“Achieving the extraordinary is not a linear process”

Over the weekend I listened to a Tim Ferriss Show interview with Christopher Sommer, former US national team gymnastics coach. Towards the end at 1:22:45 Tim read a portion of an email that Coach Sommer sent him when he was struggling with his own training. I thought that it was so good that I stopped and transcribed it:

Dealing with the temporary frustration of not making progress is an integral part of the path towards excellence. In fact, it is essential, and something that every single elite athlete has had to learn to deal with. If the pursuit of excellence was easy, everyone would do it. In fact, this impatience in dealing with frustration is the primary reason that most people fail to achieve their goals. Unreasonable expectations time-wise resulting in unnecessary frustration due to a perceived feeling of failure. Achieving the extraordinary is not a linear process. The secret is to show up, do the work, go home. A blue collar work ethic married to an indomitable will. It is literally that simple. Nothing interferes, nothing can sway you from your purpose. Once the decision is made, simply refuse to budge, refuse to compromise.

2 comments on “Achieving the extraordinary is not a linear process”

  1. Tim says:

    This is so simple, yet brilliant!

    While my journey wasn’t as long as many, I found during the gloomy days just staying the course to be extremely difficult. I’d literally say out loud “I can do this” over and over and over. While that sounds a little hokey to me, it really helped and I just kept pushing on day after day, building routine and discipline. Fascinating seeing this observed and explained so well.

    • Adam McFarland says:

      Well put Tim! Just simply not giving up on yourself is one of the hardest parts of achieving anything, particularly starting a business because it isn’t a linear process as Coach Sommer alluded to. It can seem like you’re going nowhere sometimes right before great things happen.

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