Writing and completing A Competitor’s Heart has been an exercise in creating a totally unknown path.
This is the great part of inventing our life, we are on a totally new path every single day, and with every single step we take. For many people the new way and the new path create anxiety and they make a decision to fall back to the comfortable and known way. This is why we have so few high performers in our world; we fall back into the comfortable and easy way of life. This is why building your personal Heart of a Competitor is essential to being the person and Competitor you desire. Building your personal Heart of a Competitor is NOT about making radical changes and overhauling what we do, it is about making a small step in the right direction at just the right time. When we live a life that is on the edge, willing to experience this anxiety, our personal Heart of a Competitor is open to these small moments in time where we can take that small step that will eventually lead to an enormous impact.
Another reason many people stop building a Competitor’s Heart is because it is a deeply personal journey that NEVER ends. If you are reading this piece, you believe in the following words: There is NO limit to self-improvement. The continual path of improvement is a road that is traveled by few; however, those that do travel this road live a fulfilling life. They are living on the edge of their capabilities and are inspired by those they connect with on the journey to Competing from the heart.
A Competitor’s Heart is your guide on this journey. This book is your textbook to developing A Competitor’s Heart over 369 Days. The first question people ask is, “Why 369 Days?”
My answer is always the same, “Why stop at 365?” However, it goes deeper than this. This book is made up of 41 concepts we would love to establish with our lives. These concepts include confidence, optimism, quietness and habits. Each of these 41 concepts has nine days/lessons/thoughts associated with them. These nine days are the guide, the PROCESS to self-exploration and establishing your personal Competitor’s Heart.
I enjoy sending out these messages on a weekly basis. It has become a true passion over the last two years to provide the Community of Competitors with a message to ponder each week.
I am writing this week’s message from a Lake House in Mount Gretna, Pennsylvania. It is a Chautauqua based assembly in a rural part of Lebanon County. The Chautauqua movement was based on education and looking inward to grow. The first couple of days here have provided me the opportunity to ponder this question: Are you an imitator or an inventor?
In our society, there is abundance of information sharing, including the sharing of great leadership skills or the secrets of success. (If you have read my past messages, I have shared some of these tips and strategies.) Many people take these pieces and imitate these steps or strategies, while this is not a bad idea; we end up living a life that others have designed for us. This is true in athletics as well, many athletes look to imitate those that compete at the professional level or we imitate those that coach at the professional level.
We must stop looking to imitate others and prepare to INVENT. Inventing our life of a competitor consists of taking all of the information that is available to us and making a conscious determination as to how we will incorporate the advice that is available into our daily life. Invention is lacking because of the amount of information that is available, competitors will blindly follow the new way of doing things. Invention is what has led me to this Community of Competitors newsletter that you are reading. Invention has led me to complete my first book, A Competitor’s Heart: 369 Days of Development. (More news to come on this over the next couple of weeks.)
Invention is there for you in your life. The great thing about invention is that occurs inward and we control invention. Live consciously, in the present moment, and you can invent a life that cannot be imitated.
Over the last two weeks, I have had the opportunity to speak to the competitors at the Adidas Future 500 Soccer ID Camp; the top rated College ID Camp in the USA. The three different camp sessions have included over 1,200 players from around the world. The picture above is of Jed, Gaincarlo, and Gabe with Camp Director, Mark Wagner. These three players traveled from Hong Kong to attend this camp. During the girls session, we met a competitor whose father is in the Marine Corps and is stationed in Germany. She traveled with her mother just to come to this camp. We had competitors at this camp that could speak French, Arabic, Italian, to name a few of the many languages.
The competitors that attended these camps were a diverse group. They were a diverse group based on ethnicity, language, ability, and many other traits. We could learn a lot from those that attended the Adidas Future 500 Camp that could be used in our society today. During one of the most contentious times in the history of the United States, these campers looked past any differences and enjoyed the opportunity to connect and compete at this great event. This is why athletics is an integral part of the development of our young competitors, to come together and look past differences in skin color, nationality, languages, and occupations. Even if this only occurs for a short four days at a soccer camp, we are learning the importance of making connections with other human beings and appreciating life and the endless opportunities it provides.
This is what we can learn from these young competitors, we are all human beings enjoying this life experience. Those with the Heart of a Competitor are called to share these great opportunities in our life, regardless of our differences because when we do, we make connections that open new doors for us. This is what the campers at the Adidas Future 500 Soccer ID Camp were doing, opening new doors for themselves. They opened the door to new friendships to those from around the world, all while opening the door to possible collegiate recruitment.
The challenge for you this week is to open doors. Literally stop and open the door for someone that is different than you, make eye contact with them, and greet them. While you are stepping out and opening this door, you are figuratively connecting with them, creating richness in the human connection. We do not need more friends or followings in a social media world; we need more connections in a human world. Step out of your comfort zone and connect with someone that is different, embrace the diversity that surrounds us.