Years ago, I remember reading something from Elton John. He was saying that he felt sorry for contestants on American Idol and shows like that because of the instant success that was now possible for the winners.
In comparison, Elton recalled the years and years he spent performing in small and large venues learning his trade. He enjoyed many ups and suffered through many downs. Success became a matter of putting in the time.
To be your best, there are no shortcuts to putting in the time practicing. Think patiently about success coming in the long-term, rather than just around the next corner. Be patient.
Here is another example of success coming after years and years of hard work—-this time from the life of Jerry Seinfeld.
It’s an excerpt from “Quitter”, an excellent book from Jon Acuff:
“Jerry Seinfeld , the centerpiece of the most successful sitcom of all time, understands that principle (of putting in your time and practicing), . In an interview called “Jerry Seinfeld on Comedy” he discusses a time he was first working on his dream job of being a comedian.. He did two shows a night for eighteen months straight without missing a night. That’s over 1000 shows.
Can you imagine how much money he made? The answer is none. Seinfeld says, “we weren’t being paid. We had to work , to learn, to get good enough to get work.”
One of the greatest comedians of all time had to give away his funny for free so he could gain enough experience to get paid for his dream job. Chances are you will too.”
Work hard and then keep working harder. Success takes time. Learn to master your craft.
At the end of the week, I was walking on a bike path near my house and a woman rode by on a bizarre looking bike. As she was coming toward me, I mentioned that it looked fun, riding this contraption. When she was fairly close, she said that it was, but that she was sad.
I was curious and I asked her why she was sad. She stopped riding this bike and I came towards her.
She stated she was sad because she was remembering an uncle who died a year ago, at the age of 89. His wife is 90 and is not in great health at the moment. She went on to say that it was her uncle and aunt who had raised her due to the fact that her parents had died when she was young. She said she wasn’t married, that she felt lonely, and now coming on this anniversary of her deceased uncle, she was even more sad.
I asked if I could pray with her and she said, “no thanks”.
So I said that I would still pray after we both went our own ways. I explained that I was going to ask God’s help for her so that she could think on good things.
I told her there is a verse in the Bible that says, “whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.” (Philippians 4:8)”
Sympathizing with her, I told her I totally understood her sadness and that I was sure it was hard for her, but that she also had a choice. She could think on the things that were making her sad, or she could think on positive things like this Bible verse mentions. I told her she could think about the fun times she had with her uncle and the many positive memories with him.
This encounter with a stranger was interesting. All I did was show some concern to someone who seemed like they needed some attention, I tried to pass along a positive perspective. Despite how simple it seemed, she seemed to brighten. She took a deep breath, and had even gave a slight smile as she thanked me for these good thoughts.
I guess we never know when we can help someone by showing a little concern.
I enjoy hearing people’s success stories. I find myself celebrating with them for their achievement. I also think about the positive influence their victory has on others.
When others accomplish their goals it encourages me to keep pursuing my goals.
With that in mind, I recently heard of the success of a friend of mine in the area of weight loss. As followers of my blogs know, the area of Personal Health is a high priority in my Life Management philosophy.
This friend of mine, four years ago weighed 398 pounds. As of our conversation a few days ago, his weight was down to 303 pounds—-he’s lost 95 pounds! When I heard him mention all this, I could detect a very empowered and confident man. He acknowledged his weight situation and his displeasure with it, and he took upon himself the personal responsibility to do something to change his circumstance. I was so excited for his success. Here was a man that has gone beyond just a good intention of losing weight, and has persevered and been intentional about making his goal
happen. He has inspired me and I hope he inspires you.
I leave you with a few of his comments in hope that they might bring you some encouragement and guidance:
*Expect accomplishing your goal will be hard but push through those discouraging times
* to meet your goals, you must be committed, or it won’t happen
* I appreciated his moderation in his perspective. He knew that there would be times he would slip a bit and gain a few pounds, but he wouldn’t let those times discourage him from pressing on with his diet and exercise disciplines.
*right now, as he is closing in on his current goal of 295 pounds, he already has his next goal of 250 pounds in mind—–the momentum for his successes is growing
* lastly, early this January, he set his mind on a vision for introducing himself to a new man he would meet later in the year—it would be himself, although as a much lighter man.
What will your success story be?
Thanks for the e-mail, Walter. I went to the website and reviewed the materials and they are excellent. I want to know what happens with all that you are doing and the dedication you have. Blessings to you.