Watching the Olympics really highlights the narrow margin between greatness and near greatness when it comes to sports and life. But for a 1/100th of a second here or an extra step there, the winners and the almosts would be quite different. The message is that the margin of victory is small, but opportunities for success are many.
As I pointed out in one recent post, I really believe we are in a race of one. The world may appoint one person the “winner” and someone else the “loser”; but we really are in a pursuit of own highest potential. Winners and losers are an administrative detail.
Someone who works hard for years towards a goal is not a loser by any measure. They may not be labeled winner or victor, but they are an unqualified success.
There are many, many things that contribute to success. However, they can be broken down into five key ingredients that repeatedly create success.
- Talent – talent in a particular endeavor really is a baseline for success in that field. That’s not to say that you cannot derive satisfaction and happiness from painting even though you’ll never be Monet. You most certainly can! However, if your goal is success in a pursuit, it’s best to start with where your talent lies. Talent can be natural or developed.
- Motivation – all the talent in the world is nowhere without the motivation to develop it and advance it to a superior level. Motivation is a lot about excelling the talent and being willing to do the hard work. It’s also the mental part of the equation. Motivation is all about your thinking.
- Hard work – even in the age of electronic communication, social networking, and global media there is still no substitute for hard work. Success comes to talented, motivated, hard workers.
- A little help from your friends – it’s easy to see how this works in a team sport. A football team cannot win without a quarterback, offensive tackles, linebackers, punters, etc. Really, though, most high-level endeavors in life are a team effort. These Olympians we see winning medals have coaches, massage therapists, sponsors, and others that make it possible for them stand on that platform.
- Luck – there may be five really great sales professionals in a company, but only one is the top. Two great teams meet in The World Series every year, but only one great team becomes world champion. Sometimes you can have other four factors and it comes down to the way a ball bounces. Luck can be the deciding factor between individuals or teams that have done the other four. However, luck is overrated by many people who see all success as luck. It rarely is. Many people give up when luck goes against them. The key is to start right back with the motivation and start the process again. You were not the top sales person this time, but you can be next time. You can lose the Super Bowl by inches, but start again at training camp with the goal to get there again.
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