Monday, March 28, 2011

What is a "Champion"

We are all captivated by extraordinary success aren't we? I have always wanted to know what makes a champion, and I mean a "champion" in the broadest sense of the word. I see it as a fundamental aspect of the mind, the aspect of advancing anything in life. I do believe that everyone is a potential champion. So we should all be compelled to understand the factors that nurture and amplify extraordinary achievement.
I mean imagine the competitive advantage for those who possess such knowledge. Its ultimately the greatest knowledge and the more we understand our "dormant" potential to be champions, the better.

So championship can be best described as exploration of human achievement. But not achievement limited only to sports, rather human achievement across the board. The entire spectrum.

Of course, sport itself gives insights into the universals of "champions"

If you think about it, athletes might be considered neurotic. Coaches have often made that call. How else can you explain why a person, and without over exaggerating, would drive themselves to physical and in some cases mental collapse? How else can you explain the single-minded dedication of an Olympic Champion?

But the question has to be, is there really any difference between the so-called neurosis of the athlete and that of an artist, a scientist or for any individual who commits themselves to realise a dream? In all cases there is a sacrifice of the pleasures in life as normally appreciated.

What elusive spirit sustains champions through the agonising process necessary to achieve greatness, necessary to realise a dream? Answering this question we will have unlocked one of the mysteries of the mind. We will have discovered the element common to all great achievers. Ultimately I believe that what makes a champion is a champion "Mindset". The champion "mindset", not the skill itself, is the transferable commodity. If you have done something great in one field, you are far more likely to do so in another.

Talent will take you, where character can only sustain you
    (the skill itself)                 (champions mindset)

It is our mindsets that limit our expectations of ourselves and line our boundaries. It is our mindsets that determine whether we have the courage to challenge others and to expand our horizons.

Of course research has been done over the years to give us individuals clues of identifying and nurturing a champion mindset. Champions often have a mind that removes the thought to being only average, not always necessarily better than others, just not like the rest. Research says this quality frequently appears early in life in the form of a independence, rebellion or unconventional tastes. They are often familiar with adversity. They have had to 'fight' to get where they are and they continue to do so at some level, say by ignoring the body's warning signals, by denying themselves normal pleasures, or setting challenges that seem unreachable to the normal individual.

Don't be phased, as research has also proven that "champions" often fail, but the difference is that doesn't discourage them in the long haul for success. They learn how to convert 'upsets into set-ups' for something better.

Abraham Lincoln lost over and over again before stage-managing his sensational election as president

Many of the world's greatest scientists were at best average students. Things just didn't come easily. At the other extreme, child prodigies rarely rise to the top of their profession, and by definition they are the ones who found learning effortless.
Those who learn effortlessly in youth may well be at a disadvantage in tackling seemingly insurmountable problems. Struggling in the early learning process possibly acclimatises us to difficulties as being a matter of course.

Surprisingly, what has also emerged from research is the possible necessity of overcoming adversity as preparation for being a champion, even adversity self created by the individual, say by setting goals beyond reach of which it first appears.

A famous quote from New Zealander Sir Edmund Hillary , the first person to accomplish Mt Everest, in an interview was 'Go for something outrageous...challenge yourself' - create adversity. 'If you know you can do it, don't do it' said Hillary. 'You might as well go to the beach.'

We especially need to anticipate adversity and look at it as both a challenge and a learning experience. But this aspect is more profound than just engaging positive thinking. It is vital to a champion mindset and it requires a important shift in our views and perceptions with adversity.

Before any promotion in life, first you will be will be placed in fire and how you react to the heat and pressure will determine your success.

Champions have the courage to break rules. Obviously its crucial to know the foundations of the discipline, whether it is the mathematical equations or the appropriate routines for athletic training. But champions seem to differentiate themselves from others with equivalent training by having the courage to experiment with the rules and to invent new ways of doing things. Even in sports, it takes courage to break with a conventional training routine

Look at it through someone will all know 'Albert Einstein'. Einstein was not an especially brilliant student. His brilliance emerged later, not when he was learning the rules of physics but when he was questioning the conventional learning's of his discipline.
Again, research has shown that what makes a champion or lets say a high performance athlete like 'David Beckham' is they execute their skill unconsciously. Beckham has kicked upward of million footballs in his life, and the reality is his brain knows how to do this without needing to be told. His actions and decisions are often intuitive and rarely based on conscious logic. Now this is contrast to the process of learning itself, which is logical, and a contrasting struggle. Yet trusting intuition in society these days is condemned. Champions have a adept talent that when under pressure or threat they trust there intuition and don't resort to conservative strategies, never choosing to ignore the boldness that got them to where they are...

