Saturday, July 4, 2015

The Other Face of Success*

* This post is part of my effort to feature pieces that I wrote in the past. 

What we think:
Bodybuilder. Steroids.
Millionaire. Scams.
Supermodel. Genes.
Musician. Talent.

What it actually is:

Bodybuilder. Wakes up at 6 a.m., prepares breakfast according to a strict nutritional diet. He goes through a gruelling session at the gym - lifting heavy weights, pulling on cables and running statically. Exhausted, he throws up at the end of the final set. 
While his friends are binging on pizza and junk, he sticks to his diet of boiled chicken breasts and broccoli. He does this day-in-day-out because he knows that this is what it takes to be phenomenal on that stage.

Millionaire. Spent the last 5 years sleeping on the streets. He knocked on doors relentlessly, until finally landing a job as a sandwich maker. Through years of sweat and labor, he saved up enough to open a modest stall of his own. 
Today, he owns one of the largest sandwich chains in the country. 

Supermodel. She had the gait of insecurity and the posture of broken confidence. Holding on to the belief that "opportunity does not knock twice", she accepted an offer to be a runway model for an unknown clothing label. 
Determined to improve, she spent hours each day walking in 6-inch Stilettos, twisting her ankles whenever she misses a step. 5 years later, she graced the cover of Vogue. 

Musician. He started out with hair that was unkempt and dishevelled. Slightly introverted, he spent close to 8 years in his room, working on his guitar and songwriting skills. Each morning, he started the day by running through a set of scales, believing firmly that 'practice makes perfect'. 
Today, he looks as sharp as a tack, has unparalleled guitar, vocal and songwriting skills and has won the Grammys a couple of times.

It is often true that we glorify the end results and discount the process that led to success - the years spent honing a certain skill and the drudgery that one has to go through to reach that certain point in his/her life.

This is the unglamorous part of success that we all hope to not see.

But it made all the difference.

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