What are superachievers doing that regular achievers aren’t doing? That’s what two writers have set out to answer in a new book that’s being released tomorrow. Smithsonian Magazine recently did an interview with one of the authors, Camille Sweeney, about the book:
Do you think that the people you interviewed for the book are fundamentally different from the rest of us?
No! It’s interesting. I think when we started out I might have thought that. But after talking to them and really thinking about their lives, I don’t think that they’re different. When they arrived at what they thought they were going to be doing, they just kept at it. They kept up the energy. And when all the doubters and the haters were saying, “This isn’t going to work,” they didn’t listen. When they felt like they could learn something, they took what they could. It gave me hope that if you put your mind to something, you can be a superachiever. It takes a lot of work, and the work doesn’t stop. These people are pretty 24/7 about what they’re doing.
When Ken Jennings was at the age when most other kids were watching Sesame Street, he was spending his time reading almanacs and TV Guide from back to front. Tennis star Martina Navratilova played at least four hours of tennis every day to make sure she could play consistently. Basically, superachievers spend an extraordinary amount of time on a single thing when most people give up and move on to other things, which makes a lot of sense.