My Maths teacher, 30 plus years ago, walked up to the black board and wrote 70% and 30% on it.
He then walked away from the blackboard and started talking. We called him the Duffster or Toupee in the playground, but always addressed him as Sir in class.
So he starts telling us that everything in life is 70% perspiration and 30% inspiration. And he spoke about how digging in and persevering is more important than everything else.
And those words stuck with me my whole life. I don’t know from whom he got that quote or those numbers. He never mentioned a source. Maybe it was his own interpretation of something he read like genius is 90% perspiration and 10% inspiration. But what is interesting is how the billion dollar self-development industry is making a lot of money retelling history in an attempt to inspire people to be better versions of themselves. As if people don’t have a natural bias to want to be better versions of themselves.
As we get older, we change and evolve from the versions of our past selves. Even if we’ve hit the dirt and fallen on hard times, we are still better than before. Because we have experienced different things and maybe we never found the promised land that we thought we would find, we still have grown.
I’ve heard about “Grit” and read the book by Angela Duckworth, watched the Ted talks and did the survey.
And all I could think off was these lyrics from “Stay Hungry” by Dee Snider;
If you’re tired and overrated, let me show you to the door
Expect no sympathy, there’s none to be had
Open your eyes and see
There’s no room for the wannabees, the has beens or the bad
It’s the definition of hunger to succeed. There is no helicoptering parents and if you want love there’s the door because that dream your chasing has no room for pretenders.
And to rise higher, everyone has to go beyond what came naturally to them since birth. The more we grow in our skills, the more we have to give.
Because to be high performers you need to develop habits and consistently execute them. Twisted Sister developed the habit to gig relentlessly. And they got better at performing, that they became the live act to see.