If we all can begin to challenge ourselves, never doubt our beliefs and never allow the emotions of success and failure to impact our capacity to learn then we then will start to achieve everything we want in life. Being uncomfortable and facing adversity means we are heading in the right direction, and without a doubt waiting on the other side afterwards is everything we dream for...

"I'm sure there is a champion mindset. I can perhaps describe it as a mindset that blocks out all else apart from the goal or task at hand"

John Eales (Most successful Captain in Australian Rugby History)

Monday, March 14, 2011


We all know the importance of goals. But how to think about our goals no one really knows. The most important thing you can know is:

Dont think of your goals, think from your goals.

What that means is, rather than thinking of your future dream home, think from your dream home. Imagine yourself actually living in that dream home, as if you were already there. What do you see? How does this make you feel this dream home? What are you saying to yourself about this home? Actually experience living there.

Thats the difference between simply thinking of your goal and thinking from it.

Does it work? In the book, Golf My Way, by Jack Nicklaus he revealed he used this technique to become one of the greatest golfers of all time. Before each shot, he created a mental movie of the entire golf shot in his head.

"I never hit a shot, even in practice, without having a very sharp, in-focus picture of it in my head. It's like a colour movie. first I "see" the ball where I want it to finish, nice and white sittiing up high on the bright green grass. Then the scene quickly changes and I "see" the ball going there: its path, trajectory, and shape, even its behaviour on landing. Then there's a sort of fade-out, and the next scene shows me making the kind of swing that will turn the previous images into reality."

Another great example was during the 1984 Olympics an American gymnast Mary Lou Retton stood at the end of the mat preparing for her final vault. The stakes couldn't be higher. She had to get a perfect score. A 10/10, or lose it all. Lose the dream, the gold, team pride, everything. She closed her eyes for a few seconds, then got into position, ran and nailed a perfect 10 off the horse mount to clinch the gold medal for herself and team USA. When asked by reporters afterwards what she was thinking when she closed her eyes before her run, she told them she saw herself doing every motion precisely, flawlessly, and achieving a perfect score.

There are times in life when everything IS on the line. It's either 100% or nothing. TRYing and striving doesn't get you anywhere, only achieving does. That's why it's critical to visualise your goals clearly.

One word you should remove from your vocabulary is the word TRY.  When you TRY to reach a goal, or a higher level of success in any thing in life then you are already capturing a thought in your mind already that you believe that you are below this line that he wish to achieve. Like anything, you must believe you can reach your goal but must never believe you dont deserve it or only capable of TRYing for it. You must believe and act like reaching your goal has already happened and that you deserve it and thats where you should be.

For example

If I was a 65% mark student at school, and I said to myself I want to TRY for 80% then there would be no doubt that I will remain a 65% mark student no matter how much work I put in because my belief is already that all I am only a 65% mark student. You can never better you belief. However if I decide I am a 80% student doing only 65% work and believe I should be a 80% student as this is a realistic goal I want to achieve, then I will find I will begin to find and attract the resources needed to achieve this as this is where I believe i should be.


Goal setting also has a process, its a principle and this is the reason it doesn't fail because principles can't fail...

-First you must Capture a thought, a goal you want to achieve (it must be realistic and attainable)

-You must then Believe it, if you dont believe it, you will accept you can't achieve it or not accept the success of your goal.

-Too believe it, you need to write it down, read it out loud to yourself, self-confess it

-SEE it, picture it already in your mind, what this goal makes you feel like, the colours, the smell, the taste

-And most importantly.....ACT like its already so, or happened! begin to act like you have achieved it already.

Your mind controls everything. This method of vivid visualising, will change your self-image to conform to these new images in your mind and make them become reality......