The Journey of Success, Part II, Outliers

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According to Malcolm Gladwell, author of Outliers, his research found that success is not dependent solely on natural talent. Practice is what sets apart the elite performers from the average ones. In fact, his research shows that if you practice something for 10,000 hours, you will become a master at it.

The  “greats” know that nothing achieved easily is ever truly impactful. The ones who work diligently on their craft are the ones who experience the greatest triumphs.

We live in a world where we want things easy. We want to pick up a basketball and automatically think that we will shoot jumpers like Kevin Durant. Not going to happen. Personally, every time I walk onto a golf course and swing my driver, I think it’s going to go at least two hundred and fifty yards. Not even close.

Golf has taught me that you can’t just attempt something once and actually believe you’re going to be great at it. I’ve only played for three years, and although I’ve gotten better at it, the only reason that has happened is because of the hours I’ve spent on a driving range and golf course. However, if I didn’t invest that time, why should I expect better results?

The same is true for anyone chasing after his or her dreams. Why should you expect a reward if you’re not investing your time and efforts to pursue your dream?

You want to be a professional athlete? Do you practice above and beyond the hours mandated by your coach?

You want to own a restaurant? Have you read books on how to run a restaurant, or sought wisdom by talking to somebody in the food service industry?

You want to be a doctor? What are your study habits like?

It is easy to want a thing, but it takes dedication and determination to work for a thing.

Now that school is back in session here in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, I will take advantage of it by speaking in as many schools that open their doors for me.

The first school I spoke at this semester was Frankford Middle School. I spoke to five classes, each fifty minutes. That’s almost five hours added to the more than 10,000 hours I already have on my resume since I started speaking to young people at the age of fifteen.

The five hours were exhausting, but they were worth it. Many would think I am crazy for speaking for five consecutive hours, but I am committed. I am committed to being faithful to the 25 to 30 students in each class knowing that my time with them is preparing me for the day when I speak to 2500 to 3000 people.

One student, whose parents came to pick him up early, would not leave until I finished my speech. My hope is that he took something from what I said and he realizes there IS greatness inside of him. That is my hope for everyone I speak to.

Empowering people to go after their dreams…that’s the mission and the mission is alive! Therefore, the journey continues. Even if it means I have 10,000 MORE hours before the world realizes I am a master communicator.

What are you practicing or working on today that will help you fulfill your dreams?