Saturday, June 4, 2011

Living Life Like a Champion by Heather Bassham Sumlin

I grew up with an Olympic Champion as a Father. As a kid I didn’t realize how rare Olympic Gold was and how few people actually achieve becoming the absolute best in their field. I know what winning looks like and I realize it takes hard work, dedication and motivation to achieve success. But until the last few years I never took the time to appreciate how important my Father’s lessons are to my life. Today, I realize that not only are the lessons relevant to my goals in life but my journey to personal success has been made easier by the teachings my Father raised me to believe.

His lessons are fairly simple and here are three you can implement today:

“Determine a Dream Worth Trading Your Life For” When my Father was in college his grandfather was dying and these are the last words he told my Dad before he passed. “I never did anything a typical man couldn’t have done. I never forced myself to step outside of my comfort zone and try something scary or unknown. I regret that. Determine a dream worth trading your life for, because you are!” Every day we are trading our lives for something. We are heading down a path toward something; make sure it’s something you really care about, something exciting, something worth trading your time and your life to achieve. Make your days on this earth count and matter by stepping outside your comfort zone, forcing yourself to get uncomfortable and daring to live your dreams.

“Giving it 110% is a sure way to lose!” WOW! Everyone I knew outside of my family believed you had to give it 110% to be successful but the Olympic Champion who raised me said otherwise. If you give it all you’ve got and focus on winning or on the outcome only, you are pulled to over-try. The number one reason good performers fail in competition is because they try too hard, it matters too much and they focus on the results not the journey. Try putting more than 100% of the water needed to fit in a glass, it will overflow and you have a mess. Same thing with effort, too much makes a mess!

“Discipline Yourself to Become a Solution-Based Thinker” Looking back on my childhood I realize that we didn’t dwell on problems in our family. My father forced us to focus on what we needed to do differently, not what we did wrong. This method of correction helped to shape my self-image as a young child and truly created a positive outlook on life. My daily goals became attainable because I was focusing on how to make things happen and not what went wrong. I never heard my parents argue about why things couldn’t happen or discuss their misfortune. I only heard talk about how they were going to make it possible. We were encouraged to dream, to find solutions to our problems and to think outside the typical box everyone else was dwelling in.

I live in the same world as everyone else. I know times are tough and people are struggling. I realize that life is not all roses and rainbows but growing up I was told that there is nothing realistic about winning an Olympic Gold Medal. Life is not about being realistic or ordinary. Life is about taking the time to step outside of the ordinary and striving each day to do something new, become a better you and live your passion. So determine your dream, give it just enough effort to make it possible and focus on solutions when the problems head your way. Live the life of a Champion because although your dreams may not be Gold, they are worth striving to achieve.

Heather Sumlin is a Mental Coach and Director of Performance Programs for Mental Management Systems. Mental Management was founded in 1977 by Olympic Champion, Lanny Bassham. We teach athletes, business professionals and stage performers how to gain a mental edge in competition.

Twitter @HeatherSumlin

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Justin said...

Very inspiring. Loved all three points you wrote about. Very easy to read, and very motivational. Thanks for sharing!!!

-Justin Klemballa, PGA
Jim McLean Golf Instructor

Anonymous said...

Heartiest congratulations...I feel lucky to come across your article.
thank you for sharing.

Bob L. said...

Thanks for your thoughts...they are all very useful. Trying too hard, where we let our conscious brain over ride our subconscious, reflexive one, has always been one of my problems. My parents always taught me to "Try harder" is hard to get that out of your mind. I found the book "Zen and the Art of Archery" to be very useful in overcoming that.

And you mention that times are tough for positive on that condition is that we are now being given an opportunity to let go of more material things and material conquests and develop more along spiritual one gets to take their Porsche with them when they depart this earth.