By William Singleton
Lately I have been thinking about athletes that manage to perform at greater levels even as they get “older” (whatever that means). What is the secret, how do you manage to improve when you are at the top of your game? Across the board, when asked they say taking care of their bodies and continuing to work on the game. Athletes that are great at what they do practice all the time and not just before game day. And they practice the basics of the game as well as the nuances of the game and they practice winning. And most practice with a trainer, someone with the knowledge that can guide them through the development and perfection of their skill and mental toughness. Athletes this committed always play to win, even when they know they can. Winning is never a surprise because that is the plan…to win. And as they continue to improve they expect to win.
What does that mean for you? Quite simply, if you want to be successful in whatever you do you have to train, and you have to work on getting better at the basics and in the nuances. Although I have never read the book I am reminded of the title, “What got you here, won’t get you there”. Something different, and I would say better, needs to happen to keep you in “the game” and winning. Here are three things worth considering as you aspire to perform at greater levels. You must take care of your body, (that’s right – if you’re not in good health what good are the great skills and talent you have finely honed). You must get someone to help because we all need help as we strive to get a bit better every day and in every way. You must expect to win and you must celebrate your winning.
Think about what you do while at work and let’s assume for the sake of this article that you love what you do. Have you gotten any better at what you do since you started the job… I would suspect that you have. And your improvement happened through very focused and deliberate effort. No matter what your job there will be parts that come easy while other equally important parts will require more effort to become successful. At some point, you have sought after the advice and counsel of a trusted colleague to help you navigate through a tricky spot. Have you resisted a heavy lunch because you knew you had a busy afternoon and didn’t want to get sluggish, so you went for the salad with grilled chicken over the burger and fries? And you have won. You’ve had great meetings, made great hires and met personal and organizational goals in addition to many other successes.
The trick is to keep doing those things and when you need more (whether for an eating plan that will ensure more focused energy or acquiring additional training, certifications and coaching) seek it out. At some point, winning will get tough again and when it does you want to be able to stare it down and be prepared to win again.