There are clever people. There are strong people. There are fast people, risky people, cunning people. All those have talents. But there’s a talent to rule them all: willpower.
Practice makes everything. Absolutely everything. Maybe some people get a head start determined by genetics, but ultimately it’s all about practice.
In a study made on people at the top of their job (be it chess players, musicians or whatever) they all had 10 000 hours of practice. All of them.
Maybe there was a lot that started with some talent. But they, too, had to get the 10 000 hours to keep that way.
Willpower makes everything. Even willpower. As always, there are some ways to help it. And, obviously, I’m going to talk about them.
The Rule of 40%
Your brain wants to save energy. When you run, or solve math problems, or whatever, it loses energy. And it doesn’t want to. So, when you’ve wasted around a 40%, it says “I can’t keep going. This is my limit”
Well, it isn’t. You still have 60% left. Think of marathon runners. They say they can’t keep going around mile 10. They finish them.
So every time you think “I can’t keep going”, answer yourself “Yes I can! I still can double what I’ve done!”
And it works.
The Pomodoro Technique
Take a clock. Set it for 20 minutes, and force yourself to do something until it finishes. Did you finish before? Well, bad luck. Keep working. Work the full 20 minutes with zero distractions.
There is an app I recommend that’s called “Forest”. It works exactly like that, except it plants a tree (a virtual tree) every time you set it. And it kills the tree if you get out of the app during that time. It also graphs your progress and all.
Oh, yes, you will suffer if you work every waking hour, without a minute to do nothing. Your head will hurt and feel tired if you’ve been doing hardcore thinking for two hours, and your feet will try to let you fall after running as if a demon was trying to kill you.
And it’s that suffering which counts. That means you get better. That means you’re getting closer to your objective.
But know when to stop
You can’t work the whole day, unless you’re a robot. In that case, feel free to do it. But you really need some rest. Maybe, if you’re feeling strong enough, you don’t want to stop working hard. Okay.
But work hard on other things. After having written ten pages of a novel, go and work hard on playing the piano. But don’t keep writing.
And that’s all. Remember: willpower is stronger than talent, and willpower can be gotten by everyone. But it won’t be easy.