HOW CHAMPIONS THINK, BY DR. BOB ROTELLA
In Sports and in Life
What are your DREAMS and GOALS? Do you want to live an “ok” life, with safety and security or do you want to be truly exceptional at something? Or even, do you want to be the GREATEST at something?
This week we have an extraordinary book by Dr Bob Rotella, “How Champions think”. This is one of my favorite books on personal excellence and mental training.
Dr Bob Rotella is one of the world´s leading sport psychologist. He has a fascinating job; helping people who want to be truly exceptional.
This is the complete success guide for champions and exceptional people, as he calls them. I like his description; EXCEPTIONAL PEOPLE.
The reality is there are NO GUARANTEES in life. There are many people who work hard and don’t achieve much. (by the way, how do you define working hard?) You need the complete enchilada, not just the tacos.
Sometimes life can seem unfair, there is no trophy for the hardest worker, no prize for the most dedicated person. There is no guarantee that you will invest long hours and become a champion.
So, why would you try, or even commit to becoming exceptional, if there are no guarantees? Most people don´t. They live safe lives well in their comfort zone without much risk, achievement or excitement (as Zig Ziglar used to say, “Lives of quiet desperation”)
By definition, extraordinary achievement doesn’t happen in your comfort zone. If you singing the same song for the next 20 years in the exact same way, you are comfortable signing it, but you are not improving your singing. You are practicing “average” singing.
If you want to be exceptional you cannot settle for safety, security or just being “good enough”. Exceptional people are ALWAYS pushing the envelope, always working on improving themselves. They are always doing what they can´t do, on the edge of what’s possible. Always trying to make it better.
Safety zone is a very DANGEROUS place to be. Your comfort zone can become very uncomfortable.
Exceptional people have a different attitude towards their life. They seek to be excellent, exceptional, extraordinary. Working hard is the minimum standard for them. They have a larger vision. Something bigger than themselves.
The odds of you wining big in life are small. The probabilities of you becoming world champion in sports, creating a billion-dollar startup, or becoming a famous rock star are very small. However, exceptional people don’t care about their probabilities. They go for it anyway.
Exceptional people believe is their JOB to develop their God given talents to the HIGHEST degree possible. It doesn’t matter what those talents are.
Exceptional people believe the EFFORT IS MORE IMPORTANT than the result.
The process is more important than the outcome. They have the highest standards on personal effort and dedication.
Exceptional people don’t look at the scoreboard. They have their own internal scoreboard and standards.
Exceptional people have a deep desire to help others. This is one of their main traits. They understand the importance of giving something back and the personal satisfaction that comes from that.
A good personal philosophy includes humility. Exceptional people don’t believe they are more entitle than anyone else. They don’t feel bigger or more important than anyone else. If they are entitled is because WHAT THEY HAVE DONE, not simply who they are.
You can lose to a superior team or competitor. This can happen anytime. But if have given your VERY BEST EFFORT you will be proud and feel like you have won. It´s EFFORT that matters. It´s COMMITMENT TO PERSONAL EXCELLENCE that will separate you from others and make you exceptional.
LUCK CAN AFFECT OUTCOMES BUT NEVER EFFORT. You have total control over your effort. It´s your commitment to giving your best effort that will create luck and breakthroughs.
Exceptional people believe that the journey is more important than the destination, and the effort more important than the outcome. They redefine success in their own terms.
They are exceptionally patient with their improvement process. Just because their results are not immediate, they don’t give up. They are committed to see how good they can become. They persist, they wait. They can´t predict when their efforts will bear fruits. But they know, one day they will.
It is the DAILY PROCESS of becoming a champion what is really satisfying. A TRUE champion takes satisfaction from the Effort he PRODUCES every day, and gets enormous pleasure from it.
A true Champion gets a chance to see how good he can become at something he loves doing. He hates being in the middle, or one more.
