No one becomes great overnight.
No team runs a play for the very first time in a game and gets a positive result.
Greatness is a direct result of putting in all the hard work when no one is watching. It’s from practicing that same play over and over again – hundreds of times until every aspect of it is perfect.
Greatness and success is a direct result of getting your reps in.
In a world of highlight reels and social media showing everyone’s million dollar moments, we are conditioned to expect instant success and gratification while demanding to know when it is our turn to shine.
Today’s post is a quick reminder that achieving meaningful greatness only comes to those who put in the countless reps and hard work to become masters of their craft.
One Rep is One More Step Towards Greatness
Despite what we may see in the highlight reels, headlines or newsfeeds, no one creates those Top 10 moments or game changing impacts without countless years of hard work.
The top tier athletes, business leaders, teachers, scientists, parents, spouses, etc. understand the value and importance of putting in the reps. They have the focus and desire to sharpen their skills and strengths to make game-changing impacts that may even reshape how their game is played.
They have an inner fire that keeps them pushing themselves further and harder to achieve their very best self, and that is exactly what I want for all of you.
Let’s talk about a few ways to keep our focus on getting our reps in to achieve game changing results.
Look for opportunities to practice
Outside of a sport, it can be tough to find or create opportunities to practice.
As part of a team, your practice schedule is top of mind and the main focus each week as the team prepares for their next opponent. But what about off the field?
We need to identify the area(s) of our profession where our skillsets can make the biggest impact and look for ways to hone those skills before the big client, project, deal or product launch comes around.
Look for small versions of those things and try out new ‘plays’ or strategies when the stakes are small. Experiment, make mistakes, and most importantly, learn.
Refuse to be complacent
Look out for our biggest and baddest opponent… complacency.
The message here is short, clear and beyond important… no matter how good (or great) you are at what you do, refuse to settle and consider it good or great enough.
As soon as good enough becomes part of your vocabulary, you lose.
You may have reached the top, however compared to what it takes to stay on top, you’ve had it easy so far… Recognize and respect your skill level today, and look for opportunities to refine, elevate, and redefine what great means for you and your profession tomorrow. Which leads me to…
Focus on continuous improvement
It should be our goal to strive for becoming 1% better each and every day.
No matter how senior or junior we may be at this stage of our playing career, 1% better each and every day equates to monumental improvement and gains in the course of a year.
Get 1% better at public speaking, running the numbers and angles on a deal, building stakeholder engagement, running a pass route, making a block, or studying up on an industry trend.
Challenge yourself to do at least one thing a day to incrementally up your game.
Find ways to get reps in all areas of your life
Broaden your view of what we need to get reps on.
It’s not just for sports, training or work. We need to be looking for ways to put in the reps in all areas of our life.
Find ways to get more reps when it comes to being a better spouse, parent, friend, colleague or citizen. Maybe it is saying ‘I love you’ more, or calling someone you haven’t talked to recently (that’s right, texting doesn’t count here). Donate your time, pick up a piece of trash, recycle, or do a random act of kindness.
Remember that being your best in those areas takes hard work, focus, and countless reps too.
Finally… When Game Time Arrives, Embrace the Nerves
The reason we put in the countless reps, long hours, and intense focus is so that we are primed and ready when game day finally rolls around. Yet, no matter how many reps we put in, for many of us there will still be nerves come game time.
This occurred to me last week as I prepared for a CIO-wide All-Hands presentation. It was an incredible opportunity for my firm and me to deliver a message about a particular project. I rehearsed over and over again, and despite all of the read throughs, when it came time to present… I was nervous.
And you know what… that’s great!
Just because we are nervous or sweating bullets before game time doesn’t mean we aren’t prepared. The truth is, the nerves and anxiousness mean that this is important to us and that we care about what it is that we are doing.
Embrace the nerves, adrenaline and excitement of the moment, and let those countless reps serve to create your Top 10 highlight on the field.
One more rep… one step closer to victory. Let’s get after it.
Discussion Question: What area of your life is not feeling as sharp as it should be right now? Focus on that area this week to create new opportunities to get more reps in and sharpen your skills!
Disclosure of Material Connection: I have not received any compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to the brands, products, or services that I have mentioned. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."