I grew up in Indiana where corn, cows, and basketball dominate the talk around town, but usually not in that order. Larry Bird is Indiana’s best basketball player of all time. As a kid, he decided he wanted to be a basketball player, so he did something about it. He went out and shot a basketball. He broke his ankle his sophomore year of high school. Each day, he continued to go to the court to take 500 shots propping himself up with crutches.
Larry Bird wasn’t born a great basketball player. He was slow. His vertical jump was a full 20” lower than Michael Jordan’s vertical jump. He was criticized early in his career for being a poor defender. Later, he was named to the All-Defensive team and even won the MVP award three times. He became a great basketball player because he repeatedly took actions that made him a basketball player.
The same pattern holds true if we look around a bit. My wife is an amazing pianist. Why? Because for years and years she played piano each day. Not every song was played perfectly. In fact, few were. Yet she played. A friend of mine, Ivan Makarov, has become an excellent photographer. I remember years ago when he told me he had started taking some pictures to get some relief from college. Now, he is well known among the photography community. Why? Because he has taken thousands of pictures. Most of those pictures are never seen by anyone but him. Few are masterpieces. Yet they were necessary for him to become an expert photographer.