There's no trick to success

During long drives or extended rainy days, my daughter loves to watch the One Direction (1D for those in the know!) movie This is Us.  The music is good, but the story is remarkable because it's one of the few, genuine "overnight success" stories out there. Every time I listen to the movie (I can't see the screen from the front seat), I hear the surprise each guy in the band has that they were "so lucky" to be so successful.

While I don't have any particular emotion around the 1D craze, I always remind my kids the band's reality is NOT how the world works.  The 1D story isn't exportable and shouldn't serve as a model for how real life works.

In the real world, there is no alternate path to doing the hard work; there is no shortcut for success. For an alternative narrative, I point to Alex Honnold.

Alex is wildly successful in his field (climbing, or more specifically, free solo ascents), and because he climbs without protection, he has to be perfect every day he's working.  We're talking ZERO errors!

How does he maintain perfection? What's his secret to success?  In his own words he tells us, "there's no trick; I've spent 17 years practicing."

1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10-11-12-13-14-15-16-17 Seventeen YEARS!

The difference perseverance makes can't be overstated.  Check out his work for yourself.

I don't know about you, but watching this guy makes me want to put on my big girl pants, to whine less about having a slow internet connection and be grateful that practicing my profession doesn't require that I live out of a van!

Alex's mother makes a a great closing point, namely to "make a conscious choice about what you want to do with your life, and go in that direction."

One direction indeed!