Lately, I’ve been reading biographies and stories by athletes, business people, and politicians. The one attribute common to all of them is tenacity on a level that most of us can’t even imagine. The problem is that on the surface, we only see the success. We don’t see the work that went into achieving the success. We see the culmination rather than the 10 or even 20 years that went into getting there.

The hours they put in. The family events they missed. The vacations cut short. The travel. The times they were borderline bankrupt. The career-ending injuries that didn’t end their career. The nights they were homeless. The amount of bet-the-company decisions they made. The uncertainty they live through. The fear of letting down hundreds or thousands of employees. The mornings of waking up at 5am and practicing in freezing cold weather. The way they overcame abuse. The countless minimum wage jobs and years of working their way up. The countless hours spent honing their craft.

They did the things that most would consider crazy. They pushed themselves harder and farther without any guarantees. They stuck with it when they shouldn’t have. They just kept going. I’m not sure if that’s good or bad, but I do believe it’s the main reason for their success.