“The one thing all famous authors, world class athletes, business tycoons, singers, actors, and celebrated achievers in any field have in common is that they all began their journeys when they were none of these things.”
The normal, the mundane and the mediocre typically don’t make for particularly compelling entertainment. To this end, it’s no surprise that we get caught up in celebrity culture. We see the great successes of entrepreneurs like Elon Musk, but we don’t see the millions of other would-be entrepreneurs whose businesses never get off the ground. We see big movie stars like Tom Hanks and Anna Kendrick, but not the millions of other would-be actors who never get their big break.
As a result, we’re almost led to believe that astronomical success is attainable by just about everyone and we feel terrible about ourselves when we come up short. Of course, everyone absolutely has a shot at making it big, but depending on the profession and the objective, the probability of huge success is likely very small. And even for those who do make it, we’re only getting a very small part of the picture.
When we consider epic sports icons like Gordie Howe and Muhammad Ali, we tend to forget about the years of blood, sweat and tears (and a healthy dose of luck) that were poured into getting them where they got. We only see the tip of the iceberg, not the lifetime of dedication at the expense of many other parts of their lives. But they made it. And we think we can too.
Because we can. It’s just not easy.
The quote above comes from best selling author Mike Dooley. After working for a number of years as an international tax specialist with PricewaterhouseCoopers, Dooley co-founded TUT Enterprises with his brother and mother. This eventually evolved into an “adventurer’s club” where he promotes the idea that “thoughts become things.” You just have to put your mind to it.
“Those who achieve great things, defeat long odds, and become legends didn’t have anything you don’t have. They just kept showing up and expecting a miracle, long after everyone else got practical.”
Whether you want to be a best-selling author, critically-acclaimed actor, hugely successful business magnate, or leading technologist, you have to start somewhere. Recognize that each day is a journey and just take it one step at a time. You might not ever get there, but that shouldn’t prevent you from giving it your all.
You’ll never know what you might become if you don’t try.