HABIT, PREPARATION, BELIEF & THE AMAZING INCLINATION TO OVERLOOK THEM
“WE JUST DO THE WELL KNOWN AND MUNDANE THINGS CONSISTENTLY AND AT A HIGHER LEVEL.” — BOB BOWMAN, COACH OF OLYMPIC SWIMMER MICHAEL PHELPS
Timeless yet easily forgotten my friends. I recently wrote on the Olympics, Michael Phelps, and what I believe to be the formula for world class performance for a corporate blog I submit to, so I’ll share some takeaways here. Now keep in mind, I don’t use the word formula with conceit to imply that I myself only perform at this rigid level daily while chuckling, speed reading War and Peace, and twisting my mustache (wink, wink). However, as someone with passion and experience in sales coaching and management, if I had to narrow it down to identify the common denominator, I would certainly start here highlighting habit, preparation, and belief.
“Essentially, you have to train yourself to know what winning really looks like to actually perform well enough to win.”
Habits. Lets put it this way, good ones increase momentum and bad ones … well … suck the whole operation dry. It’s been said to take anywhere from 21 to 66 days to develop them, but at a recent workshop I attended, a speaker said this is largely understated and more likely to be months, rather than days. So whether its visualization or meditation in the morning, don’t take it for granted. Over time, habits really do add up.
“It is clear, being prepared for truly anything offers unshakeable confidence when most would waver in panic.”
How often do you practice? How often do you rehearse? If its hard for you to experience flow within your craft, you may not be preparing enough to essentially let go and let momentum take over. It is easy to think talent and natural skill is the end all and be all, but how many of us know someone insanely talented or intelligent but goes nowhere because they are just flat out lazy? Prepare … and prepare consistently.
“Even though Phelps couldn’t see, he still had vision. He still managed to compete and only focus on one thing — winning. This focus, unfortunately, would mean nothing without being grounded with rock solid belief.”
This is really the hardest one to leverage and tap into because it sounds too good to be true! Just believe man. I could hear you mocking the idea already. But I don’t care. Too often we have concrete belief in the wrong things. We believe every inconsequential hunch and assumption to be true, we believe strongly in group think and the status quo, but as Emerson claims, we fail to insist on ourselves. We fail to blanket our confidence with humility, or with curiosity. And instead, end up with insidious cynicism that specializes in thwarting effort and debilitating risk at every crucial juncture.
The juxtaposition, and way these interplay with each other, is what makes the formula so powerful. A balance is achieved that rests on all out massive action leveraged from freedom of outcome, and the whole thing reinforces extreme self reliance and positive momentum. While not directly related to modern romance, I would challenge you to bring this mindset with you in all areas of your life from health to romance, and watch how the results snowball and align naturally.