How Can We Be More Successful?

Success vs Failure5 Patterns of Successful Performers

In between leaving West Virginia and moving to Hawaii, I was asked to give a talk to a group of students from the Los Angeles chapter of the National Society for Leadership and Success. More specifically, the chapter President requested that I “talk for a bit about what it takes to be successful”. I proceeded to ask her if she wanted me to give a 2 week workshop on “Success”, since that’s how long it would take me just to get through the first chapter of “How To: A FastTrack to the Island of Success”.  After a quick scowl (she didn’t appreciate my humor), I was encouraged to be creative and use my experiences and education to teach the NSLS members about “whatever I thought was important”.

The irony of course, is that there is no bullet train to Successville. Have you ever tried to walk blindfolded across a zipline while balancing 50 porcelain plates on your head? Tough right? Well, true success is even harder than that.  Success is one of those things that is hard to explain, but you know it when you see it.  At least you think you do…

There is no .pdf file or blueprint to speed up our path to success.

You could always Google the word “success” and start there, but let’s be honest, that’s too easy? Truth is, we all define success a little differently, which makes it that much more meaningful when you get there.  I once heard a quote that went something like this: “Nothing in life that’s worth it comes easy”. With respect to success, this is especially true. I believe success is a combination of hard work, networking, being in the right place at the right time, and a bit of luck. Fortunately, I also believe we make our own luck, something I will write about in a future post. In the meantime, back to the original post…

After a few days of going back and forth between a several different topics, I found myself becoming extremely frustrated. Trying to narrow down a few things that could help these students on their journey to success proved to be more challenging than I imagined. I wanted them to leave our talk feeling inspired, motivated, and confident, yet have a clear and realistic understanding that success is impossible to define, extremely complex, yet within their grasp.

In a strange twist of fate, the moment I let the answer come to me, I found what I was looking for (**Another good topic for a future post!).

All of a sudden, it blinded me like a rising sun coming over the horizon: HELLO JESSE! You’re an EXPERT on knowing how OTHER PEOPLE BECOME EXPERTS!!

I study performance excellence- plain and simple. With my training and experience, I have become fluent in the language of success, learned what separates achievers from non-achievers, and incorporated the lessons and behaviors from successful people in my own life so I can be a better sport psychology consultant with my clients.

After this profound realization, I knew just how to make their time worthwhile: I would put together a list of the most common strategies and behaviors that successful people exhibit on a day-to-day basis.

I creatively called this talk: “The Five Patterns of Successful People”. It is based on my work with successful athletes and coaches, some previous research and pleasure reading about success across all walks of life (e.g., sport, business, politics, etc.), and general observations of how successful people separate themselves from the pack.

This list is by no means exhaustive. On the contrary, it is simply five of the hundreds, if not thousands, of the strategies that “successful” people live by. I encourage you to think about what each of these looks like in your life, and think about ways to apply them to your personal and professional lives.

The Five Patterns of Successful People

1) Be comfortable being uncomfortable.

2) Make your own luck.

3) Have a network of support (family/friends) and professional mentors to be successful.

4) Its not what happens to you, it’s how you react to it.

5) Know your WHY and the 3Ps

Passionate: The only way to reach your goals is to do what others are                              NOT WILLING to do; Go above any beyond everyone else.

Purposeful: Find meaning in what you do.

Persistent:  Don’t quit, ever. If and when you do quit, each moment you spend on the sideline is a moment that could have been spent working towards your                          goals.

What do each of these mean to you? How would you apply these to your life to be more successful? Do you agree or disagree with these ideas?

As usual, I’d love to hear your thoughts and feedback and am curious to hear your thoughts about success!

Takeaways

FOR ATHLETES:

Mental Food for Thought

1) How do you define success? How do you measure success? How do you let others’ definition of success affect your performance?

2) Who is the most “successful” person you know? What did they do to become successful?  What can you learn from them that will help you get where you want to go?

Mental Conditioning Exercises

Not counting wins and losses, how do you define success?

Pick one of the five “Patterns of Success” and describe a recent situation where you could have used the strategy on or off the field to more positively impact the situation.

How would things have turned out differently?

How can you apply the strategy to an upcoming situation and how will that contribute to your success?

FOR COACHES

Mental Food for Thought

1) Are you properly defining success for your athletes? Do you purposely define personal success differently for different players on your team? If not, what message does that send and how may that be setting them up for failure?

2) How do you measure your staff’s success? Do you practice what you preach (e.g., show up early and stay late, put in time away from the field or court, challenge yourself to get better on a daily basis)?

Mental Conditioning Exercises

Not counting wins and losses, how do you define success?

Pick one of the five “Patterns of Success” and describe a recent situation where you could have used the strategy on or off the field to more positively impact the situation.

How would things have turned out differently?

How can you apply the strategy to an upcoming situation and how will that contribute to your success?

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