Humans will always find the word ‘secret’ irresistible. To the average adult, a secret is a bridge between where they are and where they want to be. Even the greatest of companies and corporations have secrets on which they have built their success over the years.
Here’s a hard fact: beyond hard work and knowledge, dedication and passion, process and result, lie the secrets of everything: Time and Practice.
We know them, we hear about them, but we mostly ignore.
Let’s start with time.
Life is a superstructure of opportunities, outcomes, and choices balanced on eternally rooted pillars—rules and principles. Everything that is and becomes in life is life’s response to the application of rules and principles.
Time is one of those principles.
When a farmer plants a seed, he does not expect it to sprout in five minutes. He understands that regardless of his efforts, the seed needs time to grow. Unlike the farmer, many of us are impatient. We pluck infant dreams out of the soil because they did not burst into harvest soon enough. We abandon new enterprises, deeming them unworthy of our pursuit because Forbes did not recognise them in two years. A lot of people are so devastatingly impatient that they equate success to pace.
You must understand that time is the language of growth; the multinational corporations and conglomerates you admire are sitting on decades of effort, years of refurbished mistakes, countless hours of break-neck work. You cannot arrive at their results without putting in as much time, as they have.
Let time take your fragile dreams and build them into rock-solid achievements no one can take from you.
Now the second secret—practice.
Walter Pater says, ‘The way to perfection is through a series of disgusts’.
The frustration that comes with watching great people and being unable to achieve what they have is heart-wrenching. Sometimes, it seems as though they are beyond us by ten lifetimes. They know more; they’ve done more. The sight of them drives us crazy with hunger. When we ponder on it, we realise that successful people did not do anything out of the ordinary; instead, they gained mastery.
How did they come about it?
Practice is an unravelling art; it strips bare the tapestry of any and every field, exposing it to you to conquer. It is an exploration to the haven of mastery. Stop moaning about how little you know; the difference between you and the people you think highly of is practice.
Put your back into it—practice like a maniac. Read, gather knowledge, attend classes, and then practice some more. In some years, you’ll be a pro.
Finally, these two are all you need to be successful at anything. First, put in your best but give it time. Do not abort effort and resources because success did not come fast enough. Secondly, masters are not born; they are made. It doesn’t matter how much of an amateur you are; throw yourself into rigorous practise and see what happens.