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It's not enough just to turn up... Or is it?

Have you ever wondered why some individuals that don't necessarily exhibit 'natural talent' (a topic for another time) in a profession are able to be successful and you can't see for the life of you why you aren't where they are, in the position they are in, or super-seeding them? Well, the simple answer could be that they simply turn up on the day. These people could be considered the hard workers maybe. They have their own talent of turning up day in day out and taking part in the activity. This could just be turning up to a session, work, meetings, interviews, races or similar.

They just get on with it.

And don't get me wrong, just turning up doesn't equate to immediate success. These people have done it for years and years. It's ingrained within them from a young age. They will turn up and stick at something and thats now inbuilt into their nature.

Angela Duckworth describes this as GRIT. *

"Angela Duckworth is the world’s leading expert on “grit,” the much-hyped ingredient in personal success. As Duckworth defines it, grit is passion and sustained persistence applied toward long-term achievement, with no particular concern for rewards or recognition along the way. It combines resilience, ambition, and self-control in the pursuit of goals that take months, years, or even decades."*Now... There is no real backing for her research/ she is the only one who has proven as such. But I truly believe that there is something to be said for that ability to turn up day in day out, whether that be through passion, habit, resilience, ambition or self control in pursuit of a goal.

I'm not implying that those that just turn up will be successful.

But they are definitely winning half the battle. The other half is down to purpose. Many may turn up to work every day and just get the job done. But without an end goal in mind, sighting progression, then they will just bumble through. Matthew Syed describes this in his book Bounce, explaining the power of purposeful practice. Syed goes into a lot to do with the myth of talent and the power of practice... all to be taken with a pinch of salt, but a worthwhile read that'll open your eyes to anyones ability to be successful with the right mindset. There are a lot of things that can be taken from these pieces of literature; the growth mindset for example... the belief that you can be the best, that you can improve, that you aren't limited...

That's where some people fall.

At the first hurdle if you will...If you don't believe, you can't achieve.

This doesn't just apply to practice.

TURNING UP TO THE RACES......Is equally important. Again this applies to sport and the workplace. You could be the best in the field... but if you aren't there at the interview, at the meeting, at the start line, then how are you meant to achieve what you've been practicing for? There are many individual factors that could lead to not turning up at this point... mentally and physically... But you've got to do what you have to in order to get to that start line, metaphorical or not. If it's a mental block, do more of it to get better, overcome that fear... alternatively speak to someone about it, a professional for example? ... If it's physical, an injury for example, then look at what may have caused it... was it over training, was it a change in stimulus. Go back, analyse and make sure it doesn't happen again. After all... there is no point putting in all of that practice, purposeful or not, and not be able to put it to good use. As the saying goes; There is no point being 95-100% fit if you can't make the start line... it's better to be 80-90% fit and able to


So how does this apply to you now? - What should you take away from this?

NO.1 - Attendance

In my experience, as I've mentioned, the ability to turn up is a powerful one. Attend anything and everything. You don't know what you'll gain from it and it might lead to an opportunity you didn't realise. It's also good practice to turn up to things whether it be mentally of physically. How? - last week we looked at rivalries and how that might motivate you... if thats what gets you to practice, then so be it... if it's setting and striving for a particular goal, then that's equally as effective. Find what motivates you to turn up and get it done, whatever it may be.

NO.2 - Purpose

Have a purpose when attending things. What do you want to achieve from each session, each day at work, each meeting and interview?

NO.3 - Regurgitation

Repetition... Turn up, and then turn up again. Keep at it. Consistency is key. This can be applied to training/ practice, but also racing and within the workplace.

NO.4 - Believe and Achieve

Belief in yourself goes a long way.

NO.5 - Manage yourself

Does that mean not overcooking yourself in training in the lead up to a race? Not chasing a session as you weren't able to complete it the day before? ... Not working all night to prepare for a meeting or an interview and turning up looking a mess and unable to think straight?... make sure you can sustain your practice, and turn up when it matters.

After all...

Hard work beats talent when talent doesn't work hard.


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