Life is so much better…with hard work.

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Can we all agree that there is enough mediocrity out there? Half-hearted clothing lines. Half-hearted blogs. Half-hearted coffee shops. Half-hearted employees. Half-hearted books. Half-hearted Twitter accounts. Half-hearted presentations. (I didn’t want to use the term half-“hearted.” I wanted to use a different word. But my mom reads this blog.)

Why? Why is there so much mediocrity?

I think I’ve stumbled across the answer, and the answer comes in the form of two questions.

1)   Do I really want to be one of the best?

I don’t think people set out to be mediocre or create mediocre products. Maybe some do, but for the most part I think people who open clothing lines, write books, make coffee, or work for a company want to be excellent and want to create excellent products.

So how do companies and products become mediocre? I think one of the reasons this happens is because the founder/designer/author never stopped to ask if they wanted to be the best.

A few months ago, my cousin inspired me to run a marathon. I put together a running schedule, trained hard, and accomplished the goal. But I never intended to be the best. In fact, I didn’t care if I finished in the top 100 or the bottom 100 – I just wanted to finish. When I look at the goal of running a marathon and ask the question: “Do I really want to be one of the best marathon runners in the United States?” The answer is, “No.” In other words, I’m setting myself up to be a mediocre marathoner.

And that led me to question #2:

2)   Am I willing to put in the work to be one of the best?

This is the money question.

Recently, I was reading the online biography of Andy Andrews a very talented author. He has written several NY Times Bestsellers, including a few of my favorite books.

According to his web-bio, Andy Andrews read 200 biographies BEFORE he wrote his first book. 200! And then, after he wrote the manuscript The Traveler’s Gift was turned down by 51 publishers. So not only did Andy have to put in the work on the front end by doing years of research, Andy had to work REALLY hard on the back end to get a publisher to pick up his manuscript. Do you think he ever wanted to give up? Oh ya! He admits that himself. And yet he persevered and wrote a bestselling book that has influenced millions of people.

In contrast, think about the marathon example. Is there potential that I could become a really good marathon runner? Yes. But do I want to put in the work to become one of the best? No. That doesn’t mean I won’t run a few more races or work on my race-time, but I have no intention of submitting my body to years of pain and abuse to become a nationally recognized marathoner. So guess what? I won’t become a nationally recognized marathoner. Shocking, I know! 

So once you ask the question: Do I want to be one of the best _________________? You have to follow up that question with: Do I want to put in the work to become one of the best ________________________?

Both questions are important, and both can lead you to success. If you’re going to follow your dreams and shoot for the stars, be ready to put in the work. And while you are putting in hours and hours of hard work remember, each hour your put towards your dream is one hour closer to accomplishing your dream.

Life is so much better when hard work leads to success.

What do you want to be the best at? Comment below and continue the discussion…

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