Saturday, 3 October 2015
Currently I am a nobody in the grand scheme of things. I have yet to do anything outstanding. I have yet to make any changes that will influence people's lives for the better and I have yet to make my mark on the world. The person writing this is well aware that what follows has no standing to you dear reader, because its sauce is unknown, and its contents founded on limited experience. But I write for me as much as - if not more than - I write for you.
Champions speak a language that is alien to most. They do not only speak it externally to those around them, but they speak it internally also. The word 'mindset' should not be used. Rather, what I refer to is a way of approaching life that is unique. Unique is the right word to use because each champion was forged in different fires and has walked a different path. Although they are all different from each other, what they share is that they all differ from the masses in the same areas. Champions are unique; and have that in common.
While some settle for stability and safety, the champion climbs higher. He sets his intent on a goal and moves toward it step by step.
While most are short sighted in their approach to life, a champion plays the long game. Some work towards the weekend where they can enjoy a concentrated burst of happiness. But the champion has a fundamental understanding that time is extremely scarce.
So at every opportunity, he must take another step, however miniscule, in the direction of his goal.
Champions do not have 'dreams'. What champions have instead is a 'goal'. The difference is massive. In calling something your 'dream' you accept its impossibility. But in calling something a 'goal', you approach life with an inevitability that baffles others.
Champions are courageous. As discussed a while ago in my 'Fearless?' post, courage does not exist in the absence of fear. It exists because of fear. Champions demonstrate courage in planning their goals and even confessing them to others. I say 'confess' because it feels crazy, like a crime or a taboo subject to say to someone, I think I can do this. Here is what I'm going to try and do.
The first time you do this, you feel silly and vulnerable. But as more and more people ask you what you do and why, you feel a deeper sense of pride and purpose. A lot of those feelings are antagonistic; born of a desire to prove naysayers wrong.
I don't feel that. I feel impatient when I encounter naysayers. I've heard their attempts to drag me down so many times that now I avoid the subject of what I do and where I am going whenever possible.
It's not just naysayers that a champion avoids though. He finds people who have surrendered dangerous. Because he knows that they are content; and probably had goals or perhaps dreams or even a plan at one stage. Now they are a shadow of what they could have been. Always talking about what they used to be able to do and what they could have done. And when he finds himself in such a person's company he has a horrific vision of himself going down the exact same path of settle, surrender, stability, security, safety.
In the right company however, discussing where you intend to go and how you are willing to get there fans the flames of your dedication. It just takes some courage to start the conversation.
Champions appear arrogant and cocky to others. By the time their goals and plans are solidified and they have thought deeply and seriously about what they are going to try and accomplish, a champion in the making will seem so very sure of himself in the presence of others.
The reason for this is that they are trying to convince themselves as much as others that they are capable of such things.
For me, beneath a shell of very real confidence earned over years of hard work bubbles a seething pit of mixed up emotions. Akin to the mood swings of adolescent females, I will feel one day like my success is completely inevitable; only to wake up the next day to fear, doubt, loneliness and insecurity.
But as well as all this champions have perspective. Why can't some people realise that they are going to die. And why are people so afraid of death?
(I felt you cringe through the internet as this post took a turn to the deeper side. But we'll save that rabbit hole for another post;)
I think most champions have an understanding of a very simple concept.
I am going to die.
If I don't try to do something outstanding, I'm still going to die.
If I try and do something outstanding I might do something good before I die.
Facing up to one's mortality reduces the fear of failure. It gives you a boldness that people who cower in comfort and pleasure will only 'dream' of because they couldn't see past the weekend.
So this language of champions is born of many things, only a small number discussed in this post.
Namely; acceptance of mortality; goals and plans in the place of dreams; confidence built by hard work but quelled by emotions; and a separation from people who are willing to settle for less than they are capable of.
Ever experience any of the aforementioned feelings? What's stopping you from achieving your goal? Probably a million things correct?
Well those million things are just steps to take, you know what you have to do, reader. Now stop scrolling through facebook for 5 minutes and scare yourself with your greatest ambition.