“If Warren Buffett had gone into ballet, no one would have heard of him.” – Charlie Munger
What does it take — really take — to be the best in the world?
I think I’ve figured out a formula, but I can’t promise you’ll like it.
Here’s the backstory:
On Saturday afternoon, Islam Makhachev head-kick KO’d Alexander Volkanovski to retain the UFC lightweight title and claim his status as the #1 pound-for-pound fighter in the world.
(and break my heart in the process)
Afterwards, a reporter asked Islam what advice he’d give to up and coming fighters who want to reach his level someday.
Islam responded the way you’d expect:
“Work hard.. Work really hard… Work really, really hard.”
But — and here’s the part you might not like — he’s lying.
Hard work will not make you the best in the world — and no, working “smart” won’t get you there, either.
Sorry, that’s just the truth.
Of course, hard/smart work is a key ingredient.
But at the very — very — top of the game — the absolute tip of the spear, where legends collide and legacies hang in the balance…
…Hard work won’t even put you in line to get in the door.
To break into the realm of MJ’s and Kobe’s and Elon’s and Warren Buffett’s and Islam Makhachev’s, you’re going to need what they had:
- Miraculous natural ability (genetics, aptitudes, unique intelligences, etc)…
- Burning, overwhelming, all-consuming obsession with the craft…
- Decades of white-hot, single-pointed focus on mastering that craft — not only working far, far harder than most think is reasonable or even possible — but also working with a level of strategic intellect that most can’t conceive of.
In that order.
Natural ability – then obsession – then decades of hard work.
That’s what it takes.
You can get good, maybe even really good, with just the second two.
But at the very top of the mountain, where success is a game of millimetres…
Who your parents were, where you were born, and how early in life you got started matter exponentially more than how many workouts you did this week.
I know this message won’t get me nominated for motivational speaker of the year, but the best in the world don’t need motivation.
They’re fuelled by a force of nature, because nature made them who and what they are.
But here’s the twist:
Nature did the exact same thing for you.
Within you is miraculous natural ability, and a potential for all-consuming obsession and white-hot focus that can make you the best in the world…
If you can find what you were born to be the best in the world at.
This is the big secret:
Find the thing you were born to do, and the rest takes care of itself.
I know that’s a tall order, because society has conditioned our ego to want things nature never intended for us.
But even if it takes years or decades to find our “thing” — what could be more worthy of our time and effort?
If you’d like help, I laid out a complete roadmap to finding your thing in our 9th Law talk.
As you watch, remember Steve’s words:
“If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it.”
P.S. My deepest thanks to everyone who sent in testimonials about this newsletter over the weekend.
Your support of this work is what allows me to do what I’m born to do for a living, and I am overwhelmingly grateful for that.
Thank you, thank you, thank you.
And of course, keep ’em coming 🙂