When I was a kid, I desperately wanted to learn how to water ski. My family would go to the cottage every year. We would spend all day at the beach with hopes that my uncle would start up the boat so we could all go water skiing. I wasn’t what you would call athletic, I was more the musical type. Standing at the edge of the beach, I would watch cousin after cousin pop out of the water and ski around the lake, making a huge splash upon returning to shore. Everyone on the beach would applaud. Until I tried. Time after frustrating time, I would get half way out of the water, then take a nose dive into the lake, face full of water. Completely humiliated, I would give up after several sad attempts. Trust me when I say that I did not feel like a winner.
I’ve often thought what gives someone that edge; a winning mindset. How are some people just wired to be successful in what they do. Are they born with a natural inclination to do well, do they come out of the womb winners? It can’t be. We are taught how to win. Some of us just catch on sooner than others.
Over the past week I’ve been enjoying the summer olympics. My favourite summer sport takes place in the pool. I guess I have an affinity for water sports. And as one does, I love a good underdog story. Just this morning I woke up to find out that a female Canadian swimmer named Penny Olesiak had just won her fourth olympic medal at sixteen years of age. Unbelievable! But what made it more amazing was that in her final race, she came from a seventh place start to win a gold medal. Absolutely amazing!!
Ok, maybe you are thinking… how does this apply to my life? Well, hold on. I believe that we can take so many great lessons from these amazing athletes and apply them to our own lives. Here are five AMAZING secrets that are going to take you from the back of the line to a winning mindset.
1) See your mistakes as way to grow and learn. When we see our mistakes as truly valuable then we will be able to gauge how we can move forward, and the momentum will propel us closer to where we want to be.
2) Be coachable. A winner doesn’t arrive at their destination all alone. There is a team of coaches and trainers who have been with them the entire way. I may be a little biased here (being a coach and all), but I know that people who are coached are more likely to succeed than the average person. The reason for that is because they are willing to be given feedback. Sit with that for a second.
3) Never give up. If I had known this as a kid I would have fearlessly got up again and tried over and over. Maybe you can relate! Is there something in your life that feels impossible right now? Don’t ever give up! If you have it in your heart then fearlessly (or fearfully) go after it.
4) Develop a strong work ethic. Get up early in the morning. Keep from distractions. Do whatever it takes to hone your craft, and to become the best at what you do.
5) Guard your mind. We can learn a lot from olympians who keep themselves separate from the masses. They do this to keep their minds right. Only allowing their team access to them gives them the upper hand. This is gold!! Imagine the difference in your life when you stop listening to what others have to say about your life, and stay focused on what God says about your life.
I want to leave you with this thought. It took me a long time to realize that standing humiliated on the side of the beach was going to the catalysts to make me winner later in life. It was the journey I was meant to take. No longer do I stand on the side lines watching everyone else. I’m in the game, training to win!!
Get after it!