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A world-renowned athletic coach was asked once what the difference was between the best athletes and everyone else. In other words, what do really successful people do that most people don’t? Of course, there were the typical responses of genetics, luck, and talent.

But there’s an added element that most don’t think of; it’s the ability to handle the boredom of training every day and doing the same lifts and drills over and over again that separates the professionals from the amateurs.

Think about it this way – it’s not that the best athletes have some insane passion or willpower that others don’t have; it’s the exact opposite. They can feel the same boredom and lack of motivation that everyone else feels; they aren’t immune to the daily grind.

What sets them apart is their commitment to the process. They fall in love with the daily practice, with the repetition, and with the plan in front of them.

Therefore, if you want to be a starting quarterback, you have to be in love with running drills and studying playbooks. If you want to be a New York Times bestseller, you have to be in love with the process of writing. If you want to get in better shape, you have to love the practice of eating in a healthier manner and exercising consistently.

You have to love the grind if you ever hope to turn it into the achievement of a goal.

The Pursuit of Happiness

Though some of the following may not be true all of the time, when you love the process of what you do, the following should ring true much of the time:

  • You don’t talk about other individuals; you talk about the great things other individuals are doing.
  • You help without thinking, or without being asked.
  • You don’t struggle to stay disciplined; you struggle to prioritize.
  • You’re excited about the job you are doing, but you’re more excited about the people you’re doing it with.
  • You leave work with items on your to-do list that you are eager to tackle tomorrow.
  • You think, “I hope I get to…” instead of, “I hope I don’t have to…”
  • You don’t focus on retirement, because retirement sounds boring –and a lot less fulfilling.

Now, there is a chance that our society may have overdone the need for the above to be true all of the time. We have been told that if you do what you love, the money and success will follow. We have been told that if you are not changing the world in bold ways, it is because you are too afraid to find your passion and follow it.

The importance of loving the practice and process of your work as a key to success is a popular view, yet one that not all coaches and professionals adhere to. In part two of this post, I’ll explore alternate and complimentary views about how to turn the grind into the goal and create professional success.

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