It’s been my experience that as summer comes to an end, people start to lose focus and start to forget the reasons behind all the hard work put in over the summer months. They start to lose their motivation, their dedication, and the ability to sacrifice the small things that now don’t seem so small. It’s all too easy to wake up and see the darkening skies, hear the rain on your windows, feel the cold wind rattle your walls and tell yourself that “one more day won’t matter”. One day will become two, and then two become three, and before long, the weeks will roll by and the time and energy spent on getting you where you are today will have been lost. The fact is, now should be seen as the opportunity to start something new; something fresh. You should see the end of summer as a reason to begin a new chapter in your life, which will bring with it a sense of a new beginning; a new energy; a new outlook. So, what if all that you set out to do 2, 3, 4 months ago never came to fruition? Now is the time to right the wagon, steady the ship.
There’s a saying – “There’s no time like the present,” and it’s entirely true. Don’t worry about the things you can’t c ontrol; focus on what you can. What you can control is what you do right here, right now.
I was listening to a speech the other day and there was a point that made me sit up and think – you need to ask yourself, “who do I want to be?” Not what, but who. This point really hit home and it started me thinking about just how important that question is, because it’s not about what your husband or wife, boyfriend or girlfriend, mother or father, teacher or trainer, want you to be. It’s about figuring out just exactly who you want to be and what will make you happy, no matter how crazy it may sound to other people. Once you’ve answered that question you can begin to formulate a plan to make it a reality. Of course I tend to focus on the health and fitness aspects of the “who” because that’s who I am, it’s part of my job but it obviously deals with so much more than just physical health. It’s about defining who you want to be spiritually, financially, socially. Ultimately it’s about determining who you want to be in life and the legacy you’ll leave behind when it’s all said and done. Take this opportunity to make the sacrifice to get where you want to go. There’s a quote that I love which reads, “Your own desire to succeed is more important than any one thing”. Think about that for a moment…
What do I always preach? Mindset, mindset, mindset. I strive to live by this, because in keeping with that attitude and applying it to all that I do I know that come what may, it won’t be for a lack of trying.
Your own desire to succeed – it’s a powerful thing.
Now that I have you thinking about a fresh start and new goals, I want you to also start thinking about success, and what it takes to be successful. Success is defined a million different ways by a million different people. That is to say, what might be considered successful by one person may not be considered that way by another. So, before you can focus on how to become a success, you must first frame what your definition of success is, and how it relates to your goal(s). Perhaps you want to run a personal best in the 5K, finish an Ironman, or lose 20 lbs, start a new business, win a state championship, or become a better parent. Whatever your goal is, you must have a point at which you will be satisfied. A point at which you will be happy to have accomplished something. Once you have that “place” in mind, you’ll have a target at which to aim; and trust me when I say that having a target to hit is easier than not having a target at all!
Now that you have a goal, how do you get there? What makes someone successful? Why do some people reach the proverbial mountain top and others fall short? For starters, I find that people are too nonchalant about the things they set out to do. They throw out goals like rice at a wedding, not really taking the time to think through the finer points. Others spend a great deal of time thinking about their goals but then never really commit to them. Others simply look at someone who has already achieved a great deal and say, “ohhh, they’re just lucky,” or “right time, right place.” Well that’s all nonsense! There are very distinct characteristics that are found in just about all successful people. Take a moment to think about the people you’ve met in your life that you’ve thought were successful, or that you’ve aspired to be like because they’ve achieved so much. I can assure you, if we questioned them about their attitudes, behavior, and their friends and surroundings, you would find a lot of similarities.
Now, I’m the ripe old age of 37 so I’m not going to suggest that I have all the answers but I’ve been around enough, seen enough, heard enough, and been lucky enough to have had some experience with success. Here are a few suggestions I have picked up along the way that, in my humble opinion, will allow you to be successful in whatever you set out to accomplish:
- Trust yourself. No one knows more about you, or what you’re capable of doing than yourself. Trust in your ability even if all those around you don’t.
- Don’t be afraid to fail. You won’t always accomplish what you set out to do the first time but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try. If you don’t try, you’ll never know whether you’re capable of anything at all! A quote I often read to myself says, “I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed” (Michael Jordan).
- Don’t listen to the negatives. Even loved ones will often throw in a negative, “I don’t think that’s a good idea.” Forget them! If the ultimate outcome is going to make you happy then do it with as much passion and conviction as you can.
- Never shy away from hard work. Nothing worth achieving is accomplished without having gone through physically and mentally exhausting effort. Another one of my favorite quotes says, “The dictionary is the only place where success comes before work,” (Vincent Lombardi). Never has there been a truer statement.
- Finally…Surround yourself with good people. Make sure the people closest to you inspire you, challenge you, support you, and help elevate you.
Hopefully some of what I’ve said strikes a nerve. I don’t want to see any of you in a state of languor or discouragement.
Chris Weiss is a National Academy of Sports Medicine certified Personal Trainer. He is also currently working towards his Performance Enhancement Specialist (PES) qualification which will allow him to work with athletes of all levels to help increase their performance. As the son of a successful marathon trainer, Chris has spent his entire life in the world of sports competing at high levels in Rugby, Squash, Soccer and Basketball. At the age of 18 he ran the successful American Basketball School in England and continued later as a shooting coach at the Blue Hen Basketball summer camps. His passion for sports and training has left him with the attitude that you must have an utter commitment to the task at hand.