I wrote here
Don’t confuse what your priorities should be with what your priorities are.
Your priorities are objectively measurable by how many resources you invest in them, such as, money, effort, attention, thought, creativity, planning, concentration, pain, care and time.
Changing your priorities means reallocating your resources.
Self-discipline is congruence between your priorities and your deepest needs.
According to Brian Tracy
You can get control of your tasks and activities only to the degree that you stop doing some things and start spending more time on the few activities that can really make a difference in your life.
Life only grants 3 wishes. You can’t have it all. But if you work hard and focus you can participate in some pretty cool stuff.
You can become a genius in at most one skill. You’ve got to choose.
In 2008 Tommy Kelly commented
This connects with the weight training example, where pushing yourself beyond where you think you can push yourself is vital. Perhaps that is the sole purpose of any effective “teacher”, be it sports coach, school teacher, or PhD supervisor — to kick, cajole, convince us that what we think is a limit, is not.
And it may mean that the old advice given to kids of “it doesn’t matter how you do, as long as you do your best” is misguided. Because how do we know we are doing our best if not by having someone else show us (possibly a competing student) what is possible?
Sgt. Carter could only kick you into being an expert rifleman, not an expert violinist. And Josef Gingold wouldn’t have been much help with your kalaripayat. Expert teachers can teach you new strategies, notice a subtle, but critical, bad habit, or remind you of what hasn’t yet become a good habit.
Regarding “it doesn’t matter how you do, as long as you do your best”, I think that is just a reminder to set internal goals rather than external goals, such as winning. Even as a strategy for winning, that’s sound advice. Don’t keep your eyes on the prize, keep your eyes on the price, and make sure you pay it.