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Published July 28, 2020

Growing up in my neighborhood in Pasadena, California, to be superhuman meant one thing: getting an athletic scholarship.

My sport was baseball.

I was a natural and practiced at it more than all other the sports combined. I set my sights on becoming the best hitter in my entire region. Trying to be the biggest fish in a big pond requires more than natural talent—it means putting in the work. Serious work.

So that’s what I did.

Putting in the Work

Without any adult ever asking me to, I dove headfirst into a rhythm of intense practice for TWO YEARS!

Now, why on earth would an eighth-grade boy put in this much work on his own?

Somehow, I knew that if I was going to dominate my region and be a great baseball player, no one was going to do it for me. 

Oddly enough, even though I innately understood how this principle applied to athletics, I failed to understand it anywhere else.

  • In academics, I blamed my teachers for my poor grades
  • In my childhood family’s finances, we didn’t have what we wanted because the government wouldn’t increase our benefits
  • In my business relationships, I blamed not myself but my mentors for my lagging growth
  • In my personal life, I felt joyless and unfulfilled because the people around me weren’t changing

More Than One Kind of Push-Up

For some reason, I was willing to put in thousands of hours and millions of reps to transform myself into the elite baseball player I was obsessed with becoming. Yet in every other area of my life, my lack of success was someone else’s fault. 

How messed up is that mindset?

Eventually, when I was around thirty years old, I finally made the connection. I finally understood that there was a direct link between effort and success.

I finally realized that there was more than one type of push-up. 

I realized that in athletics and in all other aspects of life, I had to do my own push-ups.