High Performance is: The 1,000 Hour Buy In

Nothing magical in life comes easy. Our most rewarding journeys are never realized overnight.

In one of the 3 areas of focus in my life I am training to compete in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics throwing Discus. The first goal of this multi year journey was to “hit the ‘go/no-go wall’ as quickly as possible". In other words I wanted to push myself to the my first breaking point to see how seriously I believed in this pursuit.

Breaking Points

7 months had gone by and I hadn’t even managed a half decent ‘real throw’. Day after day training in typical Pacific Northwest dark, wet, and cold conditions the gremlins starting charging into my head. Creeping up and whispering in my ear “what are you doing? why do you think you can do this?”… Needless to say it was weighing on me.

Finally, after 1,000 hours of brutal suffering and unimpressive performance I managed to string together my first 'real' throw.

It felt effortless. Pure flow. Breakthrough.

I noticed the slightest grin on my coaches face… Almost to say “Okay, I may not be wasting my time over the next 1,570 days.”

It was a ‘good’ throw, but nowhere near great or world class. The journey will continue to be uphill, but that is to be expected when you are striving for greatness in any pursuit.

The applications to life in this lesson are universal...

1,000 hours is just the beginning

And at the end of the day every single tough moment has been necessary to access this tiny baby step of progress forward.

The war of attrition is real and it begs the question what choice will you make the next time you get knocked down?

Will you walk away in defeat, take it a little less seriously, or stand up with excitement that you survived… You’ve Earned yourself the prize of sprinting towards the next wall that will do everything it can to knock you on your back.

Then what?

The 1,000 hour buy in is one of those magical equations in life. It represents a right of passage for those who strive for greatness - if this is you it will act as your most feared adversary and best friend and it deters others from following.

The Scarcity of Time

We only have a limited number of hours in a day. And for many of us those hours are polluted with things that drain us and blindly suck away our precious moments of flow and high performance. Those constant check ins to Facebook, Snapchat or Gmail don't count. Clocking in and spending 8 bored and exhausted hours at your desk aren’t putting you on the path you could be trailblazing.

Moreover these should be the clear indicators that you are not in an environment to do your most profound work in the world.

And I’ll admit, this isn’t for everyone. But there is no reason why it couldn’t be.

So, what are you buying into?

What wall or barrier are you sprinting head first towards to see whether you’ll get back up?

The leader, movers, and shakers of the next generation in this world are standing in your shoes, trembling with sheer panic and blazing excitement, asking themselves this exact question.

The time is now.