The time for practice is over. Practice time was while we were growing up. Practice time was while we were in school.
We are now full participants in the game of life and our opponent is human mediocrity. In the absence of intense and intelligent human activity, the weeds of failure will move in to destroy the small amount of progress that our efforts have created. We cannot afford to wait for the “two-minute warning.” We cannot afford to wait until the last few minutes to discover that our game plan isn’t working. And we cannot afford to wait until the last few ticks of the clock to become intense about life’s opportunities.
Related: How to Push Yourself to Greatness
We must challenge ourselves right now with a new level of thinking, and drive ourselves toward a new level of achievement.
We must impose upon ourselves a new discipline and develop a new attitude about life that motivates us and inspires others.
We cannot keep waiting for a foolproof opportunity to come by before we force ourselves to get serious. We must identify our current opportunity and embrace it. We must breathe our talent and our vigor and our new sense of urgency into it and discover all that we can do.
We cannot allow ourselves to dwell upon the risks in every opportunity. Instead, we must seize the opportunity inherent in every risk, knowing that we must sometimes run the risk of going too far in order to discover how far we really can go.
You can do it! You can change your life, and you can start right now simply by developing a new sense of urgency. Remember, the clock is ticking. You have the ability to achieve whatever you want if you will just begin the process now.
It is easy to achieve success and happiness. And it is easy not to achieve them.
The final result of your life will be determined by whether you made too many errors in judgment, repeated every day, or whether you dedicated your life to a few simple disciplines, practiced every day.
The discipline of strengthening and broadening your philosophy.
The discipline of developing a better attitude.
The discipline of engaging in more intense and consistent activity that will lead to the achievement of greater results.
The discipline of studying your results in order to anticipate the future more objectively. The discipline of living life more fully and investing all of your experiences in your better future.
These are the challenges to which you must apply your talent and your intensity with a sense of urgency and unshakeable resolve.
May the pieces to your life puzzle come together smoothly, and may you enjoy the picture of that finished masterpiece as a result of your unwavering commitment to mastering the basics.
Adapted from The Five Major Pieces to the Life Puzzle