Your character is not who other people think you are or even who you think you are. Most strong characters overestimate who they are (hence the powerful phrase – pride cometh before a fall and the higher you are the harder the fall). Most weak characters underestimate who they are. My dad’s character as a doc and a golfer was weak. He was a great and skilled physican but he didn’t believe he was. So, he handed case after case to other docs to handle. When it came to golf he didn’t believe he was good enough to break 80, so he never did. I was with him for many of those rounds and even recall one time when he shot 35 on the front nine rather effortlessly and then completely imploded on the back to reach his comfort zone of shooting another 80, which he did. Your character is simply the sum of what you habituate.
So, friend, be careful what you habituate.
Your character is who you really are. Your character is like gold, if you are constantly refining it, purifying it, and putting it to the test. You are engraving, inscribing habits of the heart right now, with every practice, game, and MOT (moment of truth). If you want to build the performance character of the elite you cannot afford to wait another minute. The elite in any endeavor have three signature character traits – Skill. Passion. Effort. Build here to begin, friends.
Francis Galton was a child prodigy, by four he knew Latin and long division – learning appeared to come easy. In 1869, Galton (cousin of Darwin) published his first study on the origins of high achievement. Outliers, he believed, were remarkable in three ways: “they demonstate unusual ‘ability’ in combination with exceptional ‘zeal’ and ‘the capacity for hard labor.’” Galton was saying that the elite are skilled, passionate, and have a penchant for hard labor.
Skill. Passion. Effort.
In 2018, Angela Duckworth wrote a book titled Grit. In this book she releases her formula for building elite character. She and Galton are fairly aligned, as you can see. Her formula is as follows:
Talent X effort = Skill
Skill X effort = Accomplishment
What’s changed in our understanding of the character of the elite? Effort counts twice. So, friend, stop overthinking this. Do more than you think. Do more. Last night a team of ballers were given the opportunity to learn this truth, during team practice 28. They were reminded of something they’ve already been told. They, just like you and me, need lots of reminders. Your character is like gold. Refine it. If you want to build the strong character of the elite, figure out which of the three buckets is leaking – do more to build skill, do more to find the passion, and develop an appetite for doing more work. Stop overthinking it, friends.
Skill. Passion. Effort. You can do more than you think. Good…