Once upon a time there was a farmer who was on his deathbed, down to his final days. As he lie in bed the farmer called to his sons. The three young men hurriedly ran inside to see what their father wanted.
“Boys”, the father said. “I have buried a great treasure out in one of the fields and I want you to find it before I die.”
The sons eagerly went out into the fields and dug all over them. After spending a few days digging all over the fields the boys returned to tell their father of their failure.
Growing weaker by the day the father stated, “Well, since you’ve already dug up the fields you might as well go plant some crops.”
So the boys went off to plant the fields. Two days later they returned to their father. Upon entering the room they were greatly saddened to see his diminished state.
Knowing it would be the last time he spoke to his sons, the father said: “Boys, you have found the treasure. Just wait to harvest time. The true treasure is in the hard work you just completed.”
This was his last, and most important lesson to his boys.
Success is the direct result of the work ethic put forth. Everyone wants success but nobody wants to work for it. Everyone wants to win but few are willing to pay the price. The most successful teams, groups, organizations, and people all know there is no substitute for hard work. They show up on a daily basis and work hard. They don’t sit around and wait for opportunities to come, they create them.
Legendary Coach John Wooden loved competitive greatness. He said it is, “Being at your best when your best is needed.”
I couldn’t agree more.
How are you at your best when it’s needed?
First, you have to bring it every day. You can’t have three good days and two off days. The quality of the competition has no bearing on how you prepare or how hard you work. Secondly, you have to prepare mentally. You have to be ready for the opportunity when it comes, because it may not come again. Thirdly, the best love the challenge. They don’t fear failure because they know failure is just one step closer to achieving their goal. The best embrace the challenge because they know it’s an opportunity to show what they’re made of.
“The outcome is merely a by-product of the total effort given to prepare.”
What the best know better than the rest is there is no substitute for hard work and preparation. When teams, groups, organizations, and individuals equate success with hard work, look out! Hard work then becomes a core value and the entire organization buys into it.
Olympic Champion Nadia Comaneci said it best, “Hard work has made it easy. That is my secret. That is why I win.”
What the best know better than the rest is the true goal is to reach your potential. The best don’t focus on the rest; they focus on themselves. They focus on building sustainable habits which will allow them to put in the hard work and preparation required.
“The chains of habit are too weak to be felt until they are too strong to be broken.”
We all want to be successful, but do we all want to do what it takes? The best know there is no “secret” to success, it’s just hard work. And a lot of it.
There are a lot of good definitions of success out there, but I’ll leave you with my favorite.
“Success is peace of mind, which is a direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing you made the effort to do your best to become the best that you are capable of becoming.”
In your opinion, what do the best do better than the rest? We’d love to hear your thoughts!
As always, thanks for reading, have a great week, and be an RGP today!
Coach Elmendorf is available to speak to your team, group, or organization. Message him for details.