What a great weekend for British Sport – Lions victory followed by Andy Murray breaking a 77 year hiatus by becoming the Men’s Champion at Wimbledon.
I was driving down to London last night and was listening to a fascinating debate on the radio about whether Murray’s success was down to nature – does he have a natural talent/ genius – or nurture – he had a raw talent that was developed through coaching/ parental guidance etc.
The debate incorporated a number of so called experts as well as the general public, who all seemed to want to argue one way or the other. Some would say that people like George Best and Mohammed Ali were naturally gifted, some would say genius status. Others would argue that success in any field comes from repeated practice and argued that people such as Pele and David Beckham would devote hours and hours practicing when their peer group would give up after an hour or so.
I believe that this topic is so intrinsically linked to your ability to succeed and links directly to your belief system. If you believe that it is nature that determines your success, then I suspect only a few people in a million will succeed. If your belief system says that with hard work, you can be and do anything, then you’re probably well on the way to being successful.
Sure, there are people born with natural talents. My argument is that for every ten people that are born with a natural talent, only one will have the determination, the tenacity, the sheer bloody mindedness to put in the time and effort to turn this natural talent into something. What I’m saying is that there would have been hundreds of Tiger Woods born in the same year with the same natural talent, so what made Tiger rise to the top of the pile and dominate golf for so long.
What made Steve Jobs get to the top of the business world? Was he the born with entrepreneurial flair – I doubt it. What made Bradley Wiggins get to the top of the cycling word in 2012?
The one thing that I believe binds all of these together is a determination to do whatever is demanded to get to the top. To have unblinding faith in their abilities to achieve their goals and to visualise their achievement of these goals every single day of their life. It is their passion!
Don’t believe me?
Well there is a great experiment ongoing at the moment is the US. Dan McLaughlin had never hit a golf ball until a few years back, but he committed to do nothing else except practice golf for 10,000 hours. He packed up his job to focus completely on this one major driver for him. He is now 4300 hours into his experiment and goes off 5 – in essence he is now within the top 7/8% of golfers the world over. His vision after 10,000 hours is to gain a Pro licence and stand his ground on a Tour event. Go to The Dan Plan to keep up with his progress.
This will I believe put to rest the nature, nurture debate.
This will confirm what I have always believed in (although often forgotten) – with a clear focus, dedication and the ability to take repeated actions over a long period, you can achieve unlimited success. Look behind all success and I guarantee you’ll find unbelievable commitment, focus and determination.
So what’s stopping you?
It’s a question that I’ve been asking myself recently. My answer is ‘me’, but no more!