THE BLOG

What I Learned This Week: Keep Grinding It Out

08/04/2013 08:52 EDT | Updated 10/04/2013 05:12 EDT
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CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA - MAY 12: A backdrop of Albert Einstein at the Public Event in the Muizenberg Pavillion on May 12, 2008 in Cape Town, South Africa. (Photo by Michelly Rall/Getty Images)

Last week, I wrote and published my 1,000th blog post.

I sat down to compose my first one the afternoon of October 14, 2006. That's just about seven years of blogging. Seen from another metric, considering that a random sample of 100 of my posts shows a 522-word average, it's also over a half million words.

Given the post's somewhat milestone status, a handful of (God bless 'em) friends and faithful readers asked what I was going to do to "celebrate" my 1,000th post.

Hold onto the noisemakers, the fireworks and the dancers, and don't feel left out if you didn't get the invitation.

No parties. No ceremonial observances. No commemorative souvenirs.

I think the best way to observe blog post number 1,000 is to write blog post number 1,001...the one you're now reading.

And if there's one thing I'd like to celebrate with writing it, it's the value of discipline.

The world has changed a lot in seven years. So have I, and the subject of this blog. The Internet and the tech sphere have changed exponentially and dramatically.

But what hasn't changed is that through vacations, festivals, career changes, deaths in the family...I never stopped pumping out at least one post a week. Granted, a few were pre-scheduled "best of"s or reposts of faves when travel made new posts difficult, but I never missed a week.

To some, that's "so what." To me, it's a big deal. Because in business, in sports, in relationships, and in life in general, I feel the attribute of discipline is seriously undervalued.

Woody Allen is purported to have said: "80% of success is just showing up." Could be, but in the case of demonstrating discipline, "showing up" isn't a singular, one-time event; it's a continuum. It's all about showing up again and again and again.

And it ain't easy. Life often gets in the way of living. And vice versa. That's why I am particularly enamored of those who slag it out, day after day, no matter what the conditions.

There are many so-called "secrets to success." Thousands of books have been written about them, thousands more speeches delivered, and millions more YouTube videos uploaded.

But having the discipline to continue to show up is NOT a "secret" to success.

Actually, it's the opposite; it's an "OBVIOUS" to success.

That's this week's big lesson.

But discipline and persistence are not as sexy as the big win from seemingly nowhere, as the overnight success, as the new shiny object. At least not in the beginning.

But I've seen it happen so many times in showbiz--the career arc where someone rapidly rockets to fame, falls from grace not long after, is ridiculed as a has-been for years, yet after having the courage, tenacity and will to stick it out, is ultimately revered as a legend.

So to celebrate "1,001--A Space Odyssey," I raise a toast to all those who have the discipline to grind it out, to keep showing up, to pound through pain, boredom, and criticism, and especially to still be standing while so many others have fallen by the wayside.

So there we go.

One more done.

And one more to come.

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