"Won't call no names cause that's not my job. It just applies to whom it may concern. You know who you are, but if you don't you never will."
--Outkast, lyrics from "Mainstream."
You all know the drill. We live in a society of instant gratification. We like swag. We learn to posture and pose early. We have parents who have been brought up to believe that everybody deserves a medal just for showing up. You might even demand a medal even if you didn't show up. We perceive and expect success to happen overnight. We have few effective role models. We never see all the hard work they did to achieve success. Often, those few role models we do have eventually, tragically, crash and burn. So, success seems sudden and short-lived and, thus, based on celebrity and fame. Face time is important, substance isn't necessary.
We move and talk fast and often, perhaps to hide the lack of substance. Sustainability and the long view doesn't matter. The ice caps are melting anyway.
A good buddy of mine talks about Po-ZZers. Yes, that is how he spells it. Po-ZZers are the guys who wear the t-shirts that have the slogans. You know the slogans: "Witness." "Watch My Swag." "We Are Gonna Shock the World." "Shock and Awe." As if the t-shirt is all they need to impress and intimidate. But, when it is time to perform, they don't, they can't. They haven't earned the jersey, then just wear the t-shirt. Po-ZZers.
I get it. If we work hard, it might not pay off. The lizard brain rules. Pleasure and satisfaction should be immediate. I get how it should work. But
However, success doesn't really work that way. Excellence is achieved through repetition and the difficult and slow development of competence. It takes time, it can be repetitious and tedious. It's not exciting. It's not fun. The 10,000 hour rule is real. What counts is the love of the game, not the love of the fame.
Stanford University Psychologist Carol S. Dweck's 2006 book 'Mindset: The New Psychology of Success' focuses on the positive implications of what she calls a ‘growth mindset’ – the belief that success is determined by hard work. This contrasts with what she refers to as a ‘fixed mindset’ – the idea that talent is innate and there is nothing we can do to change it.
So, do you just want attention or do you really want to win? Do you want to achieve excellence?
Did you leave it all on the practice floor today? Did you give it all you have?