DesireMy latest book, The Great Eight, is built on an unspoken assumption. That those who regularly speak in public have a desire to get better at it over time. Perhaps it’s a flawed assumption, but in my experience those who excel at anything are constantly asking themselves, ‘How can I improve?’

This desire doesn’t come from an external source like a bonus or a promotion. For the most successful people in their fields it comes from within. They have an intense desire to continually improve their skills because that, in itself, is a reward. This past weekend Tiger Woods returned to winning form at Doral. Not that he has fallen far from winning but he certainly had fallen off pace since the collapse of his marriage in 2009. For the past three years he has relentlessly pursued improvement in his game. Not because he needs more money or even more trophies. Those are ancillary benefits to what really drives him; the desire to improve his game every time he plays. That’s why he’s willing to blow up every aspect of his game from his drives to his putts if there’s a chance to improve it. He’ll tolerate the learning curve if he thinks that there’s a better way to do what he already seems to be doing flawlessly.

That same desire is what drives everyone who rises to the top of their profession. If you have that desire you know what I’m talking about. If you don’t, I’m not sure it can be manufactured. In either case you can improve. It’s up to you.

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