There’s a disconnect when successful people say the secret is working hard.
The audience always scoffs. It sounds banal and unhelpful.
Partly because not everyone who is successful worked hard to get there.
But also because most people have no idea what hard work looks like…
It’s a lot like driving speed.
You could tell someone to drive fast and they’ll think you’re bananas. “I’m always driving fast” they say. “The normal driving speed is 30mph. I’m usually at 32-35”.
But is 35mph fast? If you’ve never left a residential area it certainly is. But try going at that speed on a highway and you’re now so slow that you’re a safety hazard to anyone driving at 60-70mph.
Most people judge their speed relative to others. If everyone around you is driving at 30mph you’ll look crazy driving at 40.
Get out of the suburbs and your baseline resets. Nobody drives under 40. You’ll need to be at 50 just to keep up. Most people are touching 70.
But is 70mph fast? Get onto a racetrack. Formula 1 cars have an average speed of 138mph and have been known to reach a top speed of 223mph.
You’ll also notice that in each of those conditions the numbers dwindle. Not everyone can drive that fast. It’s not as simple as pushing your foot harder against the pedal.
The person who thinks they’re driving fast in the suburbs still gets stuck in traffic.
The person driving fast on the highway still gets stuck at the lights.
The person driving fast on the racetrack only stops so their wheels don’t melt.
Most people have no idea what their top speed is. They stop trying once they overtake a few cars.
If you want to know how fast you can go, find people who make your current speed look pedestrian.
If you want to know how quickly your brain can spin, go find people who drive fast enough to melt rubber.