Steps To Success

Obsession might just be the greatest trait of successful people, cold, hard obsession...

“So, do you think this season is a disappointment?” “Oh!” He sighed, “Why do you always ask me the same question? You asked me the exact same thing last year; let me ask you this, do you get promoted every year? Every year you work to provide for your family to buy a house for your parents. Do you consider those years a failure?” “Of course not,” he answered rhetorically, “ those are not failures; they are steps to success; there are no failures in sports, there are just steps to success; Michael Jordan played fifteen seasons and won 6 championships; the other nine years were failures?”

What are these steps? They belong to those who dare, those who wouldn’t take “no” for an answer; most success stories are riddled with them, genuine or not, and they make up huge parts of our modern cultural stories. They seem hugely inflated and overemphasized nowadays, but they still contributed to the greatest achievements of humankind, for without those steps, most of our noble achievers from Newton to Gandhi, from Martin Luther King Jr to Darwin would all not have succeeded, it is testament to the strong will of humankind that these steps become popular.

Without taking away anything from the naturally bestowed abilities of individuals, the very best of us in any field are not usually the most gifted; they are the ones who would not give in, the ones who were so obsessed with it that they challenged natural perfection itself. Of course, many might call this a talent in itself, but natural abilities are undeniable; practice like Darwin’s theory of evolution ticks at the brain like a drop of rain until the doer has very little to improve on.

Of course, this is usually difficult to achieve, guessing by the very few who have come really close to this state of natural perfection; it takes will and dedication bordering on obsession to reach such a level; if you’ve seen Michael Jackson moonwalk, and then went back home to attempt it, you’d understand what is being written here or seen Michelangelo’s paintings or Lionel Messi’s dribbling or Steph curry hit a three-pointer or Tigerwood in his immaculate prime or Usain Bolt nonchalantly beating his own records, you would understand the dedication it takes to reach such levels.“There’s really nothing difficult in writing; you just sit in front of the typewriter and bleed” Ernest Hemingway

So said a man who many consider the best writer of the 20th century; he wouldn’t even accept a seat when writing, preferring the tedious task of standing.

To accomplish such feats with the inhumane amount of dedication and self-discipline involved would require an individual to chase a career he or she is crazy about, for without an unnatural amount of interest, it is impossible to reach such a level. As the king of basketball himself said, “ Maybe it is my fault, maybe I led you to believe it was easy when it wasn’t, maybe I made you believe that my highlight started at the free throw line and not at the gym, maybe I made you believe that every shot I took was a game-winner, that my game was built of flashes and not fire, maybe it’s my fault that you didn’t see that failure gave me strength, that pain was my motivation, maybe I made you believe that basketball was a God-given gift and not something I trained for every single day of my life, maybe I destroyed the game, or maybe you’re just making excuses.”

Michael Jordan.

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