What Mozart and Kobe Bryant Have in Common

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Kobe Bryant are rarely mentioned in the same sentence, but they share three things in common that bridge the 200 years between their lives.

The first is their fame. Among classical music composers and professional basketball players, Mozart and Bryant are considered among the most popular. Their fame is a direct result of their…

Talent, the second shared trait between Mozart and Bryant. Both are on the short list of the most talented among their peers. But this talent is the result of the third and most important thing they have in common.

Effort.  Yes, effort.

John Hayes, a cognitive psychology professor at Carnegie Mellon University, has investigated the role effort has played among world-renowned performers of a variety of trades.

He discovered that for 10 years, Mozart wrote dozens upon dozens of classical pieces that fell flat on the ears of the public. But he kept writing, each new composition richer than the previous. Hayes dubbed this quiet but persistent effort Mozart’s “10 years of silence.”

Bryant took this a step further – practicing what Hayes calls “deliberate practice.” James Clear writes that Bryant practiced with a specific purpose.

While practicing for Team USA for the 2012 Summer Olympics, Bryant called it a day after sinking 800 jump shots. It didn’t matter if it took him 2000 attempts or 4 hours. Only after accomplishing his set goal did he allow himself to rest.

Well, he didn’t actually call it a day after just sinking 800 shots. His 800-makes drill came after starting his conditioning work at 4:30 a.m., running until 6 a.m., and lifting weights until 7 a.m. Then after hitting his 800th shot at 11 a.m., he joined Team USA in their daily practice.

Take a minute to let this sink in. Before you think that having this kind of dedication to your trade is impossible, think again.

The underlying message of “10 years of silence” and “deliberate practice” isn’t that you have to spend every waking moment of your life shoving your nose into the grindstone before getting a whiff of success.

It is that you have to be patient and smart. Let’s break these down individually.

Patience is necessary in the early years of your business because success will not happen overnight. In Mozart’s case, he did not abandon his determination when composition after composition did not please the listening public.

But like Bryant, you have to be smart with your patience. When practicing for the 2012 Summer Olympics, Bryant did not waste a single second of his days. He knew what areas he needed to improve on and achieved a host of daily goals.

Only by being patient and smart will you operate on the same level of the most successful people – in business, in sports, in music, etc.

Ask yourself:

•    Have I given myself and my business a fair timeframe to be successful?
•    Have I been patient during hard times?
•    Have I made improvements to my business and the way I run it? What are some examples?
•    What are 3 areas of my business that could use some “deliberate practice” to improve my everyday performance?

Be valuable.

John  McCarthy
Managing Editor, Leads4Insurance.com

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