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One of the keys to success is proximity. If something is easy to access, you’ll do it. If not, you’ll struggle. Bill Gates learned to use computers when he was a kid because he lived right next to a university computer suite and they kindly allowed him to play on their machines. Jimi Hendrix used to walk around his apartment wearing his guitar, he didn’t so much practice as play it, constantly, it was part of him, and you can tell.

Another key to success is flight-time. That is, how many hours you spend doing your chosen activity. When I used to teach, I spent 800 hours a year teaching and at least that amount of time planning and marking. And I focused, I bore down on it, and learned how to do it well. On the other hand when I used to run, I ran a lot, but I had no idea of how to run well, so I put in a lot of junk hours that didn’t improve me much. I ran ok, but I never ran well. So it’s flight-time, yes, but it has to beĀ quality flight-time.

And a third key to success is knowing what you want, setting clear targets, and consciously aiming for it. This is the hard one. Daring to tell yourself what it is you really want to do. Looking ambition in the eye, and not flinching.

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