“He who wants to succeed should learn how to fight, to strive, and to suffer. You can acquire a lot in life, if you are prepared to give up a lot to get it.”
– Bruce Lee, Actor and Philosopher
The Heart of the Competitor understands a key to performing and competing at their peak is the commitment to preparation. The commitment to preparation requires sacrifices. In hearing the word sacrifice, the human mind typically attempts to convince itself that it would prefer the most pleasurable experience. The true trait of a competitor and a champion is to be able to delay the cheap and instant thrill for the expensive long-term investment that is worth much more. Th is is what is occurring during preparation; the competitor is pushing the cheap easy mind-calming experience and choosing the expensive, mind-building preparation that allows for the distinguished experience of goal achievement down the road.
In Bruce Lee’s words above, the competitor must learn “to fight, to strive, and to suffer.” Preparation encompasses each one of these. True preparation forces the competitor to fight off the voices of quitting, telling yourself that you can accomplish a goal, when the first thought in your mind is that you should just quit. Preparation provides a longing and striving to meet a standard of competition that is just beyond your current level of performance. Suffering occurs during preparation as a result of the fighting and striving to push the body and mind as far as it can and then to go further. However, the suffering is replaced with exhilaration upon the accomplishment of that small step forward.
To continually build the Heart of a Competitor, be prepared to make sacrifices that will pay off in tremendous experiences of accomplishment.
QUESTION OF THE Week:
What are you sacrificing today? As a result of this sacrifice, what will you earn in the future?
Sir Walter Raleigh learned the lesson of giving an extra effort. When he was younger, he attended an elite boarding school. He was a competitor and desired to be first in his class. He was consistently second to another student at the school. One night when Raleigh was preparing for bed, he looked across the school and observed that his competitor’s candle was still lit. After a period of time, Raleigh noticed that his competitor spent an extra 15 minutes studying each night. At this point in time, Sir Walter Raleigh committed to studying an extra 20 minutes a night. He did this every night and by the end of the school year, he was the Number one student in his class.
You are competing with yourself every single day to improve and become the best that you can be. The Heart of a Competitor commits to an extra 20 minutes a day to improve their skills. They find a way to make this commitment and be better than they were the day before.
Sir Walter Raleigh had a goal to be the best, so he took it upon himself to focus on what he controlled and commit to doing the little extra. What is it that you will do a little extra of? Will you commit to visualizing for 20 minutes a day? Will you commit to practicing your skills and conditioning for an extra 20 minutes a day? Will you commit to focusing on your schoolwork for an extra 20 minutes a day?
Set a goal. Commit to a plan of daily effort and then add 20 minutes to your plan. The Heart of the Competitor commits this extra time not as a badge of honor, but with the knowledge that greatness requires commitment to do more than the ordinary.
I have committed to getting up between 4:30 AM and 5:00 AM every single day and this has allowed me to continually move forward on completing a book and audio program that is going to impact the lives of thousands of young competitors.
Question of the Day:
What will you commit to doing for an extra 20 minutes?
“Discipline is based on pride, on meticulous attention to details, and on mutual respect and confidence. Discipline must be a habit so ingrained that it is stronger than the excitement of the goal or the fear of failure.”
– Gary Ryan Blair, author and motivational speaker
Why has discipline been described as such a wicked or even, unhealthy part in life?
Discipline is hated and viewed as something to fight because early in our lives discipline comes from outside of us, our parents, our teachers, and even our coaches. Discipline is viewed as a correction to our behavior or an adherence to a set of behaviors or expectations. This pushes the competitor to conform to the norms of others. This is the exact opposite of a true competitor. A true competitor believes in a goal that many would consider far-fetched and unachievable. The Heart of the Competitor matches this belief with a discipline to achieve the goal that maintains a meticulous attention to every detail and execute these details with extreme confidence.
As Mr. Blair writes above, this discipline is so ingrained in the Heart of a Competitor, that it is stronger than the accomplishment of the goal of the fear of failing and not accomplishing the goal. The competitors that achieve their goals maintain the discipline in their lives from within as a result of the pride they have in their life, the masterpiece they are crafting. This discipline and attention to detail borders on extreme. So extreme, when it is described to others it is viewed as different. (Alex Gordon of the Kansas City Royals pre-game routine is so meticulous that he carries a stopwatch around to ensure he is at the same point in his preparation before each game at the same time. Check out mlb.com’s story on his routine from last postseason by clicking here: Alex Gordon’s Routine)
Develop a discipline within the Heart of the Competitor that is so uncommon, so exceptional that others envy and marvel at the ability to maintain such a meticulous attention to detail.
Question of the Day:
So you can be meticulous and establish discipline, what is one detail you will establish as a signature for your daily routine?