In addition to speaking to a lot of businesses, hospitals and schools I also get to work with a lot of college and professional sports teams. Working with the best of the best, I've learned what the best do better that everyone else. These principles are for anyone who wants to strive for greatness and be their best. Whether you play sports or the piano, work with a computer or a scalpel there is a formula for success and a pattern of greatness; and it’s available to anyone who is willing to commit to becoming the best they can be.
1. The best know what they truly want. At some point in their lives, the best have a “Aha!” moment when their vision becomes clear. Suddenly they realize what they really, truly want to achieve. They find their passion. When that happens they are ready to pay the price that greatness requires.
2. The best want it more. We all want to be great. But the best of the best are willing to do what it takes to be great. The best don’t just think about their desire for greatness; they act on it. They work hard and do the things that others won’t do, and they spend more time doing it.
3. The best are always striving to get better. They are always looking for ways to learn, apply, improve, and grow. They stay humble and hungry and are lifelong learners.
4. The best do ordinary things better than everyone else. For all their greatness, the best aren’t that much better than everyone else. They are simply a little better at a lot of things. They work hard to master the fundamentals. They don’t do anything different. They just do the ordinary things better.
5. The best zoom focus. The best focus on what matters most and tune out distractions. Distractions are the enemy of greatness and the best don't let distractions get in the way of their growth and improvement.
6. The best are mentally stronger. Life is not a sprint or a marathon. It’s a series of sprints combined with a boxing match. You’re not just running; you are getting hit along the way. The best are able to overcome adversity and challenges. with mental and emotional toughness.
7. The best overcome their fear. Everyone has fears. The best of the best all have fear, but they overcome it. To beat your enemy, you must know your enemy. Average people shy away from their fears. They either ignore them or hide from them. However, the best seek them out and face them with the intent of conquering them.
8. The best seize the moment. When the best are in the middle of their performance, they are not thinking “What if I win?” or “What if I lose?” They are not thinking “What if I make a mistake or miss the shot?” They are not interested in what the moment produces but are concerned only with what they produce in the moment. The best define the moment rather than letting the moment define them.
9. The best tap into a power greater than themselves. The best are conductors, not resistors. When the best look back on their life and accomplishments they know they didn't accomplish it alone. They know a higher and greater power guided and fueled them on their journey.
10. The best leave a legacy. The best live and work with a bigger purpose. They leave a legacy by making their lives about more than them.
11. The best make everyone around them better. They do this through their own pursuit of excellence and in the excellence they inspire in others. One person in pursuit of excellence raises the standards of everyone around them. And as they strive for greatness they bring out the greatness in others.