Ever since I can recall I have wanted to be great. When I was 12 years old I was introduced to the sport of Football. I had an Irish twin brother, meaning we are 9-12 months apart (we were 10 months apart), his name is Hector, our goal to get out of poverty was to make it one day to the NFL. Get our mom a mansion in Bel Air and have two butlers named Ronnie. It was a worthy dream and we were willing to put in the work for it. I remember we were obsessed with achieving this goal. Around the time we stumbled upon a youtube video of Eric Thomas the hip hop preacher. “When you want to succeed as bad as you want to breathe then you’ll be successful.” This video was of an athlete who would wake up at 6 am and work out in the weight room followed by sprints in the beach. So being that we had no beach insight – Hector and I decided we can still wake up at 6 am and workout. So that’s what we did….. Until about 2 weeks in when were so sore that we would sleep in, workouts got pushed back to 9am then 2pm then 6pm. Eventually we thought are workouts would not be as productive due to the fact that they were no longer at the same time as the athlete in the video nor was there a beach in sight. So we decided to rearrange our approach, we would no longer sleep. We stayed up all night playing Call of Duty or Halo and then at 5:30 am, we would lace up our shoes watch a few motivational videos and get our workout in.
Pretty admirable if you ask me, a couple of 12 year olds trying to find a way to make it to the big leagues. However, we were terribly wrong in our approach. As I look back at it, it was wasted time. If we had the genetic potential and skill to play at a high level we were hurting our development by losing sleep. Our workouts were subpar a few sprints, calistethics, but no power development which is what is needed to be a good Football athlete. So what would be the right approach?
Our consistency and problem solving was right, we wanted to be great and we were determined. However, we needed the right information.
When it comes to living a meaningful life we need 3 things.
- A clear direction (Goals)
- Resources (Mentors, plan, information)
- The proper environment (Support System)
In my example we had 1/3 of the components. We had a clear direction (goal). We were committed to becoming NFL Superstars. There was no confusion on what we wanted to do. We wanted to go pro and we wanted two butlers named Ronnie. In many books you hear this commonly referred to your why be clear on what you want, and why are you doing something. We can go into a long explanation on why this is important but I will write a different post on it later.
Understand this, you can only have one clear direction. Commitment to the desired end goal is the key.
Were we failed is not having the right information (Resources), we in case you have not figured it out, never made it pro. If we had any clue of what it took back then we could’ve made it. If we had the right coaching or people who had accomplished what we wanted (mentors). Big Ronnie would be typing this for me. It doesn’t matter who you think you are and how great you think you are. We all need coaches and mentors. It gives us the perspective of an outsider, a person who can look at you objectively. Someone who can help us develop at a faster rate. See it is good coaches and mentors who evoke the best in you.
We need a Sherpa to show us the way. This can arguably come in a multiple ways: Books, people, podcast, videos, the list can go on. The danger is in identifying people who have the right intentions. Trusting the wrong people can come at a price. Eventually, we are able to weed them out.
Pro Tip: Anyone who states “the best way”, “overnight success”, etc,. is not looking for your best interest. First of all there is never a best way. Every approach should have an individualized approach. What works for me might not work for you. Vice versa.
Now this last one is optional but worthy of a mention. You need the right environment. In my example, if we would of only had a fucking beach to run in. I would be making snow angels in a pile of Benjamin’s.
All jokes aside, if we had the right environment (support system). It would of made our journey much easier. See this would be if we had our whole family on board. Our mom would of made sure we had the right meals, our dad would of made sure we got to the best camps and branded us (Shoutout LaVar Ball), our coaches would of pushed us harder, our teachers would of kept us more accountable, and our teammates would of wanted to keep up. Overall, expectations would of been higher. When you are held to a standard you start fulfilling that prophecy.
In life you can see this be true when you have a solid support system, you share with them your goals and they check up on them. If your family is all on board with your mission then it will be easier to get the right resources and reach your clear direction. A great example, is Alcohol Anonymous (AA) a program that has successfully helped people sober up. Now the idea behind the program is these 3 principles. Accept you have a problem (right information), Define the clear goal (Clear Direction), and have the right environment. (Support System).
Now, success is a very elusive word. However, I narrowed it down to these 3 things because I truly believe it is that simple. Its difficult to put metrics into success because results will always vary. There is a lot of luck, but at the base of it is 3 unarguable necessities. You cannot achieve something with out first aiming at it. It is impossible to do something without the right resources. Lastly, your environment matters. You can start your journey in the wrong environment but grandiose goals require a natural progression into the right environment.