Friday, September 25, 2015

Follow Your Effort

I'm a huge sports fan. I literally grew up learning about and playing sports up until my mid 20's. While I am no longer a competitive athlete, I still love keeping up with most sports on a very serious level. My wife always says that guys who grow up on sports stats have this weird ability to remember all these stats about sports. Its absolutely true! One of the other things I love is to watch interviews of very successful people in the sports business. While this guy may be controversial to some, Mark Cuban, Owner of the Dallas Mavericks, said something that really resonated with me a few months ago. He was asked in an interview about his unconventional view on becoming successful. He says he never tells people to follow their dreams. He tells them to follow their effort.

That really stuck with me because when you think about it everyone tells this pipe dream to kids that they can do whatever they want as long as they follow their dreams. As you get older hopefully your view of the world becomes more mature and you better understand the intricacies of how people become successful. I've learned from my experience, which also happens to coincide with Mr. Cuban's view, that people become successful by dedicating their time and effort towards positive things. I've also learned that even though you may be talented in something, that doesn't mean that you should do it. If you don't follow the necessary effort to be great in something you are good at then you are not fulfilling that talent.

A good example of this is the story of Todd Marinovich. Todd was an exceptional football player who was driven by his father to play football from a very young age. Todd would practice like crazy with his Dad and he ended up getting a scholarship to play at the University of Southern California. He was one of the most polarizing players in the country. He eventually went on to play for Raiders in the NFL, but it never worked out for him. What you learn in his story on the show 30 for 30 is that while he was talented in football, his true follow through in terms of effort was in art. His father pushed back against that passion and kept pushing Todd towards football. What is beautiful today is that now Todd spends his time making art and he does that with his Dad, who weirdly had that passion as well. They are now following their effort which is also their passion. How awesome is that? Just because you are good at something doesn't mean you should do it. Especially, if you are not willing to follow your effort in that talent.

So, I'm going to tell you...don't follow your dreams if you aren't willing to give your very best effort to be your best in those pursuits. Don't listen to entertainers get up on some stage and blow smoke up your you know what about following your dreams and that you can do whatever you want to do. Those aren't the people you should be emulating anyways. Their path is not your path. Their effort is not your effort. Follow your own effort towards positive things. I promise, if you follow your effort towards something positive with a tremendous dedication and fervor then the result will be positive. It probably won't happen over night. It may take many years and there might be many times that you have doubts or you get tired. However, know that with each step you take in following your effort that you are depositing goodness into your life and hopefully the life of others.

Until next time...

Dr. D

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