25 May Cultivating The Champion Mindset
Mental Jewels: 5 Principles of The Championship Mindset
I’m a people watcher.
I like to watch people’s behaviors and see where it leads them.
More importantly, I like to watch groups of people and see what it is about the individuals in those groups that either keeps them there or allows them to break from the pack.
One thing I’ve noticed is that as much as people like to think that we are all special, one-of-a-kind snowflakes, the reality is that humans function pretty much the same 95% of the time, and believe it or not that’s actually good news.
Why? Because that means that you and I can look to that 5% who do things a little differently, who excel, who rise to the top, and see what they are doing that is similar. We can see what kind of things that people who are on top do to get and stay there. Or perhaps even more importantly, we can see what the other 95% are doing the same and avoid it like Leonardo Dicaprio avoids shopping for wedding rings.
The bottom line is that most athletes functioning at a high level are all damn strong and damn fast, so it’s essentially a level playing field in that regard. Physical power and strength is only part of the puzzle though, and often times what separates the best from the rest is not their brute strength or their ability, but it’s their mindset and their attitude.
I call these collection of traits the Championship Mindset, and hopefully you can adopt some of these to help take yourself to the next level. Where the mind goes, the body will follow.
The good news for you is that I’ve already put in the leg work. I’ve already logged the hours with binoculars in the bushes, sneaking peeks wherever success left its blinds open, getting glimpses of its oh-so-supple... Well, I think I’m getting off track here. On with the show!
Championship Mindset Number 1: Happy, But Never Satisfied
Champions have a curious trait to them, in that they never really seem all that happy about what they have achieved, at least not for that long. Sure, there is a time for pouring Gatorade on the coach and to announce that you are going to Disneyland... But in reality come Monday morning its back to work, and often times it’s back to MORE work because the last thing a champion wants to do is stagnate.
When a team wins the Superbowl or when a Body Builder wins a show, they might spend a night reveling in the achievements that their hard work has afforded them, and in the later case engaging in an episode of TBA - Total Buffet Annihilation - but they know that this is just the end of chapter in a book that continues to get written the rest of their life. They know that this is just the beginning of another year of back breaking work, harder than the year before it.
The minute a person with the Championship Mindset wins they now begin to wonder what they can do to be even better come next year. A Champion does not want to simply repeat their performance, they want to improve upon it.
While this might seem like an unsatisfying way to go through life, never happy with where you are at, it certainly breeds and fosters achievement. If you are satisfied with where you are at in life, be it with your physique or with your income at work, there is very little incentive to work harder or differently to improve. However, If you continually set the bar one rung higher the desire to succeed will burn bright forever.
Championship Mindset Number 2: Set Lofty Goals
Talking to a Champion is much different than talking to a regular person. You will often hear words that sound like hyperbole, goals that sound unobtainable, and actions that sound impossible. This type of talk is commonplace amongst Champions though.
Where a regular person would talk about getting “in shape” or starting to work out, a Champion talks about getting “shredded to the bone” or doing 2-a-days. Where a regular person talks about getting 3% pay raise, a Champion is looking for ways to triple their income.
A common mindset that Champions have is that they often seem to have their sights set impossibly high. Their goals are not simply one step away from their current level, but often times ten steps away and seem impossible to reach. This is fine though, because Champions realize that lofty goals are achieved one step at a time, and in due time you have already taken nine steps, leaving that tenth step just one more away.
Champions understand that it is beneficial to set your standards incredibly high, because even if you fail to meet them you often end up above where you would have been had they been set half as high. Champions know the value in the old saying “Bite off more than you can chew... And then chew like hell.”
It might be time to reevaluate your goals and your standards. Are yours high enough that they are forcing you to bring your game to the next level? If you are easily hitting all of your milestones, you might want to go back to the drawing board and see if you can’t set your sights even higher than they are now.
Championship Mindset Number 3: What The Lazy Call Obsessed...
… The Champion calls Dedicated. If you were to talk to any high level body builder about their training and their diet, you might be inclined to call the local authorities to have the persons head examined rather than take their advice. Really? Chicken and Green Beans how many times? You did how much cardio?
Most people who have taken their physique to that level no doubt get comments about being obsessed, about it being unhealthy, about how others could do it too... If only they had the time.
There is a video with Mike Tyson where he says he would get up at 4am to do his daily run in the pitch dark and blistering cold, and that the only reason he got up so early to do it was because he believed his opponent wasn’t doing it and that it gave him the edge. Obsessed? Maybe. Or maybe he just knew what it took to win.
This trait is found not only in the physique world but really anywhere success is to be found. Be it in business or in the arts, you can rest assured that the people on top are quite regularly putting in 12-14 hour work days, that’s just the way it is. There is a reason super successful people often have the term “Workaholic” attached to their name.
So, what does this mean for you? Well, take a look at what you want to achieve and evaluate how much time you are spending pursuing that goal. Is it enough? Are you on the path to getting where you want to be? Are you spending time watching TV or on the Internet when you could be working towards your goals?
A life consumed by a single endeavor might not be where most people want to end up, but brief periods of obsession can yield amazing results.
... Stay Tuned Iron Addicts, next week we will bring you part 2 of how to round out your MIND to get the most out of your lifting, and LIFE.