My love of baseball has been pretty well documented in recent posts, but watching a game one late night last week, I hear an announcer say something that to me was quite profound.
The color analyst was commenting that the difference between the star ballplayers and the journeymen was incredibly small. The star pitcher was just a little bit sharper with his pitches. The star hitter was just a little bit quicker through the hitting zone. As much as it seems that there is a big difference, it’s really just a little bit.
This made so much sense when he was done, and it has a real parallel in real life. Most people think that they’re miles away from the stars in their industry, so they give just enough effort to stay average. The reality of the situation is that those who are really great, are only a little bit better than they are.
The star salesperson is just a little bit more persuasive. The star speaker is just a little bit sharper with their message. The star leader is just a little bit more passionate. It isn’t a big difference that separates the great ones from the average in our professions either, it’s just a little bit.
When I stopped and thought about this, I got really inspired, and then I got really scared. I used to watch some of the people that I really admired and thought to myself that there’s no way I could do what they do. Thinking about them being only a little bit better than I am, I realized that my excuse was gone and it was terrifying. If they’re only marginally more talented than I am, then I know that what has separated us has been hard work and dedication and there’s nowhere to hide from them.
Maybe I don’t have to get a lot better to start living my dreams. Maybe I only have to get a little bit better every day. Maybe I shouldn’t believe that the reason that others are doing the things I want to do has very little to do with talent. Maybe I need to just focus on my effort and my improvement. Maybe the difference just lies in that little bit.
When you think about those who are living the life you want to live, do you see the difference between you as large or small? Are they a lot better at your dream job than you are, or is the difference just a little bit? I’m not a gambler, but I would lay odds that you’re closer than you originally thought too. I hope that thought scares you as much as it does me because, without that excuse, we can simply focus on closing the gap. After all, it’s a lot smaller than we think it is.