Exceptional people have great dreams, and desires. They are obsessed of DOING GREAT THINGS. They dream of great performances. A true champion doesn’t place limits on himself in any way, shape or form.
Everywhere you hear thigs like, “that´s impossible, there is no way that can be done, that´s unrealistic”.
Exceptional people refuse to place limits on themselves. They refuse to believe they can´t do something, regardless what others might think or do. They deeply believe in themselves and their chances. When a person tells you to be “realistic”, they are PUTTING LIMITS ON THEMSELVES right from the start.
Champions go out and create their own reality. Being and living what most people think is realistic is only A WAY OF JUSTIFYING negative thinking and an “average” mindset.
Champions see themselves being champions long before they are. They “act” as champions all the way through. They are a little delusional about HOW GREAT THEY CAN BE, but they work really hard on their craft.
If you are “stuck” in a job is because, in a way, you have decided to “be stuck” in that job, or that relationship. You don’t get stuck without your permission. Champions do whatever it takes to change, to improve and to fulfill their dreams.
They find a way to create breakthroughs no matter what obstacles they have to overcome.
There is no problem wanting to be the best at something, giving your best effort and falling short. There is HONOR IN THAT. There is no failure there. The biggest pain comes from knowing you could, and had to do something, and you didn’t take the chance, or worse, you quitted.
The biggest pain comes from knowing you didn’t live up to your potential.
Champions are very atypical these days. Exceptional is becoming a scare resource. It takes too much effort, too big of a commitment.
The BIGGEST TROPHY you can receive in this life is the satisfaction and peace of mind KNOWING that gave your all, you made your best effort to become the best you can possibly become, that you squeezed every minute of your life, knowing that you expanded and maximized your potential while helping others along the way.
When you live like this, on your last day, you will look back and think HOW LUCKY you were to have lived the life you did. This is how champions live.
MY FAVORITE BOOKS ON MENTAL TRAINING AND MENTAL TOUGHNESS:
If you are looking for other exceptional books on mental training as well as mental toughness here are my favorites, the ones I have personally read:
Download Now my TotalSuccess App, Your Daily Medicine against being “average”, for my most important ideas about these exceptional books. This app will help you develop the ultimate vision for your life and steps to get there.
- How Champions think by Dr Bob Rotella
- The Champion´s Mind, by Jim Afremov
- With winning in Mind, by Lanny Bassham
- Chasing Excellence, by Ben Bergeron
- Mind Gym, by Gary Mack
- Tom Coughlin, by him
- No Limits, by Michael Phelps
- Relentless by Tim Grover
- Unbeatable Mind, by Mark Divine
- 10-Minute Toughness, by Jason Selk.
- Get the Life You Want, by Richard Bandler.
- Can´t Hurt Me, by David Goggins
- Make Your Bed, by Admiral William H- McRaven
- Be Obsessed or Be Average, by Grant Cardone
- The 10X Rule, by Grant Cardone
- Discipline equals Freedom, Jocko Willink
-I keep updating this list regularly….
Some other ideas from the book….
