This week I had a epiphany about “success” while coaching my son at wrestling practice.
My son is a beginner wrestler, only in his second season participating in the sport. In practice, however, he is often grouped with advanced wrestlers who would be considered among the best in the state at their age and weight. As a result of this, my son doesn’t have much success during “go live” with his partners. That is, until a few weeks ago.
A few weeks ago, something started to click. He had a couple great practices back to back. My immediate thought was that he turned the corner, he figured out the sport. He was ready for prime-time!
Not so fast…
The next practice was the total opposite. The success I saw just a few days ago was gone. It seemed that maybe it was only a flash. Then low and behold a few days later it was back again, then gone again the next practice, then back again. And so on and so forth.
It started off as more bad days than good days. Now I’m starting to see more good days than bad days.
That’s when it hit me. An early sign of breakthrough success is inconsistent success.
When you start at something, it’s typical to experience consistent failure. If you stick with it, the next thing you will experience is a back and forth between good days and bad days. You will get a taste of success only to be followed by a mouthful of failure.
Most people look at inconsistency like this as a bad thing. This may be true in the case of an experienced veteran. But if you’re new at something, inconsistency like this is the light at the end of the tunnel. It means you’re on the brink of breaking through to greatness. All you have to do now is stick with and perfect the process that has taken you this far.