Bruce Lee, one of the most well known martial artists of all time, had this to say about the opponents he most feared:
“I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times.”
Are You Practicing 10,000 Kicks or One Kick 10,000 Times?
I was watching a video on Shaolin Monks the other day, and one of the things said brought me back to Lee's famous quote. The guy in the video was describing how many people come to the temple and start telling one of the masters all the styles they want to learn. The master's response is usually some variation of, “Why not start with one?”
While Kung Fu has many styles, it takes monks years of practice working out for five to eight hours every day to master even a single one. The masters know that focus over an extended period is the key to true mastery.
Like practicing 10,000 kicks instead of a single kick 10,000 times, attempting to do or learn everything leads to doing nothing very well.
In business, trying to do everything means recreating the wheel every time, but the goal should be developing a process or product once and getting paid over and over for it. To advance in your career, you want to be the best in your field, which only happens when you focus.
Are you trying to be everything to everyone? Or are you focused on mastering one thing?