An Unusual Kind of Stamina

I am inspired by the words of American novelist, John Irving, who said of his writing, “More than half, maybe as much as two-thirds of my life as a writer is rewriting. I wouldn’t say I have a talent that’s special. It strikes me that I have an unusual kind of stamina.”             

Often people ask me how and why I write this blog every day. For those of you who read it, you know by now it is not because of some special talent I have. I guess it is a stamina thing with me too. That, and a genuine desire to keep growing as a leader and sharing what I learn so others can grow too.

Every night, about ten o’clock, I sit down and I write. I have no idea why I do it. Many nights I don’t want to do it. I don’t get paid to do it. Maybe I shouldn’t do it? But to use a well-worn phrase, I “just do it.”

Over the last year it has occurred to me that much of what is accomplished in this world is due more to stamina than it is talent. That is a good thing for most of us.

As a leader, it is impossible for you to hit a home run every day. But it is possible for you to take a swing. Keep swinging long enough and you are bound to make contact at some point.

Find something you are passionate about and start doing it. Over and over, day after day. Lead, speak, sing, make music, paint, draw, blog, read, or write.  The context matters little. Just do something and do your best.

Last week this crazy blog was read in forty-two countries, on six continents, and received 7,000 hits according to the analytics. Are you kidding me?

Honestly, the content was no better last week than it was a year ago. All those readers were not a reflection of my ability, rather my stamina.

So thanks for the reminder John Irving. People all over the world need for us to contribute and to bring endurance to the area of our giftedness.

Let’s do it!



What is one area of interest where you would like to have more stamina?



Leave a comment


9 years ago

This reminds me of Gladwell’s 10,000 Hour Rule in his book, Outliners. The 10,000 Hour Rule suggest that the key to success in any field has more to do with practice than talent — lots of practice. Here’s the Math: 10,000 = 20 hours per week for ~10 years. #stamina #endurance #patience


9 years ago

Good point DS. Few things rival perseverance in this world!

Coach Brown

9 years ago

passion colored by patience, persistence and perseverance defines talent… Amen!


9 years ago

Thanks Coach!

Joel Gray

9 years ago

Randy – you are right on the money on this one. I would say the other side of this (great talent, no stamina) is what keeps some people frustrated as well. We discussed your last couple of posts in my Leadership team meeting yesterday! Keep it up!


9 years ago

Awesome Joel. Thanks!


9 years ago

On a semi-related note, I love A Prayer for Owen Meaney by Irving. This book is literary genius – his stamina definitely paid off.


9 years ago

I will have to check it out. Thanks Susan!

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