In today’s BBTL book entry, Chet writes about effort being the multiplier of both talent and skill, and about the ever-steepening climb toward mastery. Gains in skill come less frequently as the effort required for incremental gains increases.
The key to maintaining your momentum, Chet continues, is to collaborate. “Nobody is as smart as everybody” and the input, challenge and encouragement of others will help sustain you on the climb.
Consider some of history’s greatest sports stars. Muhammad Ali had Angelo Dundee. Larry Bird had Kevin McHale. Tiger had Stevie, MJ had Pippen, and Brady had Gronk. These superstars have ALL had a special teammate who played an outsized role in their success, and every one of them would be quick to acknowledge the impact these partners had on their careers.
But the greatest athletes, these GOATs, if you will, each benefited from another influence they’d be just as quick to give credit — the other guy.
Ali had Dundee, but he also had Joe Frazier. Bird had McHale AND Magic Johnson. Tiger had Phil, Michael had Isiah Thomas and the Pistons, and TB12 had all six of the QBs drafted ahead of him. These were the opponents, the competitors — the other guys — who pushed, provoked, antagonized, annoyed, battled, infuriated and exasperated the GOATs. And the GOATs loved it! Because, although the other guy could nearly drive the GOAT insane, they also motivated, inspired and brought out the best in him. Mentally AND physically, they were the iron sharpening iron.
As Chet puts it, “You must sharpen yourself with iron. Stop running from tough competitors. Your tough competitors are not to be feared.” Nope, they’re to be embraced!
Marcus Aurelius probably wasn’t imagining Michael Jordan packing on 15 pounds of muscle to better withstand the Bad Boys’ beat down, but he hit it on the head when he declared, “What stands in the way becomes the way.”
So, leader. How are you sustaining the steep climb to mastery? Who’s beside you? And, just as importantly, who’s in front of you?