#328-1. If people knew how hard I worked to get my mastery, it wouldn't seem so wonderful after all.
-Michelangelo Buonarroti, sculptor, painter, architect, and poet (1475-1564)
#328-2. I never trust anyone who's more excited about success than about doing the thing they want to be successful at.
-xkcd.com/874 cartoon site (contents come with warning of strong language, unusual humor and advanced mathematics)
#328-3. Give your heart to the trade you have learnt, and draw refreshment from it.
-Marcus Aurelius Antoninus, Roman Emperor and Stoic (121-180 CE)
Excellence in anything is attained with a combination of knowledge, skills and talents (or traits). We generally underestim! ate the time and effort investment necessary for building superior skill in any activity.
While the desire for tangible rewards and recognition can be an initial motivating factor, high levels of competence requires us to enjoy the long process of deliberate practice, honing the application of techniques, ironing out the little mistakes and rough edges, and converting many of the conscious actions to auto-pilot capability.
The required level of dedication comes not just from willpower but a deep sense of satisfaction in the learning process. Have you noticed how the master presenter is more eager to pick up a new trick, how someone with an extensive vocabulary consults the dictionary more often than a beginner who presumably has more need to do so? That’s the passion of a lifelong learner and that is the path of the excellent.