As someone who has written and read a fair amount of essays, applications, and resumes, this "Eric Cressey blog post made me smile. It reminded me of the Gary Larson Far Side cartoon with the "School for the Gifted."
All five out of the five are just paying attention to all the steps in the process. Spelling, grammar, easing the path for your hiring, presenting yourself well publically, and talking to the man in charge of you instead of the man in overall charge. Nothing really mind-blowing there, really, but trip up on any of them and you're messing with your chances of success. All of them are controllable. You can't control if the job matches your goals, or if the interviewer likes you or not, or how the market works. But you can control all of the details he mentions.
Okay, so how does this apply to training?. Essentially this boils down to "attention to detail." Your training is only going to be a few hours a week, even if you are dedicated committed to it. There are 168 hours in the week. If you spend 4-5 of them in the gym, that's a fair amount. Pay attention to the details. Master the stuff you can master.
You can't, say, control the rate of muscle growth. But you can control the exercise selection, master the techniques, rest for the proscribed time, use the right load.
You can't control how strong you get. But you can build up a process of getting stronger and put in the work you need.
You can't control how much fat you lose at what speed. But you can control your diet, maximize your energy output, and make sure you're on a fat loss program.
It's also the little things. You can put the weights back where they belong so the next person isn't wandering around looking for the 50s because you left them under the bench instead of racking them. You can avoid getting in other people's ways. You can control your hygiene and not be the gym stink monster because you don't wash your gym shorts more than twice a month.
It's all details. Some of them you can control - know which ones they are, and control them. Own the process, in business speak. Just know what is your responsibility to provide, and let your results flow from them.