The real way to become a champion

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The pros. They seem to have it all. Endowed with a natural gift to be awesome at, well, everything. They are great at sports, writing, math, politics, etc. The reason they are pros, many people think, is because life is easy for them and they have it all figured out.

Except this is not the case. In order to do anything well, you have to work at it. It does not matter if you are Michael Jordan or just a kid playing on a basketball court. It take tons and tons of work in order to be good at something, regardless of whether or not the motivation is striking you at that moment.

Manny Pacquiao, from the Philippines wears the champion's belt after winning Brandon Rios of the United States in their WBO world welterweight fight Sunday, Nov. 24, 2013, in Macau. (AP Photo/ Vincent Yu)

Becoming a pro is really hard work, but there is a process to do it, one which looks easy on the surface, but actually is quite difficult, and only for those who truly want to succeed.

Step 1. Choosing your greatness

So you want to be great at something. But what do you want to do exactly? Perhaps you want to be great at soccer, working out, or pick up a new sport like tennis or basketball. Maybe you want to start that business you have always been thinking about. Or perhaps you just want to become a better writer.

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This decision is crucial, because only if you choose something which you really care about will you actually stick with your plan and keep on track with you path to greatness. If it is something which you do not really enjoy doing, you will ultimately fail.

Step 2. Put your heart into it

The reason you will ultimately fail if you try to become a master of an activity or a skill which you do not enjoy is because one of the most crucial steps is making sure that you make time to put your heart into whatever you are doing. You will need to devote a whole lot of time and effort into your new skill.

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For this reason, it is easiest to make a schedule of when to practice and focus on your new objective. Remember, life always gets in the way, so you do not have to practice every single day. But it is still a good idea to practice at least four times a week.

Make a schedule for yourself and simply set aside time to do the exercises (whether they be physical or mental) which you need to do to get on the path to greatness.

Step 3. Stick to your schedule for a week

You will know whether or not your practice schedule is realistic after about a week or sometimes even two . You will see how it impacts you in your life (for the better and for the worst), and how it works for you. Remember, because time is finite, sticking to a schedule of any sort means that you will be giving up sitting around time in order to achieve greatness.

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Sticking to your schedule, no matter if you feel motivated or not to do whatever it is you need to do, is one of the marks of a true champion. You will never feel motivated 100% of the time, but the results of writing one more page or running one more mile always outweigh the benefits of being lazy.

Step 4. Stick with it

Greatness will not come overnight. If you want to be great, you have to stick with it. Not just for a couple of weeks or months, but years. Remember, greatness is not a destination, it is a journey, and you will not be able to achieve it without consistent, persevering hard work day after day for years.

Good luck!

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