There's a reason we know the names Kobe Bryant and Lebron James (among many others). It's because they are (were in Kobe's case) amazing at their jobs. They spent countless hours mastering the fundamentals of basketball. I'd argue that for these guys dribbling a ball is as close to automatic as it is to fill their lungs with oxygen when they breath. It is part of who they are.
Recently, I met a friend for dinner. The place we tried was an up-scale burger joint. At a place like this, you would expect a kitchen staff that knows how to prepare a burger. You would expect chefs who cook the same things in the same environment every day to know how to differentiate between medium rare, medium, medium well, and well done.
Yet, I find myself regularly disappointed and underwhelmed by places that "specialize in burgers". This scenario was no different. I ordered a burger cooked medium. What did I get? Well done and dry. The worst way to eat a burger.
I LOVE burgers. Actually, I think love might be an understatement. I cook myself a burger at least once a week. Just last night I made venison burgers for the first time in my life and they turned out amazing because I know what I'm doing. I take pride in cooking great burgers at home.
You would think that for something relatively simple to cook that it wouldn't be difficult to master. And yet, I can't tell you how many burger joints I've been to that serve all their burgers well done, under-seasoned, and on soggy buns. If I want that, I can go pay a dollar at McDonald's.
Why do we ignore the fundamentals? Mastering the fundamentals is what it takes to get where we want to go. Instead I feel like all of us get caught up in the glamor of doing things the fancy way or aiming for the rewards of being a master without taking the time to actually become a master.
That's why there are mediocre burger joints all over the country that will shut down this year. They ignore the obvious and the essential.
That makes me wonder...what essentials and fundamentals in my life am I not executing well?
I think we all do well to answer this question regularly.