I have always been fascinated with outcomes. And who isn’t? We are all judged by some form of a performance yardstick. Little did I know that these yardsticks – seemingly – don’t unveil the hidden talent that we possess – a stirring yet straitjacketed potential that we are waiting to unleash to the world. This generation is fast – and really fast – as a result it becomes extremely imperative to be more-than-epic in your craft every single moment so that it becomes second nature to you.

We are sometimes evaluated simplistically or sometimes a bit more profoundly, so the question remains: how do we become more instinctive than instantaneous, how do we straddle – and straddle well – between quality and quality of performance (of course making sure we don’t tamper with the quality in the first place?)

In reading about Malcolm Gladwell’s 10,000 hour rule to master a craft and then see a pattern of genius work emanating from the entire process is the hallmark of being a world-class expert in your field. James Clear mentioned in his post of ‘How Experts Practice Better Than The Rest’ that it doesn’t just take 10,000 hours of practice – it takes 10,000 hours of deliberate practice to master a skill. Let’s look at some famous examples to enunciate this point better.

  • Oren Klaff, the author of ‘Pitch Anything’ knew his ‘game-changing’ game. He came up with his own innovative method for presenting, persuading and winning the deal. He has typified his success in pitching investors via his neuro-finance way as to how to raise not just money, but also understand the human brain in how it responds to questions and come out with novel responses. In this book, he writes that in the world of winning deals, it takes to maneuver with alpha and beta of conversations. If you happen to read his book, jump to the last case study: The Airport Deal – and you will learn how to pitch your big idea with the right frame stacking and hot cognitions. And when asked how he won more than $400 million mega complex deals, he only says, ‘10,000 hours of deliberate practice!’
  • Michael Jordan has been a legend in basketball sports. His moves reflect perfection, and his actions on the play-field reflect a true blend of raw passion with tamed aggression. As Robin Sharma writes, focus plus daily improvement plus time equals genius.
  • Stephen King says, ‘Talent is cheaper than table salt. What separates the talented individual from the successful one is a lot of hard work.’ He has seen failures from the most myopic lens. He writes deliberately every single day. He reads voraciously – and that is how he bounced from each rejection enthusiastically without losing his sanity. King was accused of being psychopathic, murderous, homophobic and even bigoted. He silenced his critics with an inspiring thought: “Optimism is a perfectly legitimate response to failure.” He killed his darlings – ruthlessly edited and re-edited his craft – until it only spoke what it was intended to. He never pleased his readers for any award or recognition; he persevered to please himself until he was thoroughly satisfied with his musings. And today, as a result of his continuous writing process, he has an estimated worth of $17 million a year!
  • Pablo Picasso took only 30 minutes to draw a masterpiece of a woman. And when asked much would that cost, he smiled and said, a million dollars. His relentless devotion to sculpt a woman on a paper didn’t happen in a jiffy; it took him years and years of bouts of creativity to shine upon his craft – and the rest is history.
  • Beethoven with his repeated experimentation produced a very different composing style. He used sketchbooks to write down musical ideas. He studied and read the compositions of Handel, Bach and Mozart in variations and came up with his ‘zing’ to his composing style. His music can take you a century back and then back where you are in such beautiful and seamless motions that you’d never feel scattered. Quite strangely, you will experience the versatility of music between classical and romantic era: contained yet spread at the same time. Today, his music lingers..

And all of these people weren’t born with any genius point; they worked harder than anyone else; practiced until they felt their soul felt it expressed their genius in their craft. And still – and still – somewhere they felt there is just a little bit more; some more to give to the world. If you look at their drive closely, they were never pleased with their outcomes; they were never satisfied in conquering just one summit and reveled in it. For them only two words exist, ‘what next?’ It is a process that never ends – that is infinite.

What is your ‘next’? Live in anticipation. And create your process for living like a legend!

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at