The purpose of a parent is not to provide “ultimate” genetics so that their offspring simply wakes up and succeeds. Nowhere has this been found to be the case, especially amongst East African runners who have had decades of genetic testing performed on them in hopes that a ‘long distance’ gene, a ‘running’ gene or an endurance gene could be found in order to explain their consistent success in middle to long distance running. There is no endurance, running or long distance gene. Its training: the answer no one wants to truly find as it exposes the true difference between those who win and those who don’t. Success is a decision to work and since work doesn’t discriminate, work doesn’t lay off or fire anyone, because work doesn’t refuse to be found it shows that it is simply a decision. Success is a decision that is available to all but only a few truly decide to work, and work consistently.

In this light, and in the light of the two posts titled “6,000 Hr Minimum” the purpose of a parent is simple:

  • teach your offspring to work;
  • model to your offspring how to work, and how to learn how to enjoy it, and;
  • encourage your offspring to get to work themselves.

If your child is going to succeed at anything in life, they will have to learn to work. It starts at home and can be fueled by a coach, but it does truly start at home. How else will a child start to put in the daily hours required to generate the momentum that will carry them to success? If a child is expected to work only when at school or only when with their sport team there is little chance of them excelling, hence succeeding.

If ‘average’ at the national level comes with 6,000Hrs of training, then what are you targeting your child to achieve if they aren’t working daily?

If average comes with 6,000Hrs of training, the other question is whether you are putting in enough hours daily to achieve that target within a reasonable time frame. An hour a week or a couple hours a week will never deliver the momentum needed to become even average, especially in a world where the rate of change continues to accelerate. An hour a day… well, thats the universally accepted level of activity required just to stay healthy, not develop strength, endurance or any level of health that would translate into performance. Minimum daily work to make progress is 2hrs a day, and even then it’ll take almost a decade to become average.

If you want to experience what it means to truly be an expert in anything, then you need to commit wholeheartedly to your goals, to your dreams.

Many (actually most) half-ass it and then complain that goals and dreams are illusions and that those who do in fact achieve are simply ‘lucky’ or ‘naturally talented’. No. Those who achieve simply commit completely to their goals and dreams. No hokey-pokey on a daily basis, no hokey-pokey during plateaus and periods of no tangible outcomes, no hokey-pokey even with setbacks.

This is why when these individuals stand on podiums, when these individuals achieve they cry tears of joy as the years of day after day of unrewarded commitment are all of a sudden completely rewarded… and its overwhelming. Indeed, stepping out in faith for a prolonged period and then having that faith rewarded is overwhelming. Deep down we all want this feeling, we all want to experience this, but reality is that it does come with faith and only faith. All the cheap ‘experiences’ you can buy fail to come anywhere close, but because we are so afraid of stepping out in faith the majority will settle for a half-ass success instead of going all-in for an overwhelming success. So parents… where are you stepping out in faith in life, modeling for your children that the pursuit of goals and dreams and all that they can be is worth it?

Maybe now it will make sense why the best of the best devote themselves to training as much as 6-7 hrs a day… because to truly achieve and to truly achieve within this lifetime requires you to live your life like its a race worth running. National and international level gymnasts train 6-7hrs a day year after year in order to simply get the chance to compete representing their country. What are you chasing?