Blog: Good Things Take Time

Mark de Jong

We live in a have-it-now world; the good old principle of ‘work hard now to have it later’ seems to have slipped into the bin of irrelevance.  If we can’t get instant gratification, we seem to question if the pain is worth the gain.

I believe that very little of consequence can ever be achieved without a serious amount of practice, preparation and sacrifice.

In his book Outliers, Malcolm Gladwell highlights the theory that anyone can master a skill with 10,000 hours of practice.  While I doubt that practice alone creates outstanding skills, I have no doubt that time, significant practice and focus are essential elements to making a success  of your natural abilities.

What is the difference between the All Blacks who made the squad for the recent Rugby World Cup and the thousands of other talented rugby players in NZ?  Skill and natural talent for sure, but also the willingness to put in those 10,000 gruelling hours of hardcore training!

What is the difference between the thousands of highly talented musicians and songwriters and those few that go on to see their musical dreams fulfilled?  Is it their contacts?  Maybe to a degree.  Is it good luck?  Maybe that could help!  The only thing I am certain of is that the talented ones who also put in the years of time, effort, training and discipline will create their own success!

I’m convinced that there are very few short cuts and there are very few easy paths to achieving the big things we want.  Recognise your skills, recognise the opportunities, then put your head down and settle in for the long haul, because good things take time and great things take even longer!

You may be frustrated with how things are developing for you, you may feel like it’s all happening too slowly and you just need an opportunity or a bit of luck.  If that is the case, take a moment to think about what I am saying here.  If good things take time and great things take even longer, then maybe you are just viewing things in a too short a time frame.  Work hard today, next week, next month and next year.  Focus on five years away and do your 10,000 hours of work.  I reckon that will give you the best chance of success.  I know it’s not want you wanted to hear, but it’s good advice!

Try repeating this little mantra every day for the next month:

Good things take time, great things take even longer!

“Hang in there kid. It’s going to be a while. Most of the people who get on that Greyhound bus to Los Angeles give up and go home. Sometimes the only reason you get the job is that you’re the only one left. I didn’t make a living (acting) until I was 35. Tenacity is critical.”

- Harrison Ford