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Deliberate Practice

Staying Excited

I feel sorry for the person who can’t get genuinely excited about his work. Not only will he never be satisfied, but he will never achieve anything worthwhile.” — Walter Chrysler

Yesterday I had the occasion to walk through Times Square.

Having done it thousands of times, I now enjoy the tourists more than the site itself. I love their sense of wonder. They look up at the skyscrapers, take pictures, and point. Their eyes are filled with awe and enjoyment of a moment they have anticipated for years.

Just looking at them helps me see a very familiar sight through fresh eyes.

When you think about it, the most successful people are those who can  do exactly that: see familiar things with fresh eyes.

Anybody can GET excited about an exercise program. But how many people can STAY excited? The same goes for a diet, a musical instrument, or a new sport. Anybody can GET excited. But can you STAY excited?

Thomas Edison never got tired of his workshop. Centuries of astronomers observed the skies and noted the most minute of changes. Hall of Fame baseball player Wade Boggs held fast to a daily practice routine that even included eating the same thing — chicken.

Years ago a baseball man told me one of the most interesting days in the season comes around Aug. 1. That’s when big-leaguers realize they’ve been at it every day for four months, and there’s two more months to go!

It takes a certain kind of person to stay excited on that day, when routine is numbing everyone else.

But if you can be that kind of person, if you can bring a sense of excitement and wonder to every single practice, you have a chance to be great.

Coach Tully’s Extra Point: Danish astronomer Olaus Roemer in 1676 first successfully measured the speed of light. His method was based on observations of the eclipses of the moons of Jupiter.


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