“To think of me as a person that’s overachieved, that would mean a lot to me. That means I put a lot of work in and squeezed every ounce of juice out of this orange that I could.” – Kobe Bryant
Maybe I’m wrong, but I believe work ethic is something that can’t be taught past a certain age, if it can be taught at all. It’s likely something that’s inherently ingrained in us or learned in our formative years from those in our natural environment. Some people seem to have it, some people are the polar opposite.
What I have seen more times than I care to count is the kid with limitless talent and a severely limited amount of effort. Some are too cool to care. Some think they’re already good enough. Some are just flat out lazy. I’ve said a million times, “I wish I could take talent from Kid A and put it with the heart and desire of Kid B.” Life’s often unfair in that sense. The rare combination of talent and work ethic is something to behold, but I find this to often be the exception rather than the rule. Worse yet are those that have all the natural ability in the world, but they couple it with a poor work ethic and a negative attitude.
I am looking for someone to prove me wrong. Tell me that we can, in fact, teach someone the value of hard work and have it actually sink in. Show me a kid who finds every opportunity to coast or just flat out sit around when there’s work to be done, and then tell me how that changed when he finally saw the light.
Here’s the thing: we look at people like Kobe Bryant, and we just see talent. We don’t see the work in the weight room, we don’t see the practice regimen, we don’t see the film study. We just think he’s naturally good at basketball. That’s partly true. Kobe is a gifted athlete. But, do you think he got to where he is by just being good at it? No, he works his butt off every day because he’s naturally driven.
Part of the total process is the focus on process, not just the end result. If you want to be good at something, not just passable, but really good, you have to work at it. And, you’ll see the difference between those who are coasting and those who are valiantly striving to be better.
The former will be the ones watching the latter pass them by.
Have an awesome Thursday,