There is no…

game without pain.

good training without sweat.

high gains without risk.

success without struggle.

If there is no down side to something, if there are no high risks involved or if there is no struggle to achieve it then it won’t be of any extremely high value. If it’s easy and everyone else can do it then you won’t get a substantial reward for it.

This is where most people fail badly. They really believe that just showing up, just being there is enough to make it. Risks, effort, determination, pain is what makes the difference between valuable and just normal.

Put on the hard work and then expect rewards.

No half-truths, no lies – one day

Almost 5 months have passed since I started the experiment and I can finally say that I have managed to have a full day with no half-truths or lies. Strangely enough it took me more than I had expected to do it, but it was worth it.

The amount of control over the conversation, the time itself of topics and the quality of the discussion dramatically change when you are fully focused on the conversation. More than a journey to total truth, it has been a journey to improving the quality of conversations and the time spent with people.

On the other hand all this control will drain your energy much more than it would be normal. It requires a lot of attention to every thing that you and the others say. I notice that after some conversation I feel totally drained. Small talk makes you lose the sense of that true involvement that a conversation requires.

Now that I could do it one day, let’s try a week, a month, a year, a lifetime. How hard could it be?

A day to be disconnected

In this modern age of constant rushing, constant change and speed, we are always connected, always in touch. No matter if it’s the phone, email, facebook or any other social networks, we are always connected to our friends, clients, suppliers. We can’t afford not to be connected for a second because something might move along and we might be left behind.

As with all systems, when put under a lot of pressure, under a constant flux of information, and after a long time of constant availability there is a need to stop, get disconnected and restart. That is exactly what most people forget to do and they just push it until they burnout.

This is the reason why I have decided that each month I take a day with no phone, no email, no internet connection and no familiar people around. A day to get far away, disconnect, lose touch with everything and enjoy anonymity in a totally different environment.

You might want to try it as well. Losing touch for a moment might just help you better understand and connect afterwards.

Motivation

Motivation is the starting point of everything from getting down from bed in the morning, to making a billion dollars, to saving lives, to building a better future for kids around the world, to being the best athlete in the world.

Many people speak about their dreams, about their goals, about the great things they want to accomplish. But when they are asked to back up their words with action, sacrifice and hard work, that’s where they stop.

This is where motivation comes into play. If there is no correlation between your goals and your action then nothing can be achieved.

Motivation is what makes the difference between the first place and the last.

Focus on your talents

We are all different. It’s in our DNA to be unique. We all have inborn preferences, abilities, talents and potential. Even if we are all capable of doing most things other people can, the degree to which we can do them, the level at which we can master them depends a lot of these inborn capabilities.

Even without training most people can run the 100 meters in under 15 seconds. With a bit of training they can go under 14 and with some decent training they can go under 13. Almost all professional sprinters can run the 100 meters under 12 seconds. But from here on is where things change. Out of all of them only a few manage to go under 11 seconds and from among them only a group of 10-15 people manage to go under 10.

It’s the same for everything else. We’re all capable of doing most things at a normal level, but to excel, that’s something completely different. To excel means to focus on what you are good at, what you like, what comes natural to you, the thing you can do with a maximum of enthusiasm and improve up to the point where others can’t.

Most people don’t even know what their true talent is and most of them will never do. This is because people don’t experiment, they just take things for granted, take a path and follow it without focusing on what they are really good at.

Finding out what you are really good at is not hard at all. It comes natural. Most times is the thing you enjoy doing the most, the thing you can do better than anyone else who’s at the same level of practice as you are. That’s your talent, focus on it.

Stop trying to be mediocre, focus on your talent and become memorable.