There’s No Such Thing As Overnight Success

Overnight successes don’t happen overnight. Stories of overnight success are a myth, or greatly exaggerated. And no great thing is created suddenly. Rome wasn’t built in a day.

No great thing is created suddenly


Steve Martin, the famous comedian, summarises his stand-up career in the following words: “I did stand-up comedy for 18 years. Ten of those years were spent learning, four years were spent refining, and four years were spent in wild success.”

Malcolm Gladwell speaks of The 10,000 hour rule in his book Outliers: The Story of Success. In essence the rule is this: “to become an expert in anything, you need to spend 10,000 hours practicing it.” We are all blessed with talents and gifts. What separates the “overnight successes” is plenty of time and effort to attain perfection.

In a study on peak performance by Anders Ericsson, the lives and habits of violinists at an elite Berlin music academy were studied. The students were categorised into three groups based on their skill. These were the “best violinists”, the “good violinists”, and violinists from the music education department (the “music teachers”).

What Ericsson found was that there was one key factor which separated top performers from the rest. It was this: they put in more time and effort to develop their skills. With more deliberate practice than their classmates, the violinists developed their skills to a remarkable level. There was no “innate talent” which separated the musicians, no shortcuts to their success. Not a single elite violinist was able to achieve their level of mastery without thousands and thousands of hours of effort. The key difference between average and incredible is the time it takes to get there.

The road to success is not straight.
There is a curve called FAILURE
A loop called CONFUSION
Speed bumps called FRIENDS
Red lights called ENEMIES
Caution lights called FAMILY
You will have flats called JOBS
If you have a spare called DETERMINATION

An engine called PERSEVERANCE
Your insurance called FAITH
Your driver, GOD
You will make it to the called SUCCESS

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