“Never be satisfied with less than your very best effort. If you strive for the top and miss, you’ll still ‘beat the pack.’” – Gerald R. Ford
Admiral Rickover was interviewing a lieutenant that had finished in the top 10% of his class at the Naval Academy, and was rightfully proud of this until Rickover asked him one question: did you always do your best? The trajectory of that young officer’s life was changed. You might know his name: James Earl “Jimmy” Carter, 39th President of the United States.
There are numerous examples of people that have squeezed every iota of their ability out of themselves and outperformed every expectation, whether it is the undrafted football player like Adam Thielen or Hall of Fame catcher Mike Piazza (drafted in the 62nd round) or five-foot nothing Rudy. These are among the countless cases of work ethic creating excellence.
On the flip side are all of the “could have beens”. The Sam Bowies, the Todd Maranoviches, the thousands of unknown high potential players (in sports, business, arts, etc) that did not learn to love the work and fully devote themselves. Just like the millions of failed marriages from lack of effort.
Pour your heart into the work, whatever it is and you will be better than most just from caring and showing up.