“Take up one idea. Make that one idea your life–think of it, dream of it, live on that idea. Let the brain, muscles, nerves, every part of your body, be full of that idea, and just leave every other idea alone. This is the way to success.”
Have you worked on a project or played a game so much that you found yourself dreaming about it? Every available waking moment that you could spare on this thing was spent working on it; every moment not spent working on it was spent learning about it; every moment not spent learning about it was spent thinking about it; every moment not spent thinking about it was spent dreaming about it? How often in those dreams did you uncover solutions to challenges you ran into when working on it? And how quickly did you progress in your acquisition of the skill because of all this?
Once upon a time, I knew someone who was a graphic designer. I shared with Her work from some of my favorite graphic artists, and out of amazement and a hint of jealousy, she said “all I need is to make that one really great piece.” And in her mind, it would just come to her one day. Except, she wasn’t willing to put in the massive volume of time and effort it would take to one day produce that “really great piece.“
Great artists don’t produce great work with little skill. Great artists produce great work because they immerse themselves in the process, to the extent that they live it. They eat, sleep, dream, breathe that process. It’s obsessive, but obsession is what it takes to be truly great at something.
It’s amazing how few people understand this. If you want to do something well, you have to focus on doing that one thing well. That one thing, and that one thing only. Too many times, I see students and clients that wrap themselves up in a myriad of projects, or wanting to learn a myriad of skills, and they think if I do all of this work toward everything I’ll have it all. Perhaps you are like this. And if so, I have something very important to tell you: that’s not this works.
More is rarely ever more. More of many things does not equate to more of each thing. More of many things equates to less of each thing.
However, more of one thing means more of that thing. This is immersion.
Immersion is the single most powerful tool available to you when developing your aptitude toward a particular skill. Do you want to write a book? You must immerse yourself in that world, with those characters, with their stories. Do you want to do a handstand? You must immerse yourself in the process of developing the strength, understand the mechanics, practice in finding your balance. Anything you want to be great at requires nothing less than your complete and total attention to not just do it well, but to exceed far beyond the skills of others.
To do anything less is to be nothing more than mediocre.
What is it that you aspire to be great at? Many things? No. Merciless prioritize. Cut away everything else for which there is only a menial desire. Hone your focus to one thing. Immerse yourself in it. This is the path to success.
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