What it takes to win
Who won the 100m at the 2016 Olympics?
Who won the 100m at the 2012 Olympics?
Who won the 100m at the 2008 Olympics?
The majority of us would be able to answer the above questions correctly: Usain Bolt. But what if you were asked who came second in the above three events?
I didn’t have a clue who came second in any of them, and most of us wouldn’t have known either – the reason why – second place is hardly ever remembered. Anything short of winning and being the best is hardly ever remembered.
Growing up, it would never matter how good of a game I would have, playing football. To my dad, there was always something more I could have done – a way to have brought more value to the team. It’s a mentality I’ve since taken into my career – the pursuit of greatness is whatever it is you do.
The reason most people tend to not strive for greatness or to achieve something of significance is because it goes against human nature. Humans are designed to survive, not to be the best, and so chasing greatness goes against the way we are wired. Hence it is so important that in the pursuit of any meaningful goal, that you start with a goal and a vision (something that you want to achieve), followed by a commitment to that goal.
Anything of worth in life starts with a commitment. Making a commitment to something will ensure you continue to put in the correct levels of action to achieve the goal. If we are not committed to our vision, it means were are merely interested in the idea of it. When you are interested in something (the gym, building a business, quitting smoking) you do it when it is convenient. When you are committed, you do it regardless.
This is where discipline comes in to play. Discipline is doing the right thing, at the right time, all the time. It is about being consistent in performance. Success is not continuous. Just because we’ve had some success, does not mean that will continue. Success is momentary and requires disciplined performance. It means acting not based on our feelings in the moment, but taking action that will get us closer to the end goal, regardless of how we currently feel.
As Martin Luther King said, if you plan on being a street sweeper then you had better be the best street sweeper there is. You’d better sweep those streets like Michelangelo painted the Sistine Chapel – just how Shakespeare wrote literature. Being the best means achieving maximum results, and that requires maximum effort. Nothing else will cut it.
One last point to consider:
“The way you do anything is the way you do everything, so make anything and everything count.”