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Relax, this isn’t an article where I drone on and force to you scroll for three minutes before hitting you with the sales pitch. The only pitch here is a fastball right down the middle, so don’t blink or you might miss it.

It first dawned on me in college, near the end of the academic year while I was taking a lesson with my French Horn instructor. I had battled my way through another difficult passage in the piece we were perfecting, and I commented, “Unbelievable! No matter how much I practice, how often I try your suggestions, there’s always more to improve. It never ends!” All at once I felt a tremendous sense of loss and anxiety. And my instructor, to his credit, agreed with me.

Though I’m sure, had he recognized it at the time, he would have challenged my despair. For it is exactly this constant striving that makes us successful. My instructor’s achievements in music were almost too numerous to count when we had this conversation more than ten years ago. And now I’m sure that he reached those lofty heights because he never stopped improving, even when the finish line seemed to be perpetually retreating.

Two years later, I stopped playing the horn.

My life kept improving, though of course I ran head-on into this lesson over and over again, in many different forms.

Do you want to know what it takes to be an overnight success?

Keep Working Through the Night.

Work even harder when others don’t, and work more effectively when others won’t. Learn what drives you, and let it!

Sometimes you’re sweating bullets just to stay in one place. Is this what you’re meant to be doing? If not, stop right there and find your “meant-to-be.” If it is, smile to yourself and keep going.

We’ve got work to do.


Ready for an all-nighter? There’s nothing better than pizza. The simpler, the better, courtesy of Food52.