Michael Phelps earned 6 Gold Medals in 2004, 8 Gold Medals in 2008, and in 2012 earned 4 Gold Medals. So far in Rio, he has earned 5 gold medals. On July 7th, Serena Williams won three major tennis finals in a row and has been ranked as #1 for 300 weeks in a row.
What is their secret? What can we learn from them?
The Science of Achievement
These two athletes have made it to the top in their sport, but that didn’t stop them. Phelps and Williams have both returned to continue competing and winning. These athletes and the many non-athletes that compete, on and off the field have figured it out, deciphered, broke the code and figured out what works.
Part 1: Your Focus
What do you think about? Where is your focus?
The comprehension of our brains and neuroscience has greatly helped us understand success and failure. Successful people, either in sports, business or any area of life are all focusing on what they want, their gold medal.
If you focus on what’s negative, that’s all you’ll notice. Continuing to feed your brain with negativity and what’s not right will bring you down mentally and physically. That translates to poor actions and poor results.
Staying focused on your desired outcome will literally move you closer to what you want more of. Peak performers are focused on their goal, through constant reminding: meditation, visualization, planning or a coach to name a few. They are focused on moving closer and closer to that goal each and every day.
The secret to focus is deciding on what you are after. Your gold medal might be increase sales numbers, improved team performance, quality family time, a new promotion or a healthier body. What ever your goal is, know what it is and stay focused on the target.
Part 2: Your Actions
Successful people have more positive emotions than unsuccessful people. Do you have a can do attitude or a victim mentality? Do you see obstacles as problems or opportunities? These two very different set of emotions will produce very different actions.
Think about the actions and emotions you have when you think something is possible vs this is no use. Your thought precede your actions. Quality actions will result in superior actions. Those actions will move you closer to that goal.
You must mentally prepare to meet that new client, to spend quality time with a loved one, train for the marathon or learn something new. Train your brain to get in the right mindset to be that top performer.
Decide what level you’re play at. There is no shortage of mediocre out there, it’s too common. Take your game to the next level. Your game might be your business, sales numbers, leadership style or parenting. Claim your gold medal each and every day by giving it your all and leaving nothing on the table.