I know about this firsthand as a golfer, I was pretty good... I don't say that to brag, it was true and to a lesser degree, still is true. Let me take you back to my childhood. I grew up at a golf course, not literally but pretty dang close. As soon as the course opened each spring I was out there playing and practicing everyday, this probably started around age 9 or 10. I would ride my bike out to the course at 6:30 in the morning and spend the entire day out there. Golf was my life! Once I started playing competitively I set a goal of being a State Champion. I was in 7th grade when I set this goal, so that gave me 6 years to prepare before I would have my last chance to accomplish it. I did everything to accomplish that goal, played 100+ rounds of golf every summer, practiced for hours on end at the driving range. In the winter time I chipped and putted indoors in our basement and when I could, I would travel 2 hours to a golf dome to hit golf balls.
Malcolm Gladwell in his book Outliers talks about the 10,000 hour rule. The rule states that if you want to be an expert in anything you need to put in 10,000 hours of practice. I knew nothing about this rule at the time, but I'm pretty sure I hit it that by the time I was 16. I put in all this effort to be the best, and guess what? I was the 1999 Minnesota State High School Individual Champion. Well actually Co-Champion because they don't do playoffs, weird right? I played my heart out, I went into the the tournament knowing that I had done the preparation and it paid off.
Here is the secret that I've learned 15 years later: success isn't like dominoes. One accomplishment doesn't mean you are guaranteed your next victory. This isn't just about sports, I look at this now in my fitness journey, my job, my relationships, my spirituality. I've had some success in these areas but I don't look at success as a destination anymore, it is a journey. Everyday I need to remind myself to keep pushing forward, to knock that next domino over. For me this means reassessing my goals on a regular basis, so that I always have something to work towards. It also means that I need to work on myself through personal development. The person that I am today can only accomplish the skills that I know today. If I want to accomplish new things than I have to grow and learn new things.
If you want to be successful in some area of your life I would encourage you to think the same way. Set goals regularly, that way you have a game plan as to what is next. Don't get caught living for one moment or one accomplishment.