The greatest threat to results are boredom and impatience.
The only way to become good at something is to practice the ordinary basics for an uncommon length of time. Most people get bored. They want excitement. They want something to talk about and no one talks about the boring basics. For example, we know that dollar-cost averaging into an index fund is likely to generate wealth, but cryptocurrency will give us a bigger thrill. Boredom encourages you to stop doing what you know works and do something that might work.
Another way to mess up a good thing is to try and accelerate the natural pace of things into an unnatural one. A good idea taken to the extreme is always a bad idea. Working out for 15 hours a day won’t make you healthier, it will get you injured. Investing with a lot of leverage won’t make you rich faster, it will wipe you out. A lack of patience changes the outcome.
It’s hard to be above average if you can’t find a way to do the same thing over and over again. As Bruce Lee observed, “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.”
In a world of social media, we glorify the results and not the process. We see the kick that knocked someone out but not the years of effort that went into perfecting it. We see the results, not the hard work.
The difference between good and great results is often found in consistently doing the boring things you know you should do exactly when you feel like doing them the least.