Friday, July 10, 2009

The Real Secret to Success

Watching Roger Federer and Tiger Woods compete in their chosen endeavors at the highest level over the weekend reminded me of the great advise I got from an audio tape, nearly fifty years, it seems (paraphrased): "Successful people do what unsuccessful people are either unwilling or unable to do." During the tournament Tiger was competing in, with Anthony Kim at his side on Sunday, the announcers kept referring to "things" that AK had not yet learned - that he would have to if he is to become anywhere near comparable to some of the things Tiger does today. He has the natural talent. It is the, what I call, "work ethic" that is missing. The willingness to do all the practice, to identify and adopt changes, to make most of the activities "second nature" through commitment and adoption. It is the pre-game and post-game routine - relentlessly, without fail. On Sunday, this one day, Tiger could have chosen to watch the end of the Federer-Roddick tennis match, and shorten his pre-game routine. There was never such a thought. When it was time to do what he was supposed to do to be successful, he did it. Did all the others? Good question. I'll bet not a s faithfully - if my theory holds.

The week before, at that golf tournament, David Duvall, a #1 a number of years ago, talked of how he had taken his "talent" for granted. He just assumed that would take him where he wanted to go. Actually, it did - but it was not enough to keep him there, to sustain the success he believed he deserved because of his "talent." He had failed to recognize the many other things that go into "success." He had not yet been willing to do what the "sustained successful" person must do. He is now coming back, trying to do more of those things.

This does not just apply to sports. It applies to everything we do - however you define success. Give it some thought. I'd love to hear your thinking, and your examples.

Dr. Bill - I love to share, I hope you do to! ;-)

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