So…you have life goals you want to accomplish. You’re not there yet, and sometimes it feels like you may never get there? I know the feeling. One of the topics I focus on a LOT with my students and clients is Life as a Champion. To start off this discussion, we first analyze: What would it look like to live life as a champion? To really answer that question, we look at how champions think, strategize, prepare, talk, act, and react. How do champions plan for the future, and how do they conduct themselves on a daily basis? What separates a champion from the status quo? There are many character traits that distinguish a true champion, and we’ll discuss all of that in a later convo, but there is one I want to focus on today: Rebound Time. When something doesn’t go your way, how long is your rebound time? I came across an article several years ago that describes it perfectly:
A true Champion has as many slumps, challenges, and struggles as the average performer. The Champion has deals that fall through, difficult people to deal with, and family problems as well. The difference is the span of time they let it affect them. They understand that their reaction is more important than the situation. If you control your reaction, you have a chance to control the situation. If you don’t control it, you have no chance. The stronger a Champion, the shorter the span of time they let adversity affect performance. A deal falls through and some people take a month to recover, others a week, others a day. The Champion performer lets it affect him for less than an hour. They move on to what they can control.
Jack Canfield teaches an equation, E+R = O. Event + Response = Outcome. You may not be able to control the event, but you can certainly affect the outcome based on how you respond to the event.
Let’s analyze how this could apply to our situation right now. If you’re working toward any type of goal in life or business, there are going to be many things that come up and threaten to derail your success. Whether it’s personal, financial, professional, family, or spiritual goals, what kinds of things could potentially send you into a tailspin?
- An unexpected bad day
- Disappointing news
- Client deal falls through
- Not feeling great physically
- Interacting with other people who are in a bad mood
- Stressful deadlines
- Family expectations
- Family drama
- Over-involvement or over-commitment in too many activities at once
- Unexpected bills
- Someone breaks a commitment, goes back on their word, or otherwise lets you down
- Tragedy strikes
- Old habits and their death grip on your life
- Push of peer pressure and pull of the rat race
Have you ever been blind-sided by any of these challenges? I’ll assume so…on a daily basis. Whenever these arrows of ambush start flying, a champion is armed with protection to minimize their rebound time. Since you are battling mediocrity and old habits, your artillery will be mental. I’d like to suggest a quick mental checklist that will position you to respond like a champion, even when you’re feeling ambushed:
- Stop and think! The moment you start to feel an attack of circumstances, STOP what you’re doing. This will allow you a moment to gather your thoughts and decide on a course of action. It’s the decisions you make in these few precious moments that will mean the difference in victory and defeat as you head into battle. Before you do anything…before you panic, before you react, before you lash out, before you give in, before you shove a bag of chips in your mouth, and before you concede in a moment of weakness…take a step back from the situation. Look around you and honestly assess what’s happening from a big picture perspective. Weigh your options while everything is still in “freeze frame” and choose your course of action based on the answer to these questions: “What is the right thing to do in the situation? Am I making this decision to protect my ego, my feelings, or my future? Is what I’m about to do going to take me closer to my goal or cause more damage? Will I become stronger or perpetuate my mediocrity by selecting this option?” Only after you’ve asked all of those questions to gain a healthy clarity and awareness on the situation, should you take any sort of action.
- Expect a challenge! You must be consciously aware of the fact that battling mediocrity and busting out of the mold of old habits isn’t going to be easy. So, when you feel the resistance, know that you must be headed in the right direction! Your biggest fight will probably be against 1) the defeating thoughts that could cause you to destroy yourself, and 2) the poisonous words of others that might derail a non-champion. Self-discipline will be your strongest ally here, and self-discipline is nothing more than a choice. You can allow the decision to be easy or hard, but it is the intersection of choice that separates the path of victory from the path of defeat.
- Fight back! Once you’ve gathered your senses and overcome the mental and emotional attacks, you are now prepared to fight. The decisions you make at this juncture will empower you to feel like you’re firing a fully-loaded machine gun at your nasty old debilitating habits. You will need this type of machine-gun-consistency for the most effective line of fire as you wage war on mediocrity. I read once that “failure is no match for consistency”, and that is exactly what we’re talking about here.
- Prepare for injuries. During war, you can expect a few battle scars. With appropriate mental preparation as listed above, you will probably only suffer minor injuries along the way…some sore muscles, emotional scrapes, mental nicks, bruised egos, etc. If you ever make the mistake of getting caught in fire without preparation, you will need to return to Step 1 to quickly nurse yourself back to health and get back into battle.
- Track your performance. Much like athletes track their statistics, you will want a track record of your performance. With the proper perspective, you may lose a battle every now and then, but you can still win the war. As you tally all of your individual victories, your confidence, belief, and self-discipline will grow, further strengthening your attack of bulletproof consistency.
These thought processes are available to anyone who wants to manage and minimize their rebound time after they are attacked with an ambushing arrow on the battlefield. Once we commit to play at a champion level, we begin to see things differently. We finally understand the simple but astounding truth that champions just make different daily choices than everyone else. Remember, champions get knocked down too…but they don’t stay down. So, strap on your gear and attack life like a champion…the invitation is yours for the taking.