I was channel surfing the other day when I came across a program featuring…Ice Skating. As beautifully as these ladies skated, and as precise as each jump was executed, I realized that all of this creative balance and symmetry did not come by accident. Polished professionalism, regardless of the trade, is the result of focused and well-initiated practice.
Prior to prime-time TV coverage, there involved countless hours of grueling, boring, repetitive, painful, joyless skating in empty ice rinks somewhere just south of … who knows where? Day after day…week after week…month after month…and year after year the practice sessions were scheduled and implemented with one goal in mind: the skating program, after all the time and effort, would fill all of 60 seconds while unfolding smoothly and appear effortless to the audience. (Nothing could be further from the truth.)
These athletes skate their routines over and over again until they probably want to become sick … and tired. And I am sure that there are times when they become fed up … and want to quit. But they don’t. They keep practicing.
These men and women have paid an exorbitant price to position themselves at the top of their trade. Many are capable of becoming Olympic representatives, and if they are provided an Olympic jacket whether they win or lose, each and every one of them deserve role model status.
Message: Are you paying the price, and doing what needs to be done (over and over again) to reach Olympic status in your industry? Are you practicing enough? Are you failing enough? Are you eager to extend beyond the current comfort zone? Are you willing to “grow?” When you fall down, do you get up again? Do you get up again with enthusiasm? I believe it was Winston Churchill who went on record to say, “Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.”
Now I am not suggesting that you smile at your client after screwing up their vacation. I am inferring that you will make mistakes on your way to stardom, and you can’t afford to lose that bounce in your step. Do you really want to achieve success as you define it? Really? If yes is your answer, guess what time it is? It is time to get up; get out; and go practice some more.
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