A Boy wanted to be the best baseball player on his team. He asked his Father, a man of great wealth and achievement, how to achieve such a high level of success on his team. The Boy’s Father told him to practice better and more than any other player on the team.
“Is it really that simple, Father?” The boy asked.
“It is that simple, Son, but it isn’t easy. What you focus on expands and if you practice enough, your practice will teach what you need to do next.
The boy hurried out the door excitedly with his baseball, glove, and bat. He went outside every day for many days and practiced. One day, it rained. The boy decided to stay at home and work on his model train. The boy’s father saw the bat in the foyer, picked it up, and walked into his workshop, where the boy was.
“Son, why aren’t you practicing?” The Father asked.
“It’s raining out, so I decided instead to work on my model train.” The Boy replied.
“So you are not practicing, because it is raining?” asked the Father.
“Yes” the boy asked puzzled
“Okay, so you don’t want to practice today?”
“No, I don’t want to practice, Father! Can’t you see that it’s raining?”
The father called the boy over to his workshop table, where he took out a crumpled piece of paper and a carpenter’s pencil. He drew a horizontal line. On the right side, he scribbled “Massive Success”. On the opposite end of the line, he wrote “Massive Failure.” He then drew a circle in the middle of the line. He wrote above it the word “Average”.
“Show me” said the Father, “where you want to be on this line in relation to your success on the baseball team.” The boy pointed confidently to massive success.
“Well, I’d like to tell you a secret. I have achieved massive success in my life and I want to share something that I have learned. This center circle...this is where most people live their lives. Average. They don’t seek to go beyond average, they simply remain in the circle and they do so by making a series of very serious choices.
Now some people fall on the left side of the circle, somewhere between average and massive failure, but few people fall on the right side, between average and massive success. Very few people achieve massive success, because in order to achieve it, it takes an undying commitment to repeatedly and consistently doing the things that you don’t want to do, because they are the right things to do. Things get uncomfortable. They get hard. But if you keep choosing to do the right things, even when you don’t want to, you will eventually achieve massive success. Most people will say yes to discomfort only to a certain extent. As such, they remain average. The fewer choices they make throughout life to do the right things when it gets hard or uncomfortable, the further left they slide on the line. The more choices they make to do the right thing, even when it’s hard, the further right they slide. Do you understand what I am saying to you?"
The boy looked down at the pencil line and pondered for a moment. “I think so, Father” he said, “Even though I don’t want to practice in the rain because it is wet and cold and uncomfortable, I must make the decision to do it anyway, because it’s the right thing to do, whether or not I feel like doing it. If I really want to be the best baseball player, then I must say yes to the hard-right thing 100% of the time. Plus, if I train myself to practice in the rain, then I’ll be even better in the sun!”
The Father paused and gazed at his son with pride and adoration. He smiled, and handed it to the boy. The boy took the bat, picked up his ball and glove and headed out the door in the rain.
We’re all given opportunities to choose the right thing, even when it’s hard. The issue is that we let our emotions direct the ship. Sometimes the emotion is fear. Sometimes it’s discomfort. Sometimes it’s ego. The list goes on, but the bottom line is that your success is directly related to the amount of times that you choose to do the hard-right thing, instead of taking the easy-comfortable road. Also, the frequency with which you choose the hard-right thing has a whole lot to do with how quickly you achieve massive success. Where on the line do you want to be? If you want to be far right and achieve anything at a high level, then you must begin doing the hard-right things. Slowly, you will find that one decision to say yes to the hard-right thing, leads to another decision to do the hard-right thing, so get comfortable being uncomfortable, and choose the hard-right things 100% of the time. Until next time, Shore Locals, I’m sending you peace, love and good vibes from my beach chair to your’s!
Credz: This story was an adaptation from an excerpt of Shift by Gary Keller and Jay Papasan.