Tomorrow marks the beginning of the end. There’s 3 more months to go, and I’ll be officially complete the JD/MBA program at the Western Lawand the Richard Ivey School of Business. Admittedly, the past 2.5 years have been a period of grueling hard work, of much failures, but also some triumphs. Still, I have loved these experiences all the same.  On the eve of the Spring semester of the JD/MBA, I’m reflecting on some of the biggest lessons I’ve learned since I commenced law/business school. And it happens to come from an Ironman Triathlon friend’s blog, where he talks about Melanie McQuiad (a Professional Triathlete) saying:

Everybody trains just as hard as everybody else, how is it that somebody’s winning by minutes? All of that has to do with mental strength: being able to dig deep inside yourself and suffer more than everybody else.

I remember Miranda Carfrae, former Kona Ironman Triathlon Champion, said something similar.  She said most triathletes just aren’t willing to hurt to the next level, and that is why they never win. That sums up law school and business school; and likely sums up the practice of law to which I am headed. Most students are motivated; most students work insanely hard. So how is it that one some get ahead of others? I think it is all about digging deep; all about wanting it bad enough and willing to pay the price. I think back to a conversation I had with a Federal Court Justice last week.  He shared that through his many years interacting with students, any ‘B’ student (that is, an average student riding the median) has what it takes to knock it out of the park; it’s just about how much they want it and how badly they are willing to apply themselves. The difference between a ‘B’ and a ‘A’ student just often isn’t the margin of difference. It is about how badly one wants it is.

At the top, everyone is willing to work hard, but how many are willing to hurt?