The more I read books about elite people (people having world-class success in what they do), the more I'm under the impression that they don't even try that hard about what they do; they just work naturally very hard and very effectively, and they happen to be so good that they reach the level they're at. This seems important to me, as it mostly eliminates the whole "motivational" and "surpassing yourself" bullshit when talking about success. It seems to me that if you feel that you need motivation, then you have already lost.
The best example I know is how Richard Feynman has always been very nonchalent about being a world-class physicist. He truly did not consider himself particularly special.
The recipe for success seems to be the following:
- Have a subject you are so passionate about that you're naturally incited to dedicate a massive amount of work to it. (No trying hard here, only natural drive.)
- Have a clear enough approach of the subject, so that your work is very effective. (No working hard here, only naturally exploring threads.)
- Happen to be so talented at this subject that this whole process is enough to make you elite. (No trying hard here, only being who you are.)
Most people don't pass step 1.
That shouldn't prevent us from not having success at a smaller scale, but by doing what we love, and not trying hard :)