My favorite quote of all time is by former University of Alabama football coach, Paul “Bear” Bryant, and it’s simply what I call “The Price Of Admission.” It goes like this:
“Winning is not normal, and people who constantly win do so by following an abnormal path. The discipline, dedication and sacrifices are incomprehensible to the thousands, standing outside looking in, who are capable of joining, yet unwilling to pay the price of admission.”
It has probably been 10 years since I heard that quote but right away when I heard it, it struck something inside of me. It truly struck a chord, and it made so much sense…
There is a price of admission attached to every single thing that you want to achieve, or that you want to accomplish in life. It’s an open-ended question that I ask myself almost daily whenever I’m trying to achieve or I’m trying to accomplish something. I ask myself, “Scott, are you paying the price of admission? Are you getting it done today? Are you working hard? Are you working smart? Are you doing the things that you need to do?”
A fair and valid question for all of us to ask.
My favorite part of the quote is:
“…standing outside looking in, who are capable of joining, yet unwilling to pay the price of admission.”
I always have pictured people standing on the outside of an arena, stadium or house, and they’re looking through this window. They’re looking in towards people on the inside and they’re saying, “You know, I WANT that. I WANT that success. I WANT that achievement. I WANT that contentment. I WANT that fulfillment, happiness in my life. I WANT all those things.”
Yet they’re unwilling to pay the price of admission.
The price of admission is something that I ask myself a lot because it drives and guides my behavior, whether I’m trying to write a book, run a race, create a new program, or put together a speech. I can be sulking and saying, “Geez, I wish I was further along in this,” or I start to look out on other people and say, “I wish I had what they have.” It can almost always be traced back to the price of admission.
Whether I’m paying the price of admission is something I ask myself, something I’ve had a lot of clients ask of themselves, and something I would encourage you to ask yourself.
When you ask yourself this, remember that it’s not just about working hard. It’s also about working SMART. I’m betting if you’re reading this, it’s not just about putting in more hours, right? You’re probably putting in plenty of hours as it is. It’s not always about time and work ethic. It’s asking yourself, “Am I focusing during the time that I’m doing this task? Am I concentrating on the vital few, or is it the trivial many? Am I doing the tasks that are truly important, and not just urgent? Am I focusing on the things that really do move the needle???”
All those things go back to just doing it SMART, not just doing it working hard.
That price of admission is everything. Chances are, if you want to accomplish or achieve something, you probably know what the price of admission is to be able to make that happen. If you don't know, find somebody that's achieved or accomplished whatever it is that you're looking to do and ask them, "What do I need to do to be able to achieve or to be able to accomplish this?" They'll tell you the price of admission that they had to pay to be able to make it happen.
Then, if you are willing to do if, if you are willing to not be the one that's standing outside, looking in, wanting what those people on the inside have, and you're willing to pay that price, you will absolutely have it.
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