Recently, I read two different books that had been recommended to me. I bought two books at the same time.
The first one was The Subtle Art of Not Giving A F#ck which everyone raved about. And the second one was called Grit.
So I decided to read the Subtle Art of Not Giving A F#ck first because I'd heard such good things about it and I just started reading that one first and I found it really quite hard to read.
I started to realise that the reason it was difficult to read was because the message that it was sending, as the title says, was about not giving a f#ck. The book is literally for people who don't want to give a f#ck.
This was probably about the point that I stopped reading the book as I didn't agree with what that message - at all. It's literally the opposite of what I teach and stand for.
The overall message was that not everyone has greatness in them. Not everyone can do amazing things and that's okay. It's okay if your few don't achieve high. It's okay if you don't have a great physique. It's okay if you don't go out and try and be successful because the truth is that not everyone can do that. In a way I can see how that would apply to many people - but in my opinion it's not an empowering or inspiring way to live.
My immediate thought was that actually that it's for people that want to hear that message and that message are generally the type of people that want to excuse their behavior for not achieving or they tend to be the people that are always giving excuses for why they haven't done something.
It's definitely not what I've taught myself. So I stopped reading that book and I started reading Grit by Angela Duckworth. It is the complete opposite that actually within the first chapter it talks about actually excellence and greatness as simply an accumulation of mundane activities done every single day over an extended period of time.
She explains that anyone, whether you have no talent, some talent or amazing talent can still achieve excellence. That you can build foundations and skills. That you can achieve if you're willing to put in the work.
Grit is what drives the passion, resilience, resourcefulness, drive and the mindset that says no matter how hard something is they want to achieve it and they do it.
So, for people with grit, every time they "failed" they fell forward they keep failing failing failing failing every time they fail they get that little bit better.
They get a little bit smarter.
They get that little bit stronger.
They get a bit faster.
Immediately I could get behind this idea. This was exactly like what I am always preaching. To me, this is like yes this is what I believe in. Have this book on my bedside table right now.
The book talks about studies over seven years of swimmers where he could see people come in with talent compared to swimmers with less talent - to see what it was that kept them in the game for so long and also what kept them excelling.
It was the fact that they showed up every day to practice seven days a week and they practiced over and over again. So having that practice mindset and a focus on training, eventually they got better (surprise surprise).
They looked at how we tend to see people that have an amazing physique or can do things really well. We're often like "oh my god how do they do that". We don't even think about well how much effort and time do they put in. It's always like there is this magician this magical creature that is just amazing and everything but it's not how it works at all.
It's the fact that they put in hard work every single day and that is the challenge people with talent come across. They tend to stop at their limitation because they've got the talent they're never really worked that hard.
Then you've got people that are hard workers but don't have much talent but they're willing to learn and they're the ones that keep pushing and pushing. They are the ones that tend to overtake the talented ones in the long term.
So yes you can have talent and I say this to all of you girls you know even when you have potential and talent - it still requires hard work. You know we all have potential to do amazing things and some people have more potential than others but potential is useless if it's not harnessed, trained and exercised.
If it's not worked on, if it's not improved on, if there is no effort. When effort is applied consistency and with purpose, you get results mentally, physically and in all areas of your life.
It really speaks my language and actually a lot of the books that you read will reflect your mindset back to you, both in the positive and negative. I'm so glad I stopped reading a book that didn't reflect my attitudes and values and was able to find something that spoke to me and showed me even more of the science behind what I already know to be true.
Because it's the hard work that's going to deliver the results.
It's the hard work that is going to build your confidence and self-esteem.
It's the hard work that is an inspiration to those around you.
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