Talent, Skills, and Goals

I have a friend who plays golf maybe three or four times a year, mainly at charity events. Every time he plays, he complains about his game and wants to take lessons. Yet somehow he just never gets around to it. Golf is a lot like life. Sure, some people are born with a talent, but most need to develop the skill set over time. It can be really irritating when you are not good at something. But my friend has chosen to dabble in golf, not master it. The reality is that he has done nothing to work on the skills needed to improve his golf game and because of this he will likely remain a marginal player.A while back, I was traveling and was getting an omelet made at our hotel breakfast buffet. The guy cooking was probably in his young twenties and was killing it. He was flipping omelets in a frying pan without a spatula. I was impressed. I remember complementing him on his talent. He explained to me that it was a skill that took hours upon hours of practice with a piece of toast and frying pan in his apartment. Once he could flip the toast perfectly, he started moving on to eggs. My new friend went on to say that someday he wanted to own his own restaurant.

I fully believe the opening quote. If you want to put in the time, you can become the best in your field. However, the skills you are spending time on need to be tied to your “why” in life if you want to stay motivated. I saw this quote posted this morning and liked it:
“The size of your why, determines how hard you try.”
The difference between the cook and my golf friend comes down to our goals – or “why” in life. Improving his skills in the kitchen was directly related to the cook’s goal of owning his own restaurant. That motivated him to spend hours upon hours with a frying pan and a piece of toast. On the other hand, my golf friend doesn’t have any “why” or goal tied to golf, and therefore has done nothing with his golf game. Personally, I have likely invested thousands of hours in learning the skills needed for business and real estate because that is directly tied to my goals.
So think about the skill set you need to obtain your goals in life. Couple your skill training with your compelling vision of that goal and you will be unstoppable. What are the skills are you willing to work at for just an hour a day to be the best of the best?