practice makes greatnesss…

I came across this article that discusses a but of greats (in sports and business), and I thought the last few paragraphs were very poignant:

For most people, work is hard enough without pushing even harder. Those extra steps are so difficult and painful they almost never get done. That’s the way it must be. If great performance were easy, it wouldn’t be rare. Which leads to possibly the deepest question about greatness. While experts understand an enormous amount about the behavior that produces great performance, they understand very little about where that behavior comes from.

The authors of one study conclude, “We still do not know which factors encourage individuals to engage in deliberate practice.” Or as University of Michigan business school professor Noel Tichy puts it after 30 years of working with managers, “Some people are much more motivated than others, and that’s the existential question I cannot answer – why.”

Maybe we can’t expect most people to achieve greatness. It’s just too demanding. But the striking, liberating news is that greatness isn’t reserved for a preordained few. It is available to you and to everyone.

Well, first off, I’ve never understood how Brady does that – he’s special. The article is dead-on, but one thing to remember is that some of the cases sited had horrible home lives. In large part due to their obsession to win or compete, etc. Of course, as with all things, some people are better at obsessing in controlled bursts than others. Tiger Woods comes to mind. The key to it is finding that switch, and being able to actual turn it off.

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5 Responses to practice makes greatnesss…

  1. xrellix says:

    hmmm…why is praying really hard to God not something the greats do? I would think that would be #1.. why does all this matter – i’ll be great when i get to heaven…

    Yes, one needs that special motivation, that comes when one finds that special skill which grows with that special motivation … so on, so on.. its a vicious cycle.

  2. Jay says:

    Regarding your first paragraph: It seems to me that your religion is hating God. Have you not noticed this?

    Regarding the second paragraph: Agreed, it’s vicious. Based on his rants, one of the open-source genius’ out there seems to make enemies up as he goes along. This seems to keep him going. Michael Jordan did this. Currently, the New England Patriots and I think Peyton Manning admitted to doing this. By ‘this’, I mean take anything a person (usually a reporter) says, and make it a personal attack.

    I guess this works, but it’s nice to try and touch base w/ that person first. After that, I agree, they have slighted you and must be crushed.

  3. voghan says:

    What a load of crap. The fact is the people that are great more or less are just naturally gifted and don’t work harder than others. Not naturally gifted people often barely work at it. Is hitting a bucket of balls and playing a round of golf work? Nope.

    There are very few average people that can work hard and actually be great. If that wasn’t the case then you would have an abundance of great people.

  4. xrellix says:

    Its impossible for me to hate god. I only pointed it out cause I see so many athletes and performers thank god when they win – yet i see no mention of that.

    Gifted people don’t have to work as hard as average people if they just wanted to perform at average. But to be great a gifted person would need to work hard probably the put in the same effort as an average person would have to put in to be just good.

    E.g. I don’t have to work that hard at beating either of u at Halo or at the very least keep it even … but if i stepped it up … u guys would be toast.

  5. Jay says:

    OK, I agreed with everything you said up until the Halo statements. I a pretty sure you have to step it up as a regular part of your playing. I will see you soon enough on Halo3…

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