I have read several good books over the years that talk about talent. What I love about the journey of becoming better... talent is important, but working hard actually means more. There is a series on Netflix right now about the story of Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls’ last season championship run. Throughout that series, it continues to flash back to the beginning of the dynasty. And even before that, the early years of Michael Jordan.
Growing up, Michael Jordan was never really the best basketball player on the court. In fact, he wasn’t even the best basketball player in his family. But, playing with his older brothers, he never gave up. He always worked harder and honed his craft and became more skillful. Accumulating hours and hours of practice for years and years, he became the greatest player ever, and that is why most everyone, at least those of us over the age of 40, remember as kids wanting to “be like Mike.”
I’ve been coaching for several years now, and I always let my student-athletes know that like Angela Duckworth says in her famous book Grit, “As much as talent counts, effort counts twice.” Wow! What a great lesson in just a few words. Those who have seen the most success on my teams over the years have been those who did have talent, but had what it took to stick it out, hang in, and put in work when others would not. The writer of Proverbs puts it this way...
“Do you see someone skilled in their work? They will serve before kings; they will not serve before officials of low rank.” ~Proverbs 22:29
The question is, are you willing to put in the work when you don’t feel like working anymore, when you are tired, or frustrated? Many people give up too easily. It doesn’t matter what you are doing, whether large or small. If you continue to work hard to get better, you will. My prayer is that you decide what is important in life, focus in that direction, and become great. The world needs more people like that.
Praying for you,