When others naturally excelled in either the maths or the language, I was average. But I've studied, probably more than the others.
With a lot of practice and with great support from my parents, I was always in the top of my class in the primary, then high school and after, at the uni.
I've taken this lesson to the sports. By only showing up to every practice, sticking to the routine and listing to my coaches, by the age of 20 I've played for the first division handball team in Poland. There was only 2 of us, myself and my friend, who "made it", from the massive pool of players from my club.
After eventually quitting the handball, after 13 years, I've picked up the squash.
I knew exactly what to do. I've hired a good coach, read every possible book on the topic and within few years I've reached the last 16 at the Polish Champs.
Was I gifted? I don't think so. I've just spent 1000s hours hitting the ball and practising the shots.
Now I've got myself into the world of triathlon. In the first year, I've finished all my races at the end of the pack. In next year I was mid pack racer. In this season I generally place in the top 25%. Who knows, maybe I have the chance for top 10% next year?
Do I have any secret? Not at all. I've just followed a well know path to the success:
1. Practice, a lot.
2. Become very knowledgeable on the topic
3. Hire a coach or a mentor
4. Surround yourself with like-minded people
5. Enjoy the process!
I cannot guarantee that you will reach world champion status. There is more to it.
But I know that you can become exceptionally, in anything you put your mind to, really.
You just need to want it, very much.