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Turning Lemons into Lemonade

“One of the major keys to success is to keep moving forward on the journey, making the best of the detours and interruptions, turning adversity into advantage.”

– John C. Maxwell, Author and Leadership Expert

Successful people, groups, and teams move forward, continually focusing on what can be done better. On the journey, the Heart of the Competitor is reminded that within every challenge is an opportunity and it is the job of the Heart of a Competitor to find this opportunity.

In today’s quote, noted author John Maxwell has termed this, turning adversity into an advantage. Mentally tough individuals are prepared to turn the adversity they have faced into an advantage. This advantage may be the mental toughness that is developed from the experience or a lesson learned from a situation that is now applied to be successful in the next game, presentation, or sales pitch. The experiences for the Heart of the Competitor are now the advantage for the Heart of the Competitor.

On the journey to developing the Heart of a Competitor there will be successes and there will be failures. The successes that have been and will be experienced are enjoyable and create great memories, however, the failures and adversity that we experience are the greatest teachers and lead the Heart of a Competitor to the greatest successes.

This perspective on adversity is essential to being able to move forward on the journey to developing and continually building your Heart of a Competitor. Keeping in mind the following quote from author, Robert Updegraff, “Happiness is to be found along the way, not at the end of the road, for then the journey is over and it is too late.” Continue your journey to the Heart of a Competitor.

Question of the Day: 

How have you turned the adversity you have experienced into an advantage?

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Built for Excellence

“To me, defeat in anything is merely temporary, and its punishment is but an urge for me to greater effort to achieve my goal. Defeat simply tells me that something is wrong in my doing; it is a path leading to success and truth.”

– Bruce Lee, Author, Philosopher, and Actor

Having the Heart of the Competitor means you are called to view competition and defeat differently than society would push upon us. Society and even the quote from Bruce Lee above pushes our thoughts toward defeat as losing against an external opponent. The competition is not against the external opponent; the competition is with yourself and the obstacles the external opponent presents. The Heart of the Competitor desires to compete with the best opponents they can because of the increased challenges and obstacles these opponents represent. As a result of being pushed to these increased obstacles, the Heart of the Competitor finds out more about themselves and their skills.

The goal of competition is to learn about ourselves, our skills, and areas we are strong in, and ways we can improve. We are limitless, we were born into this world without limits and as we grow and develop, we begin to place limits on ourselves. The Heart of the Competitor unlearns these limits. The Heart of the Competitor pushes the limits they have placed upon themselves over time and breaks through to accomplish great things.

If we are “defeated” or we lose an external competition, review the competition and the obstacles that were presented during this competition. What obstacles or skills held you back? What strengths can you use to overcome these obstacles? Utilize the learning gained from this competition to push forward and leap over the hurdles that you have placed in your life.

Question of the Day:

What is one “hurdle” or limit you have placed in your life? How are you going to leap over this hurdle?

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Effort is Essential to Excellence

“It is impossible to attain perfection, but that should be the goal.  Less than 100 percent of your effort in every respect toward attaining your objective is not success, regardless of individual honors received or the number of games won or lost.” 

– John Wooden, Hall of Fame College Basketball Coach

Even though perfection is unattainable, Coach Wooden references maintaining 100% of our effort to achieving perfection in everything the competitor does.  Maintaining the goal of perfection forces our focus on the ability to continually develop and push our self toward our goals and perform at our best, knowing that each competition is a checkpoint in our progress to observe our development.  The competition should in no way have the feeling as a need to prove what our skills are.  If we take on the mindset of needing to prove how good we are, this is a recipe for second-guessing and NOT feeling skilled enough to belong, the epitome of the Fixed Mindset.  The Growth Mindset values the effort, understanding that effort is the path to improvement, and eventually achievement.  (For more on the Growth vs. Fixed Mindset, check out the book Mindset by Carol Dweck.)

The effort to be successful permeates through every opportunity to improve.  The effort to improve your physical skills in every opportunity, combined with the effort to improve your mental skills every single day, with an intense effort to maintain and improve your emotional well being.  This is perfection as a competitor; this is the establishment of the Heart of a Competitor.

Developing a team to have the Heart of a Competitor is also essential and the effort to dominate every possible aspect of the game is the goal.  This is the focus of Coach Wooden’s quote, 100% of your effort in every aspect of the game.  For his basketball teams, there was an attention to detail offensively, defensively, and every aspect of preparation.  The expectation was that you would provide 100% effort in each of these phases.  The Heart of the Competitor maintains this focus and commits to 100% effort because they understand the difference and the impact that last 1% has on achieving greatness.

Question of the Day:

How have you chosen to provide 100% effort to your physical, mental, and emotional skills?