The Story of Steve and John
Steve has $1. John has $5.
One day Steve and John decide to take that money and put it to work.
At the end of the day, Steve has $1.01 and John has $5.05. Both experience 1% growth.
John feels great about how he is doing, because he compares what he has to Steve and he has 5 times the $.
So John takes the rest of the week off.
Steve wants to quit. Why should he keep going? He has gone out and put his money to work just as hard as John, but he has only a penny to show for it.
However, Steve doesn’t quit. He continues to put his money to work every day for the next week.
At the end of the week Steve has $1.07. John has $5.05. ‘
Steve stops comparing himself to John and just keeps focusing on growing his money 1% everyday.
John who feels great about how he is doing continues to put his money to work just once a week.
So lets say Steve and John continue at this rate for 4 years.
Everyday Steve put his money to work and earns that 1% growth.
And once a week John puts his money to work and earns that 1% growth.
How much does each have at the end of four years?
Natural Ability versus Potential
If you play sports long enough you probably hear one of two things:
“You have so much potential!”
“You are not the most gifted athlete.”
We tend to classify athletes as either talented or not talented.
We believe athletes with natural ability have more potential than athletes with less natural ability.
Natural ability has pretty much nothing to do with your potential.
We ALL have potential and studies have shown that with enough purposeful practice almost anybody can master almost anything.
For years I tried to remind my most naturally gifted players about how much potential they had and if they only put in the work the sky was the limit! I wanted to encourage, motivate, and let them know I believed in them.
However, I learned that telling athletes they have potential or are gifted does not motivate them and often has the opposite effect.
The surprising fact is you often end up motivating an athlete when you tell them things like, “Well Steve, you are not the most talented so you are going to have to work extra hard just to be a decent player.”
What do I have in common with Steve Nash?
In high school we were both 6’3” 185 pound white basketball players with dreams of one day playing in the NBA. And neither of us were recruited by American division 1 universities.
And that is about it!
Steve Nash would go on to be one of the NBA’s greatest players of all time.
I would fight my way onto a division 1 basketball team for a season.
Growing up I would go through periods where I would work really hard on my game, but it was not an everyday all year long thing for me.
I did not believe or understand in the growth we could experience when we train hard and smart consistently over a long period of time.
Steve Nash started off as a short slow kid from Canada who played rugby, soccer, and basketball, but he had an insane work ethic and chose to persevere through all his setbacks.
"If every player worked as hard as I did I would have been out of a job." -Steve Nash
One of the phrases that coaches throw around a lot is: “Let’s just work to get 1% better today.”
The truth is if we actually improved by 1% consistently everyday for a LONG time we would be insanely talented, REGARDLESS of where we started.
The problem is we don’t see 1% growth everyday. If we did, way more people would be willing to put in the work.
Success is not just about working hard at what you love.
Success is also about persistence.
Often when we feel…
- we are tired
- we aren't improving
- we aren’t getting the playing time we deserve
- we don’t have the same opportunities
- we are already better than the rest
- we will never get any looks by colleges
We choose to stop working hard.
The man on top of the mountain did not fall there. -Vince Lombardi
We all do it.
We look at Steve Nash or any athlete at the top of their sport and believe they are a “gifted” athlete.
While some may have had an easier start, I promise you they were NOT gifted any of that high level talent they now possess. It was earned tirelessly day in and out.
Steve Nash became so talented he made millions playing in the NBA.
Thousands of more "naturally gifted” basketball players paid hundreds of dollars every night to watch him play the game on the stage they chose to only dream of.
The difference between growing everyday compared to somedays can be worth millions! In the story of John and Steve the difference was $2,212,766.92.
When we start believing that living your dreams is only possible for the "chosen few", we are disrespecting all those athletes that have been the few that have chosen to work hard and persevere.
So if you believe in your POTENTIAL
make the choice
to focus on the process,
getting that 1% better
regardless of your circumstances.
Thoughts, comments, or want to talk?
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or Twitter @jpnerbun