For many the Memorial Day weekend signifies the beginning of summer. The community swimming pools open, school year’s wind down, and family gatherings abound. Memorial Day is steeped in the tradition of recognizing the sacrifices that so many people have given to provide the freedoms that we enjoy in America today. The traditions and rituals of honoring and caring for those that have given the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty is a powerful reminder of the teamwork and commitment to each other that is a part of a soldier’s service to the American people.
The United States military branches are well known for “never leaving an American behind.” This is true for the fallen American Soldier as well. A fallen soldier is accompanied by another soldier on the flight home to Dover Air Force base and remains with them until they are returned to the family. We must continue to recognize those that have given their lives to support our freedoms. It is what Memorial Day is built on.
(Yochi Dreazen and Gary Fields wrote a powerful piece on the returning home of the American Soldier. The article entitled, “How We Bury the War Dead” appeared in the Wall Street Journal on May 29, 2010.)
Creating teams with the Heart of a Competitor can learn two lessons from the way United States Soldiers are treated:
- Each member of the team is valued.
Regardless of race, ethnicity, or rank, each soldier is treated with dignity and respect. Their service to the country is honored and recognized.
- The struggle within your own team can change the way you treat each other.
The Civil War was a major reason the treatment of the fallen soldier was changed. Congress decided that those soldiers that fought for the country deserved to be recognized for their sacrifice and set up the national cemeteries that we have today.
Know that the struggles you face as an individual, a team, or an organization will change you. These changes we undergo are essential to becoming the people, team, or organization we are destined to become.
“No matter how good you are at planning, the pressure never goes away. So I don’t fight it. I feed off it. I turn pressure into motivation to do my best.”
– Dr. Ben Carson, Neurosurgeon
The Heart of the Competitor is constantly seeking ways to grow. These opportunities to grow may “fall into our lap” or they may be planned out. However, even in planning and preparing, the competitor is faced with situations that may not have been exactly as planned, like utilizing the GPS system that did not account for the road construction, there is a detour that now needs to be accounted for. However, it might be this detour that leads to a better way, a new experience.
We make many plans in our lives, we set lofty goals and aspire to accomplish these lofty goals and regardless of the planning we have put in place, the pressure to move forward will always be present. The Heart of the Competitor realizes this pressure will be present and feeds off it, realizing this pressure is needed for us to perform at our peak. The pressure signals to the competitor that they must call on all of their resources, focus, determination, and confidence to perform.
In seeking ways to grow, we are always at the edge of our capabilities, creating a state of unease and tension, but the mind and body will become accustomed to the stress and pressure. Dr. Ben Carson sought out ways to grow, pushing the boundaries of medicine. In pushing these boundaries, he was recognized as the first surgeon to successfully separate conjoined twins at the head. In performing this surgery, he placed his skills at the edge of their capabilities and pushed further ahead to accomplish greatness. He took the risk, fed off the pressure and in turn, accomplished something that had never before been completed.
Question of the Day:
Name one way that you will push your boundaries, push your skills today. How are you going to push yourself?
“Protect your enthusiasm from the negativity and fear of others. Never decide to do nothing just because you can only do little. Do what you can. You would be surprised at what “little” acts have done for our world.”
― Dr. Steve Maraboli, Author of Unapologetically You: Reflections on Life and the Human Experience
The Heart of the Competitor’s mission is to create amazing and tough-minded individuals to pursue their own personal mission with energy and enjoyment of the journey. Maximum positive energy and relentless enthusiasm is needed to methodically move forward on the journey to fulfill your mission. Your mission will provide countless opportunities and experiences if you are willing to maintain positive energy and relentless enthusiasm.
Positive energy and relentless enthusiasm will allow you to drive past the negativity and fear of those that are stuck on the sidelines unwilling to take a step into the arena. Those that are stuck on the sidelines, waiting to shoot you down and point out each small mistake lack the Heart of the Competitor. Their heart is used to merely pump blood throughout their body, while the Heart of the Competitor is pumping competitive blood throughout your body. The blood that drives your positive energy and relentless enthusiasm to pursue your mission, doing as little or as much as you can to trudge through adversity and ride the wave of prosperity.
Today may be a day that “slow and steady wins the race” or “fast and furious finishes with authority.” Focus on doing what is needed, whether this is a small step or huge leap, either will lead you to moving forward on your journey in your mission to have the Heart of a Competitor.
Question of the Day:
What can you do to visualize the competitive blood pumping energy and enthusiasm throughout your body?