Earlier this year, I was given the opportunity to watch a speech and presentation delivered by Ron Husband. For those of you who aren’t animation history nerds like me, Ron Husband is a former Disney animator. He was a character animator on many classic Disney films such as "The Fox and the Hound,'' ''The Little Mermaid,'' "Aladdin" and "The Lion King,'' among many others. During the presentation, Husband discussed the passion and work ethic that he needed to get to where he was. He sketches every day, and has filled countless sketchbooks front to back over the course of his career. Ron Husband is a huge inspiration to me, not just because he has worked on some of my favorite movies, but because he understands and has demonstrated what it takes to achieve greatness. If you want to excel at something, it takes hard work and dedication. After all, the 10,000-hour rule exists for a reason.
Nobody who has ever achieved true greatness got there by accident or happenstance. While a decent amount of luck can go into being discovered by the right people, talent and hard work are still major prerequisites. If you’re passionate about something, you should be honing your craft almost every single day. Personally, I’m passionate about writing, so I write in some form almost every day, (not counting texts and tweets). Whether it’s articles, short stories or even scripts, I want to make sure I’m improving my writing skills all the time. Now, I will advise against over-practicing, because burning out is a very real issue. I typically don’t write on the weekends, as I like to use this time to relax and brainstorm for the next week.
One of the most important aspects of practicing is knowing how to practice. I know that statement might not have made a whole lot of sense, but hear me out. There’s no point in practicing if you’re not doing it the right way. For example, let’s say I want to develop a better shot in basketball, so I go out on the court everyday and take 100 shots. However, instead of shooting the ball normally, I’m throwing it with one hand just like a football. Now, I may actually end up getting somewhat decent at shooting like this, but my shot would have been much more effective had I gone out and practiced a normal jump-shot. That example was definitely a bit hyperbolic, but the point stands. Knowing how to practice effectively makes a world of difference.
I believe people are capable of anything they set their minds too. For people that employ a great work ethic and are passionate about what they do, the world is an oyster of endless possibilities. But it is important to keep in mind proper practice methods, and putting yourself in position to be noticed by the right groups of people.