If You Want to be Great, Do This

Zig Ziglar said, “Success is dependent upon the glands – the sweat glands.” 

No doubt you’ve heard someone say that hard work is the route to success. That’s true. But there’s more to the story.

This method doesn’t apply equally well to everything. 

Several years ago I desperately needed a job, so I took one as a telemarketer. I had the voice for it. I was reasonably charming. I read the script as prescribed. 

But there was a problem.

I didn’t believe in what I was selling. I could see the appeal to some people of what I was offering. And one of the products was more appealing to me, which is why when I did make a sale, it was that particular product.

I tried really hard to do that job. I wanted to succeed so I’d feel warm and fuzzy inside. But all I could do was muster enough emotions to fake it reasonably well on the outside. Those inside feelings of dread made it the hardest work imaginable to survive until break time. 

Needless to say, all the hard work in the world didn’t make me a success in that environment. At best, it made me slightly better than totally horrible. 

Flip the coin to my current role at work. One day 3 1/2 years ago, I volunteered to provide the weekly inspiration and education article at work. Normally, someone filled this job for a quarter and then passed the torch on to someone else. After my first effort, I got so many compliments that one series led to another and then another. People from all across the company from warehouse workers, sales people and executives, and even the CEO have made comments about how my work inspired them. 

I’d say that was a lot better environment for me. And the hard work didn’t seem nearly as hard as the effort in the telemarketing room.

Here’s an analogy to help you with finding your own road to success. There are three elements in the picture that must be present if you want to discover your own greatness. 

The first is talent

There are a couple perspectives on talent. First is the idea that we are born blank slates and the talents we have are acquired as we experience different things. The other idea is we are born with inherent gifts and when we discover them, we uncover our talents. 

However we discover or acquire our talents, we still need to develop them to be great. Naturally, it’s easier to develop a talent than to overcome a weakness. The road to success is smoother when talent is the vehicle that takes you there.

Just as everyone’s car is different, so is everyone’s talent. No matter how it looks, it’s the best car you can drive down the road to your highest achievements.

The second item in the picture is passion.

Passion is like the fire that keeps you warm and alive when the temperature is below freezing all around you. Life has it’s ups and downs. It’s not enough to be good at something. You might be able to hit a baseball with 100% precision; but if you’d rather play tennis, you’ll never be as good as you could be. It’s great to have a fine car, but if you never put any fuel in it, you can’t take it anywhere. 

Combine talent with passion and you harness a powerful force.

To make the picture complete, we need a third element. Talent is the vehicle. Passion is the fuel. Now that the car is fueled up, it needs a driver to be truly useful. 

The third element – the driver – is action.

Most of us don’t buy cars to sit in our yards. We buy them so we can drive them. That’s why God gave you talents – to use them. When we use our talents with passion, we make a far bigger difference in the world than we could if we just rely on hard work. 

If you want to live your best life now, the life you’ve always dreamed about, use your talents with passion – and do it now. The more you use them, the better you’ll get. With each day that you do, you’ll find yourself further down the road to success. 

You only lose if you sit in the garage and wonder what it’s like out there if you had a car. You have one. Get in it and go. The world will thank you for it.