If you want to be in the top 10% of anything, it’s super easy.
I’ll give you a hot tip about people nowadays. They’re lazy.
The vast majority of people want nice things without having to do the work. Then they complain about not having nice things.
You’ll see this entitlement mentality everywhere. You’ll hear it in the language they use. “It’s not fair.” “Oh, he just got lucky.” “He just has good genetics.” Or other bullshit loser talk.
So even when they have a good plan to start on some self-improvement, they’ll quit before they get any good.
This applies for anything you want to be good at. Most people quit before they get any good. So it’s easy to become the top 10% at anything. You simply have to outlast them.
The Grand Canyon
I’ve been to the Grand Canyon twice. Once in the 90s and most recently at 2004.
Unfortunately, that’s back when I took film. I no longer have those pictures because they got lost in one of our moves.
I got this concept when I was at the Grand Canyon the first time.
I noticed that the visitor center was crowded with tourists. But once you walked ten or fifteen minutes, you’re practically alone.
That’s because most people who go are so lazy that they shoot a few pictures, wobble around a bit, get tired, and go back to their hotel. I’d guess the average visitor weighed between 200 and 250 pounds. Heck, that was 2004. I’d hate to think what they look like now.
That works the same for everything.
I’m not a naturally talented artist. I took art seriously. Like a craft. Practiced every single chance I got.
I got good by establishing a solid morning routine and sticking to it.
Within a few years, I started passing up my peers. Just like that.
You get to be you once
Some folks don’t get us self-help people. Well, I don’t get people who don’t get us self-help people.
You get to be you once. Whether you believe in Heaven, reincarnation, or nothingness forever, that still holds true.
So why not make the best of it?
I never understood people who don’t. I don’t know about you but I really want to live. I really want to get the most out of life.
Not just traveling and seeing new places. Or crazy wild parties. (Of which I’ve been to my share).
Accomplishments, baby. That’s what it’s all about.
I want to be known as a composer, an artist, and a writer. Three solid things. Plus the occasional board game.
To accomplish a lot though, you should be healthy. Imagine if Beethoven lived ten more years. His Ninth and final symphony was absolutely amazing.
If I’m going to be great, I need to live long enough. I started late. I got catching up to do. Thus the running and the weightlifting. And the dietary restrictions.
No processed foods. Shop the perimeters. Real foods, my friends. Not something out of a box with ingredients I can’t pronounce.
Getting to top 1%
Whereas I said getting to 10% is easy, getting to the top 1% takes even more time and effort. You’ll have to take it to another level.
If you’re an American football fan, you’ve probably heard the story of Jerry Rice learning what time Cris Carter woke up and deciding to wake up a half an hour earlier than Cris Carter.
You have to have that spirit. It helps to be obsessive. (Others will think you’re crazy, but so what?).
Getting to the top 1% is attainable. Once you get to the top 10%, you already know what you have to do. You have the work ethic already. You just can’t quit.
I’ve reached the top 1% in several areas of my life already. I don’t have superior genetics or natural talent. Once again, that’s loser talk anyways.
For instance, reaching 1% of electric guitarists took a little bit more than 10 years. I can play pretty much any cover and read notes. I even do my orchestrations from the guitar, not from the piano. Meaning I write violin, viola, cello, flute, clarinet, etc parts via my guitar.
If you want it badly enough, put the work in. It may take you over ten years, but how badly do you want it?
Never stop experimenting/taking risks
Sometimes I have a plan when I paint. Sometimes I don’t.
This one – I had no plan. Allie modeled. She was naked and holding a toothpaste tube.
I changed it. I even mixed paints together and almost splattered them on the board and moved them around with the brush for the background.
Did it look good? I like it. We’ll see how much I can sell it for.
Aesthetically? It’s nice.