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Twenty years ago, or thereabouts, in a school in the North West of England, two students graduated and went on to two of the most prestigious schools in the world to pursue higher education.
Mr. X went to the more prestigious, and well known, of the two schools.
He finished his higher level course, a course which usually takes two years, in the first year.
As a result, he gained a reputation as someone who is highly intelligent and knowledgeable.
Mr. Y also graduated well from his school, but had finished his course in the usual two years’ period.
Fast forward to 2008, and Mr. Y has now opened several schools in and around London, and doesn’t look like he has any plans to stop any time soon.
Mr. Y. on the other hand, opened one school in the North west of england in the early 90′s, from scratch, and has been concentrating solely on that.
Now, while Mr. X’s schools have been multiplying, they are not in the best of conditions physically, and they have yet to produce any students of repute.
As a result, Mr. X now has a reputation of going from one project to another and not achieving much with any of them.
Mr Y’s school, however, has not only produced numerous students of repute, but has gone on to become generally recognised as the top school in it’s field, producing graduates of the highest calibre.
And, while not seeking any reputation due to his naturally humble nature, he has gained a high status not only among his students and the general public, but also amongst his peers.
What made the difference?
Well, while Mr. X was busy opening numerous school, he has been unable to give his full concentration and efforts to any one.
While he is the more knowledgeable of the two he has divided his knowledge between his various projects… thus diluting the value to any of them.
Mr. Y, while not as knowledgeable as Mr. Y, has been devoting everything he has to his one school, ensuring everything went right from the very beginning, and continues to do so.
Thus, Mr. X may be giving his schools 10% of his efforts, Mr. X has been giving his one school 100%.
The moral of this story is, it isn’t what you know, or even how much you know, but how you apply what you know.
If you want to achieve anything, concentrate fully on the task at hand… give it 100% until it’s done.
If you go from one project to another, you’ll end up not finishing any of them and achieve nothing in all of them.
Mr. X is an example of an extraordinary man who has produced ordinary results through his inability, or lack of desire, to concentrate his efforts on one thing only.
Mr. Y is an example of an ordinary man who has achieved extraordinary things through his desire and his ability to concentrate all of his efforts to one thing only.