Working harder ≠ Success.
Welcome to Self-Mastery — a timeless signal to become the architect of your mind and create yourself, starting from the inside.
Work hard to learn.
Work smart to earn.
— Jack Butcher.
Take a minute to think about someone you’d consider to be successful.
Now, take another minute to think about people who are not.
Like a famous world-class athlete, and the thousands that failed to follow her path.
Quite often, you’ll find that the difference does not lie in their ability to work hard. But it is their skill in increasing their surface area for luck, alongside making effective decisions.
A world-class sportsperson does not reach the top by ‘simply working harder than everybody else’, as do you and I do not reach our great personal and professional objectives by ‘simply spending more hours on it’.
Hard work is necessary, essential even. But there is still much more.
One revelatory truth, as the Coronavirus revealed, is the time we waste working in offices and in meetings. You may already have noticed, but an incredible amount of time is spent on workplace distractions — think chatty, obnoxious colleagues, office noise, and an unfathomable number of emails sent flying around the room.
From this, it’s found that office workers often spend a lot of time pretending to be busy; ‘Working hard’ on that which does not directly improve themselves or the business.
In a New York Times post, Tim Herrera cites a 2005 study on variables predicting skill level in chess players. The strongest predictor, he found, wasn’t time spent practising; rather, it was time spent on serious study.
“Chess players at the highest level expended about 5,000 hours on serious study alone during their first decade of serious chess play — nearly five times the average amount reported by intermediate-level players”
When it comes to personal goals, we often employ lazy tactics, convincing ourselves that we’re truly utilising 8 hours a day on meaningful work; But really, most of it is spent aimlessly.
In our reality, just as the best chest players get to the top and separate themselves with serious study, we can rely on structured reflection to have a positive impact on leadership development. In other words, spend more conscious hours and energy on genuine introspection and self-examination.
It’s about making the right decisions, in the right place and time, with the right people… every damn day.
What’s on My Mind
Just a reminder that there’s one thing I value the most from you. That’s your feedback.
I’m always open to hearing your thoughts about this newsletter. If there are any questions you have on health, sports & science, psychology or philosophy. I’d love to hear it.
You, the reader, is what makes this great. Thank you.