I recently took a very detailed “personality test” that described my energy level as being able to keep going when most others would stop. When other people are exhausted my energy level is only down to average. This means that I’m going to be able to practice at something far longer than most.
But I didn’t always seem to be this way. I was like most everyone else in that when I wanted to quit, I just did. When everyone else was done, I joined them and went home. But over time what I grew to realize was that just because others stopped didn’t mean I had to. I realized I had enough energy to keep going.
This energy may sound like some kind of inherent trait that I was born with, one that can never be taught. But I think that I developed this energy level over time. The biggest key to developing this extra energy was solidifying a goal that I wanted to achieve. Once I gave myself a big enough goal for which to strive, it created energy in me. Having a goal filled me with a drive to pursue what I wanted, which often times gave me so much energy that it could be 2am and I still wanted to keep driving and keep pursuing.
So when everyone else had hit a bag of balls and whacked some putts on the putting green and called it a day because they checked the box on what they called “practice”, I was so happily grinding on difficult tasks, and measuring my progress, and simulating competition in practice. These are all things that take an extreme amount of energy. But the difference between me and those other golfers wasn’t my energy level. It wasn’t my willingness to work harder. It wasn’t my self-discipline, or grit, or whatever other buzz word you hear. The root of what made me different than other golfers was that giant blazing light at the end of my path called “GOAL”. A light so bright that no matter where I looked there it was. I couldn’t get it out of my head.
You say “Josh, you don’t sound that unique. There’s hard-working guys and gals everywhere that practice really hard sun-up to sun-down every day.” And you’re exactly right! I’m not unique! All the more reason to believe that you aren’t born with the willingness to do what others won’t. It’s developed. It’s nurtured. And most importantly it’s pushed from behind and pulled from ahead by the burning desire to accomplish something huge.
Anyone can do it. Anyone can set a huge goal. You just have to find what you want and define it, shape it, sculpt it, whittle it down to exactly what you want. And then your only option will be to fight for it.