Excellence – Maintaining it

Posted by · November 5, 2010 · Filed in Uncategorized

Great athletes make excellent performances appear easy, but they obviously are not. How can we prepare for excellence in performance? For me, thinking about this question starts with three quotes:
The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.
The past is history, the future is a mystery, but the present is a gift.
Strive for perfection, but never expect it.

The first reminds me that action is required and great gains occur as a result of consistent small improvements. The second reminds me to check my regrets about the past and my worries about the future at the door so that I can give my best effort right now to the task-at-hand. The third clarifies that I have high expectations and I set no limits on my capabilities, but I will not beat myself up for my shortcomings, either. 
There are three levels of mental toughness, according to my mentor, Harvey Dorfman:
1) Want it.
2) Know what to do.
3) Do what you know.

So, first I must find a worthy goal to work towards, and there is no better way to find it than to do whatever I’m doing now to the best of my ability and see if this sparks a passion. If it does: fantastic. It’s now time to think about both long and short-term goals. If it doesn’t, I have still trained myself in mental discipline and received the most benefits possible from that task for myself and those around me.

Obviously, if excellence is to be achieved, action is required. This action must not only include hard work,
but smart work, too. Know what to do (work smart) by asking questions constantly and by paying special attention to the second level in Coach Wooden’s Pyramid of Success: self-control, intentness, initiative, and alertness. Finally, show your mental toughness by
a)  controlling your emotions;
b)  not being denied your goal for any reason;
c)  seeking out new ways to know (figure out) what to do;
d)  doing what you know, the best you can;
e)  paying attention to all the details along the journey; and
f)  by enjoying the ride, even through the inevitable obstacles along the way.
Article provided by Coach Aaron Weintraub.  Visit Coach Weintraub at http://www.CoachTraub.com

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