After decades of effort in two challenging, dynamic domains – athletics and game – I’ve learned that success hinges on your psychology as much as it does your talent.
The real difference between those who succeed and those who don’t, lies in their mindset – the psychology of winning.
From my perspective, success is deeply rooted in factors like process, preparation, attitude, and a commitment to the journey.
Technique and skill, while important, are outcomes of a robust psychological foundation.
For example, I firmly believe that by observing a team’s demeanor before, during, and after games, one can discern whether their athletes are destined for victory or defeat – regardless of their talent level.
Famous running coach Percy Cerutty had a great framework for identifying those who had winning mindsets and those who didn’t:
He emphasized that a champion is distinguishable by their focus on the process and a willingness to endure the pain and suffering inherent in training.
Whereas those not destined to be champions were concerned about frivolous things such as the conditions of the mess hall or whether or not they were liked by their fellow runners.
My experiences playing collegiate-level soccer underscore the importance of mindset. When I played on winning teams, each player was so driven by an intrinsic motivation to improve that we all embraced extra training voluntarily.
Our coach’s philosophy of results over excuses set the tone for a culture of excellence, where players understood the concept of commanding success rather than demanding it.
Conversely, I recall experiences with losing teams characterized by a lack of commitment, excuses, and entitlement.
Players thought they deserved playing time instead of having to earn it.
The contrast between demanding playing time and commanding it became evident, with the latter proving to be the path to success.
No matter what domain you’re trying to excel in, real winners get ahead by providing significant value, not by whining or short-cutting their way to new heights.
Whether in sports, business, or game, your focus should be on making yourself indispensable by consistently providing value.
This approach extends to seeking personal growth, embracing challenges, and viewing suffering as a privilege rather than a punishment.
In conclusion, success is not about demanding unearned rewards; it’s about commanding opportunities through unwavering commitment, continuous improvement, and sheer excellence.
At the end of the day life is an exchange of value, and those who understand this philosophy are better positioned to navigate the journey toward success.