This issue’s post
It’s all about hard work
- If success comes from genius…
- …it is because genius comes from work.
One of my dearest friends, Richard McPhail, used to be the road manager for the rock band “Genesis”. He recently wrote a book about his experiences called “My Book of Genesis” which is certainly worth a read if you would like to discover what really happened in the world of rock and roll in the 60’s and 70’s.
In the book, Richard tells many stories highlighting the obsessional hard work undertaken by Genesis to ensure that their albums sold millions of copies and that their concerts were attended by millions of adoring fans. Their success was not the result of drug-fuelled inspiration but by pasta-fuelled perspiration.
It reminded me of many other stories I have read over the years about the efforts of sports people like Cristiano Ronaldo and Roger Federer. “God what talent!” is often the response to watching these people perform. However, the talent has always been hard-won; and though many people might envy their success, few would envy their work schedules. As the American golfer Ben Hogan once said: “If you can’t outplay them, outwork them”.
I have known this for many years and have always found it exciting. One did not have to worry about some nebulous, inspired, God-given talent. All one had to do was work hard; and success was guaranteed. With one caveat! The work had not only to be hard, but also to be smart. It was – and is – not enough to work mindlessly. One has to work with consciousness; and be able to assess and reassess realistically the progress one is making.
Something else that helps is a belief that the work will pay off. A few years ago, the members of the English cricket team could hardly take their bats back a few inches in order to hit the cricket ball, so fearful were they of their critics in the English press. They acquired a new coach: a Zimbabwean called Duncan Fletcher, who got them to ignore the negative comments and focus – and believe in – what they were doing. The result was a series of victories.
This attitude: the importance of self-belief and a commitment to hard work is central to everything we do in Najberg Milne.
What’s in it for you?
Who do you trust?
- Politicians are often an example of what one should not do.
- Study them!
With the state of the world today being what it is, it is difficult to tear one’s eyes away from the news bulletins. Politicians all over the planet – especially either side of the Atlantic Ocean – have many of us in various states of disbelief.
It is possible to view the machinations of many of these politicians in one of two ways: either with despair or with scientific curiosity. If we can stop tearing our hair out for long enough, we can study them and ask ourselves the question: “Do I trust this person or not?”
Once you have answered that question, the next one is obvious: “Why?” If you can work out what it is that makes you trust someone, you can then emulate what he or she does. Likewise, you can avoid the behaviour that creates a lack of trust. For example, if you are asked a question, answer it – and answer it truthfully, no matter how inconvenient that answer may be.
This exercise in assessing how communication works may well save our sanity.
This issue’s link
- Making friends with reality helps making friends with our lives.
Talking of sanity, the celebrated psychologist and author M. Scott Peck, said that “Mental health is an ongoing process of dedication to reality at all costs”.
This importance of working with reality is another fundamental principle of our work in Najberg Milne. It also goes back to what we said about the rock bands and the sports people. Hard work is part of reality. As we get older, we are forced more and more to accept reality. This link will take you to a TED talk about reality by Emily Levine, the humourist and writer, in April 2018. It could touch you.
Najberg Milne news
Forthcoming open courses in London, Paris and Brussels
- London: 27 & 28 Nov. 2019, 29 & 30 Jan. 2020 (Winning Hearts and Minds). Please contact us in London at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Paris: 3 & 4 March, 2 & 3 June 2020 (Captiver & Convaincre). Please contact us in Paris at: email@example.com.
- Brussels: more course dates coming soon (Captiver & Convaincre). Please contact us in Brussels at: firstname.lastname@example.org.