You probably know more about the world than DaVinci, Nobel and Darwin….combined.
So why haven’t you changed the course of humanity yet?
Genius has nothing to do with exposure to knowledge. Knowledge is everywhere and easily accessible today. Genius is the application of knowledge to create novel ‘things’ and connections. Most geniuses (I’m not one), would claim that intelligence is over-rated when compared to hard work. Where you and I differ from Sagan or Mozart is mastery. Mastery is discovering the thing you love to do, and doing it every day. Practicing to improve, critically noting areas of weakness and working at it until it becomes less of a weakness. Mastery is seeking out anybody who can help you and becoming a student each and every day. Mastery is not calling it quits when it gets difficult or when someone questions your abilities and motivation. Mastery is total obsession with improvement and always feeling that with just a bit more work, you could be better. Those guys above mastered their intellectual field with the knowledge they had at hand. Can you imagine what you can do? At your beck and call is all the information of the world.
I remember when I first joined LG Electronics. This was when Plasma TVs were really starting to gain traction. The company was given a mandate to grow share. The group worked their tail off and we took share from low single digit to over 20% for key categories. But for the next eight quarters, we stagnated. We couldn’t breakthrough. Going from 1 to 20% – easy. Going from 20% to 21% – crazy hard.
This is the same for everything you do. The first bit is easy. Where people peel off is when things get hard. Those early gains aren’t enough to motivate and sustain. So people accept mediocrity and rationalize that ‘There’s more to life than __________” A lot people stick ‘work’ in the blank so they can justify not doing anything to improve themselves. When you spend the time to improve yourself, it’s not for your employer. It’s for you. When you go over-the-top to prepare yourself and commit to finishing any assignment you’ve started, it’s not for anybody but for yourself. When you take the time to master the work you are being paid to do, it’s not for your employer. It’s for you. You never lose what you master.
Here are 3 reasons why you absolutely need to take full advantage of all the resources and knowledge around you right now.
1. You’re still healthy. A healthy man has a thousand wishes. A sick man only has one. You’re healthy today. This can change in an instant. Take the time to discover what you love and then commit your entire being to it. There might come a day when you just can’t. Find what you love to do and master it. Information is everywhere.
2. Somebody is waiting for you to teach them. Everybody is searching for somebody to teach them how to improve something. Even though information is everywhere, people are looking for teachers who can present it to them. Here’s the greatest irony: Those who know the most are also the ones who constantly feel they don’t know enough and seek teachers to learn from. Those who don’t know anything, always feel that they know enough. The people who are waiting for you are the ones you want to teach. Find what you love to do and master it. Students are everywhere.
3. It’s all for you. All of humanity’s cultural achievements occurred within the last 11,000 years. In those 11,000 years, only a few hundred humans out of the 100 billion or so that have ever been born are truly remembered by history. The chances are that whatever prominence you achieve will only matter to those closest to you. Take advantage of all the information around you to craft the life that you want. It’s really just for you. Find what you love to do and master it. You owe it to you.
“If you love what you do, you will never work a day in your life”
That guy was on to something.