The Olympics are on right now and Michael Phelps is dominating the men’s swimming. One competitor was asked about his Olympic bid and he said “I’m swimming for silver.” His commit did not make his name stick in my memory, but I can tell you that he did not get gold.
It wasn’t because of his opposition that the swimmer missed getting his Olympic gold. He had already given up on the idea of winning that gold. He chose to swim for second place and so gold was no longer in his reach.
In 1988, Mark Lenzi was a virtual unknown in the diving community. He had only been diving for a few years (after switching from the sport of wrestling) and no one had high hopes for America since “the greatest diver in the world,” Greg Louganis, was not competing. But Lenzi did not hear them or refused to listen. He was expecting to get gold and get gold he did! He completed some of the most difficult dives ever in competition and scored the highest of any United States competition to date (including Louganis).
You may not be a sports buff or an Olympics fan, but the point is the mindset of the two competitors. One was determined to win and did what he had to do to take home that gold. The other was willing to take home second place.
The last few months I have been a second place expecter. I haven’t been pushing myself or even trying as hard as I know I can try. It’s not the best example for those around me. Two weeks ago I started working harder (and focusing more) so that the people around me could see my example. But that’s not reason enough to do what I need to do every day.
The quest for the goal has to be something that comes from deep inside. It starts with my thoughts. There are dozens of books out there that talk about having a positive mental attitude but living that positive attitude is not always as easy. You have to be able to go inside yourself, forget about the circumstances, and aim for the gold.
1. Make a list of goals that you want to accomplish in the next month, the year and the next five years.
2. Write out statements that focus on the goals: I AM the winner of the gold medal.
3. Create steps to reach these goals (Michael Phelps trains IN THE POOL for five hours EVERY DAY). Be realistic about the objectives but also be willing to push.
4. Get up every morning and read your goals – out loud and in the mirror – picture yourself accomplishing each of these goals. Create the image of success in your mind. When ever circumstances (or people) try to push down the desire then you have the images to bring your focus back.
5. Get going! Reach each day for your goals by putting in the time and the effort to do all that your heart desires.
It is possible to think yourself to success, but you do have to put action behind your dreams.