Win in the Dark is another fable written in the same style as the viral sensations Chop Wood Carry Water and Pound the Stone.
Here is a short excerpt:
"Everyone wants their moment in the spotlight. But you don’t shine under the bright lights. The bright lights only reveal your work in the dark. Most people will never see your work in the dark. And when you emerge after years - sometimes even decades - of training, they often undercut your work, calling you an 'overnight success' or 'freakishly talented'. They don’t realize that talent is only the starting line.
"They don’t realize talent is overrated. They don’t realize talent is never enough. They don’t realize talent is more of a curse than a blessing unless you develop the mindset, grit, and work ethic of a grinder. Behind every 'overnight success' is tens of thousands of unseen hours training, failing, and growing in the dark.”
Marco spoke with the conviction of someone who had learned this wisdom firsthand through years of success and failure. And it's often not the physical aspects of training that force most people to give up on their dreams. The true demons and thieves are the mental ones faced in the dark that choke out your potential.
"The dark is where you confront the little voice in your head trying to convince you that you are a fraud, that you’ll never make it, and that you are going to be 'exposed'. The dark is where you feel like you are alone in your struggles, believing your destructive thoughts and questioning your decisions. The dark is where you face the critics, the doubters, and the haters throwing shots at you from the cheap seats. The dark is where you realize that confidence is fleeting and shifts with the wind - but that conviction, authentic conviction, is forged through fire. The dark is where you give your everything, but still can’t shake the question: What if my everything isn’t enough? The majority of your journey in the dark is a psychological, emotional, and even spiritual battle that people watching from the stands rarely comprehend. Some things can only be understood in the arena, in the trenches, in the dark."
Niko nodded in understanding - he knew the dark; he had found himself there in the past, overwhelmed by its intensity. It was a place he avoided.
Marco continued: "But there are treasures, both tangible and intangible, for those with the courage to navigate the dark. Those willing to embrace uncertainty and discomfort over and over again. Those who yearn to embark on the road less traveled and explore the edges of human potential. You see, the dark serves as an opportunity to sharpen your character and skill set. It’s only in the dark, in the toughest of storms, that the best sailors are built. Smooth seas and bright skies don’t build the best, only adversity can do that. The dark is where you forge the conviction that you can do hard things.
"The dark is where you accept that you are worthy, regardless of your performance, your accomplishments, or the opinions of others. The dark is where you transform into a version of yourself you never dreamed possible. Most people are obsessed with proving themselves under the bright lights instead of improving their craft, little by little, each day in the dark."
He gestured toward the training field, where his walkers were stretching and rigging anchors. The air was filled with energy. Niko’s butterflies returned.
“We do things differently here. Our cameras are for watching film, not for posting on the 'gram. We don't care how it appears to outsiders. We care about how it helps you grow. We don’t wait for applause. We quietly and relentlessly train in the dark with complete trust that our moment under the bright lights will come. Welcome to the dark."