If you sit back and study successful people, you'll soon discover that they do things different than the rest of us. They're of a different mindset. Usually you'll find that they go the extra mile — in training, in planning, in executing, in intensity. Sure, they may have talent but talent will only carry you so far.
If you want to be average, keep pacing yourself with average people. If you want to be excellent, then you have to be different. The difference between excellent and average is not that big of a gap. There's only little subtle differences, but I'm telling you those little differences have huge effects. It is what sets them head and shoulders above everyone else.
How does this fit into our outdoor world? Below is a list of what the "average" guy does. Do you want to only kill an elk 15 percent of the time — the average in a lot of units? If you don't want to be average, avoid these mistakes.
Don't Sleep In
Animals work on their own schedule. For 99 percent of the game, it is at daylight and dark. You don't have to be there. Sleep in. Stumble out late and spook them. Do whatever you want but they're going to be moving at daylight. Are you going to be there is the question?
Don't Leave Early
It can be tempting to head back to camp early for dinner and to set around the fire, especially if it's been a long, tough day. Don't give in to that urge. Many times I have punched a tag right at dark.
Don't Skip Scouting
From what I've seen, consistently successful hunters scout. It's tough. You may only have two weeks vacation and you need to spend one with the family, so that only leaves one to hunt. Consequently, the first few days of many peoples hunt is actually spent scouting.
Due to these circumstances you may not be able to change a thing. Just know, the more you scout, the better you'll do.
Don't Skip Sighting in Your Rifle/Bow
I took a buddy deer hunting once to my favorite spot. He must have missed either nine or 11 deer by that afternoon. That's a lot of shots for a black powder! I'm convinced he never had sighted in his rifle. Why spend all the time, money and effort if your rifle/bow isn't sighted in? It will all be in vain.
Don't Eat That Last Donut!
If I'm hitting it hard, by the third day of elk season I can barely walk I'm so sore. And that's after five months of bear/turkey hunting, backpacking and hiking. I'm in shape after all of that. It's just tough duty. If you're not in shape, start working out some and skip the donuts. Especially if you're a flatlander going elk hunting.
Don't Be Ill-Prepared
I start packing for a trip weeks before. If you wait until the night before, you'll be up until midnight and have to get up to leave at 4 a.m. the next morning, you'll be ragged out before you even hit the field. I like to be packed so I can spend time with my family before I take off. I don't want to be running around in a circle screaming and in a fight before I leave my wife for a week. Then on top of that, you'll get to camp and discover that you forgot your can opener, bullets or sleeping bag.
In closing, don't pace yourself by the average people in life. Study the successful people. They do stuff different. They think different. That's why they're different.