Nolan Ryan Energy
Doing the unremarkable well, leads to big results. Skipping the process, and not enjoying the present robs us of precious memories.
Great achievements are just what a long series of unremarkable tasks looks like from far away. It's about being the best where you are, day in and day out.
Our kids remember when we played in the backyard with them and when we were there for them for games, plays, and events. Showing up looks unremarkable.
The best investment ideas spawn from hours of research and having a prepared mind. Calling customers and reading research appear unremarkable, but they lead to the breakthroughs that make careers.
Businesses are built by people who show up every day. People who code, cold call, and build process. Taken in a vacuum, it all looks unremarkable. Yet, it’s the daily execution that leads to the big outcome.
When you're in the middle of it, all of these processes can, at points, feel like absolute drags. There's this feeling that it's never enough and that these little things will never add up to your big goals.
Snap at the kids after a long day. Failure. Investment idea gets stuck. Failure. Lose a big customer. Failure. These are all roadblocks preventing us from reaching our long-term goals.
We can’t be the best in the future without being the best in the present. But, every moment we worry about reaching a future state is a moment we're distracted in the present. It's impossible to reach the ideal future state without being great in the moment, and we can’t do that when our mind is elsewhere.
Nolan Ryan was one of my childhood idols. He played for 27 years, five times longer than the average player. He's the all-time leader in strikeouts by over 1,000 and threw 7 no-hitters. I had every baseball card of his that I could get my hands on.
The one that stands out most is below:
Here's Nolan, after his 7th no-hitter in year 25, riding the exercise bike. This session likely would have been 20 miles. You don't pitch 27 years at the highest level without doing the unremarkable well.
We often focus solely on the long-term goals. I'm guilty of this, too. I couldn't function without them. I've written before that I look at my long-term goals every day.
But, I love this picture so much because it highlights that a great degree of success is found in doing the unremarkable, living in the present, and enjoying the process.
I saw this tweet from a recent John Mayer show, and it sums up enjoying the process as much as we enjoy the results. "Everything we love and hate leaves us at the same pace. Done. Done. and Done."
This realization hit me the hardest when it comes to my kids. The temper tantrums stink, the back and forth at bedtime can be annoying, and the entire experience draining. But there will be a time when I miss it all.
The same is true in business and investing. The struggles just look different and are unique to all of us. But, we'll look back in 20 years and miss the rush.
Trying to skip any of these processes is asking for less time - an already finite resource. Instead, let's do the unremarkable well and create longevity and world-class results in everything we do. A state of mind I’m now calling Nolan Ryan Energy.