To be truly satisfied in life you must do great work. A large part of your life will be filled with work. Therefore, you must find work that you love. If you love it, you will do what it takes to be great at it.

So, you want to be great at your work…among the best. You want the rewards and accolades that go along with being successful?  It’s possible. You just need two primary ingredients. Willingness and practice.

The willingness to do whatever it takes (legally, morally, and ethically of course) to succeed. Willingness to make sacrifices. Willingness to endure pain, discomfort, and inconvenience. Willingness to make mistakes and get messy. Willingness to endure embarrassment and ridicule. Willingness to risk losing it all.

Notice I didn’t say you had to endure all of the struggle and strife. I said you need to be “willing” to endure it.

Still interested in taking a shot at being the best? Interested is one thing. Interested means you are  willing to do what it takes when it’s convenient.  Being committed is another thing. It’s doing whatever it takes when it needs to be done. So, are you committed, or just interested in succeeding?

Assuming you possess the willingness, the next component is practice, practice, and more practice. Keep in mind that adlibbing is for amateurs.  There is no such thing as an overnight success. Most overnight successes took 10 or more years of focused, relentless practice in private to get to the level worthy of being recognized and  rewarded in public.

It wasn’t just about putting in the hours. The saying, “Practice makes perfect” is only true if you are practicing perfectly. What is true about practice is it makes permanent.  The highly successful people in business, sports, or the arts first become an expert at practicing. Most people practice only until they get it right. The great achievers, the world record holders, and those that continue to be recognized for raising the bar practice until they can’t get it wrong…and then continue to practice.

In his book, So Good They Can’t Ignore You, author Cal Newport says that what makes ridiculously successful people so successful is they’re experts at practicing – they can push themselves to the exact limit of their skillset and thus expand their abilities day after day.

Many people confuse deeply dabbling as thoughtful practice. Bruce Lee explains it brilliantly, “I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times.”

In order to be ridiculously successful, you must be willing to expand yourself through deliberate practice and,  more than just a willingness, you guessed it…you must actually practice…with deliberation.

Here’s to practicing success!

Make it up, make it fun, and get it done!