Yet if I think about all the successful and unsuccessful people I know, the biggest differentiators are intelligence and discipline.
What does discipline mean? A few examples:
- Rather than indulging the natural desire to dabble, remaining focused on becoming an expert in their chosen field.
- Willingness to stay focused on a task, taking breaks only when necessary, until the task or a component of it is complete.
- Willingness to fight past the uncomfortability of not knowing: struggling to master something, willing to expose their ignorance by asking a co-worker a question, and/or hiring a tutor or mentor to accelerate their learning.
- Working longer hours. The longer you work at your profession or craft, the better you'll get.
- Willingness to do extra professional development after work, for example, while on the treadmill, doing professional reading rather than watching Desperate Housewives reruns.