Let’s have a trip down the memory lane… Back in 2006, our eyes were glued to the TV because Ariana Berlin was walking the bar. I am not from California, so all I knew about this gymnast was that she almost died in a car accident back in 2001. She was only 14 then.
Her leg has a titanium rod implant. But still her core was strong. She maneuvered for a cartwheel and landed perfectly. Each move was calculated, streamlined, simple, but we were in awe. Why?
Because more than the pristine moves, people saw her pain and her drive to overcome her injury. We saw someone not just physically strong, but mentally driven to achieving a single, solid goal.
Real athletes are like that. It takes more than just braun for them to run a course. There are principles we can learn from them, and they are the perfect ways to succeed at life.
The reality is only a small fraction of the human race can actually succeed at being athletes. Everybody knows this so a lot of people shy away from their dreams. They would go for goals that they are naturally inclined to achieve. That sort of safe thinking, however, does not make athletes. Athletes keep on striving to train their bodies so they can reach their full potential.
It is the same with your own dreams in life. One of the best ways to succeed is to beat the odds with hard work. Don’t let the figures and guesswork of other people cripple you. When you want something, you need to defy other people’s perceptions and just go for it, head on. It’s not up to them. It’s up to you.
Go for broke.
Athletes need to give it their all in every game or competition they take part in. Half-baked efforts do not make you win the game for one simple reason: your competitors will always put in more effort.
There is such a thing as a “fake hustle”, in sports and in life. If you are an athlete, your coach will call you out on this.
If you are in another profession, you will recognize the sign of a fake hustle when you are too comfortable in your spot. Discomfort is a sign that you are still growing in your career. If you do not feel discomfort anymore, maybe you are not giving it your all.
Manage and beat your fears.
When we talk of “ways to succeed” in anything, one common hurdle is fear. Just when you are about to win the last lap in swimming, for example, you fear a muscle cramp, miscalculate your stroke and breathing tempo, and suddenly, you’re off your momentum.
Anna Berlin, for a time, feared she will not be able to do gymnastics again. She feared the pain. She feared her muscle loss and the rod in her leg. She feared the delay in her training, but eventually, she got over it. It helped that she had an athlete’s body and recovered faster than a regular individual, but the fear during her recovery still held her back.
It was a long and hard psychological fight. But she managed because she recognized her biggest hurdle was her fear. She took it by the horns and slowly tamed it.
Don’t have regrets.
Athletes lose all the time. Not everyone can win, and sometimes it only takes a single wrong move while you’re playing to lose to your competitors. However, if you continue to blame yourself for a mistake which caused your team to lose, you will not be able to bounce back on the next game. The most successful athletes have short term memory. They know the risks of their move but they do not let the fear of risk overwhelm them.
Neither should you.
Understand your losses.
They say losses are not actually losses but a learning opportunity. The best athletes do not sulk after a loss. Sure, they feel bad about not winning, but after a while, they go back to it to examine what they did wrong.
You should treat your losses in the same manner. Introspection is one of the best ways to succeed.
Athletes strive hard even if they are performing well already. Complacency is the enemy.
If you want to succeed at life, you can’t be content with the status quo. If you want to be successful, you need to be a better version of yourself right now.
Ready to unleash the high-level athlete in you?
*Featured image modified from Pexels.com