Saturday, March 03, 2007

Overnight Success Takes A Good Decade

"You have to put in many, many, many tiny efforts that nobody sees or appreciates before you achieve anything worthwhile."
- Brian Tracy, business writer

In almost all cases, "overnight success" required years of devotion to improving whatever the skill, craft or athletic endeavour was involved. The usual rule of thumb is one decade.

That means that the "average" person who has found success and some level of notoriety slaved for endless hours, usually deprived of sleep, with a minimum of food and often in accommodations that leave much to be desired, before being "discovered."

Overnight success is a myth except in the sense that widespread recognition may come suddenly. In many cases, the work could well be called labouring in the trenches.

Why don't more people gain such recognition? Most people are not prepared to devote so much of their lives to reaching the objective of their dreams. To work extra hard at one part of your life, you must sacrifice some others. Often than means family, friends, career or income.
Some don't know that extreme devotion, perseverance and hard work for a long period of time will eventually help them to realize their dream. Or they feel that they will break down and give up along the way.

Some don't even have a dream they could pursue. They don't even see themselves as being outstanding at anything. They don't dare because they don't believe in themselves. They don't realize that their dreams are in their own hands, not in the hands of others they believe have considerable control or influence over their lives.

Artist and sculptor Michelangelo Buonarroti said "If people only knew how hard I work to gain my mastery, it wouldn't seem so wonderful at all." It would have been equally correct for him to say that his immortal works of art would never have come into being if he had not worked so hard to earn the mastery he had. He worked hard enough and made the necessary sacrifices.

Oh, Michaelangelo, your mastery would seem wonderful. On a tour of St. Peter's, in Rome (technically The Vatican), I stood transfixed and slack-jawed for ten minutes staring at your Pieta (Madonna and Child), camera dangling from my neck ignored because I refused to take my eyes off the most magnificent piece of sculpture I had ever seen. Then the group was called to move on to see St. Peter's tomb, a disappointment by comparison.

Brian Tracy referred to the many tiny efforts one must put in to achieve success in the business world, as that is his area of expertise and interest. But the advice applies to anything in life that we want to become expert in. We are each capable of fame.

Bill Allin
Turning It Around: Causes and Cures for Today's Epidemic Social Problems, striving to make the complexities of life a little simpler to understand.
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