Original question from Quora:

How can I stop being average?

My Answer:

I’m not sure what area you are average in, but in any area you want to improve there is only one way…

But before I tell you what it is, I want to tell you a story about a man who wanted to be an artist. His name is Jonathan Hardesty.

Jon was average or maybe worse than average depending on what group you are looking at. So, went on a forum and started posting his sketches every single day for nine years. He went from doing a sketch of a cube to doing incredible drawings and paintings.

His transformation will blow your mind.

How did he do it? He showed up every day and practiced. That’s it.

I have another story. In junior high, a friend of mine picked up the guitar. I was better at first, but before long he was far better than me.

My friend spent the summer playing guitar like 8 hours a day. He practiced and practiced and practiced. In one summer he went from not being able to play to being the best guitar player in school. Nobody else practiced like him.

Now let me tell you about how I got good at writing software. I build things. I build lots of things. When my friends were out drinking, I was writing code. When people go home and watch tv, I go home and build something new.

For almost twenty years writing code has been something I just did because that’s what I do. I was practicing without realizing it was practice. I’m a very well paid Senior Software Engineer at a fast growing software company. It’s no accident.

Practice is the secret to not being average. Show up and work at whatever you want to be great at. Do that every single day. Eventually you won’t be average at all. In fact, you’ll find yourself wondering why everyone else isn’t practicing all the time.

-Brian

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