I would probably practice about 2-3 hours a day, and I was a far better pianist then than I am now. It was because I was putting in the time to prepare.

Tiger Woods is such a great golfer partly because he puts in approx 6 ½ hours training every single day, as well as about 2 ½ hours in the gym  . I have no doubt that if I put effort into golf every day for a few years, I would be a mighty fine golfer as well. Maybe not as good as Tiger Woods, but a lot better than I currently am.

According to Fortune Magazine,

“The evidence we have surveyed … does not support the [notion that] excelling is a consequence of possessing innate gifts…. that nobody is great without work…There’s no evidence of high-level performance without experience or practice.”

Ok, so the bottom line is that you can be excellent at just about anything that you choose, but you will need to put in the effort to get there.

How much effort are you prepared to put into your passion?

3 thoughts on “How much effort are you prepared to put into your passion?”

  1. So true Craig – people always seem so disappointed when I talk about the hard work needed to become a good/great/outstanding speaker.

    John Lennon’s advice to young bands was that you had to spend 100 hours rehearsing in the garage for every hour you were going to be on stage. My question to speakers I am working with is “How much better would you be if you put in even a tenth of that level of rehearsal?”

  2. Thanks Rowan

    You are correct, we reherse a speech one or two times, present it and wonder why it was not such a great presentation.

    I think it was Mark Twain that said that the more you prepare, the luckier you get.

    Success takes effort!


  3. Very true, Craig. There is always someone out there who wants it more than you do and are willing to put in the time. Good to be reminded of how much we really want our passion, whatever it is.

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