This article was originally published on riskology.co.
Here's an easy one. If you want twice as much experience as someone else in the same amount of time, all you have to do is work twice as hard as them.
If everyone else is working eight hours a day, work 16. If everyone else produces 10 things a week, make 20.
People will tell you there aren't any shortcuts in life. They're wrong. There are tons of them -- really good ones, too. The problem is that you have to spend a long time searching for them. You can take cues from someone else's, but they won't work the same for you.
You have to find your own shortcuts.
Most people aren't willing to put in the work it takes up front in order to find them. They won't do their 14,600 hours. So, they won't ever find their shortcuts and they'll swear them off, saying they don't exist.
Of course, most people who found their own are all too happy to let them believe that. Why give away the secret and have to work even harder?
Learning a new skill, breaking into a new industry, changing your life and taking a risk -- it's just like anything else you go after -- it snowballs. You start out struggling, thrashing, totally confused, and frustrated. Then you learn a few tricks and things get easier. You get better.
"Maybe I can do this after all."
Then you slip up and learn a big lesson. Then you get even better. The fits die down, you quit worrying so much that you'll never get it perfect, and you just keep doing it; you keep plugging away.
Only now, every hour you spend working on it produces 10 times the results that you got when you first started. You go and you go and you go and you don't look back.
And then, one day, you look around and you're the best. How did that happen?
In the end, it all comes down to putting in the hours and doing things that matter. Yes, you have to focus on the right things, but first you have to actually do something to figure out what to focus on.
If it takes 14,600 hours to master a skill, will you spend 10 years getting there or can you do it in 5?
How bad do you want it?
Don't believe anyone that tells you it'll be easy. The things that work will be easy, sure. Grinding through all the things that don't in order to find them won't be. If you want to be the best, that process doesn't ever stop. You figure out what works, stop doing the things that don't, and then you start over.
Don't believe anyone that tells you there won't be trade-offs. You can have anything you want in life, but you can't have everything. Which will you pick? Choose carefully.
The "Other" Way
Don't take it easy. Don't go slow. Don't pace yourself. Don't follow the rules. Those are the fences erected to keep you in the very place you're trying to escape.
That's the strategy I've been using for the last few years and sure, it gets tiring sometimes, but I still love every second of it. I don't have time to "get there" the normal way. I have a lot of things to do and not a lot of time do them.
By the way, don't believe anyone that tells you there's plenty of time to follow your dreams. There isn't. You get today. If you're lucky, you get tomorrow. Never count on luck.
If you see an opportunity, seize it. If everyone else does it in 10 years, do it in five. If everyone else make 50, make a 100.
Or, turn that whole idea on its head. If everyone else makes 50, make one. Make it better. Make it the best.