- The ideas people chose to have about themselves (their self-talk, and self-image) will influence and determine the quality of their lives and their experiences. You can rationalize and excuse your under-performance, or you can dream big and act even bigger on what you want.———————————-
Use visualization constantly, constant rehearsal, not just in meditation mode. You can incorporate it during the day. Create a video of yourself of what you want, and your best performances and achievements.For visualization to work, it must be detailed. It must include the most important senses; sight, sound, tactile, smells, and be very detailed. It has to be vivid.A vivid detailed visualization helps convince your subconscious that the image is really happening, as when you dream, you see them in 3·D with all details.When you have a nightmare and you wake up, your heart is pounding and you are sweating, why is this? Because is very detailed, and as far as your subconscious goes, you are living this experience in real life.The goal of this type of visualization is to convinced your subconscious mind that the experience is actually happening.In Visualizations you can also include seeing yourself making the last effort, overcoming rejections, preparing yourself for challenging situations. Visualization is a very effective tool when you incorporate it into you daily training.BALLESTEROS told Bob after winning his first masters, that he had LISTENED TO A FICTIONAL TAPE about a broadcaster telling how Ballesteros won the masters. He would listen to this fictional story over and over. Closed his eyes and visualize until his subconscious believed it.GREG NORMAN used to sign the song “keep on singing, don’t stop singing. You are going to be a star someday” for over 10 years, with a little adaptation, “Keep on swinging, don’t stop swinging. You are going to be a star someday”.———————————-
- Many athletes will take an improvement regimen and routine but, after not seeing immediate results, they will find a reason to quit. Maybe they decided the extra practice wasn’t worth it. This is exactly what champions do. They stick to their routines and focus on improvement even if they don’t see immediate results.————————
- Champions start with a Dream and invest years of dedication and practice. They are on a mission to see how good they can become. They refuse to place limits on themselves and chases greatness.As Bob says, “Great performers share a way of thinking, a set of attitudes like optimism, confidence, persistence and strong will, to PUSH THEMSELVES and see how good they can become”.———————-
Optimism is a fundamental trait of all great champions. Champions are optimist about their performances and chances (Conor McGregor saying his is going to knockout his opponent in the 4th round). You can be more optimistic by seeking role models, someone who has done what you want to do, for example.Successful people choose OPTIMISM. Regardless what happens to them, they find a reason to be hopeful. They find a way to be inspired.As Bob says, “Optimism is an act of faith, a belief in something that cannot be proven. Anyone can have it”.Optimism helps you find the will to keep working through all the obstacles, challenges and setbacks.The opposite to this kind of optimism is an attitude of fear, negativity, doubt and concern. Pessimism tends to engage the conscious brain.
SMILLING a bit is a great way against pessimism. Frowning tends to engage your conscious, critical mind. Smiling is something your body tends to do when you are relaxed and happy.Being optimistic doesn’t guarantee results, it only increases the chances of something happening, but being negative guarantees poor performance. There is a perfect correlation between negative thinking and failure.Challenges happen to everyone. However, CHAMPIONS REFUSE to let these challenges and misfortunes push them into negative territory, negative thinking, doubt and fear.They shake their doubts and believe in the long term they will be win and be successful.———————-
- GREAT CHAMPIONS HAVE GREAT SELF-IMAGES,
they create and live in THEIR OWN REALITY.
You are the biggest influencer on your own destiny and your life. You are constantly creating your self-image, and your self-image will determine what you become in your life. As the great psychologist William James says, “People tend to BECOME what they THINK about themselves”Exceptional people choose to think about themselves in ways that HELP them become successful and win. Exceptional people have an exceptional internal game. They construct successful self-images.Great champions tend to forget their bad shots, and remember their good ones. They have a bad memory for bad experiences. Jack Nicklaus was famous for this, telling a reporter he never in his life three-putted the last hole of the tournament, or that he missed inside three feet.In reality he did, but in his own mind and self-image this wasn’t even an option. Great champions can be a little “constructively delusional”. They forget mistakes. They remember good shots.Most people think the other way around. They pound their mistakes and forget about their good shots, therefore, destroying their self-image.Lombardi used to have his “Lombardi time” which was 10 minutes before the regular time. If you not were 10 minute before the official time to meet, the Lombardi time, you were late, and in some cases penalized.Confident is critical to maintaining a sustained effort, which leads to success. Confidence helps athletes overcome their inevitable slumps. Confidence makes people sexier.When a champion encounters a tough problem, he pounds on it to overcome it. He perseveres. His confidence gives allow him to navigate through the problem.Red Auerbach of the Boston Celtics dynasty, was committed to build a roster full of players with both physical talent as well as character.———————–
- COMMITMENT TO YOUR COMMITMENTS:Exceptional people are true to their commitments.They don’t make resolutions and keep them for a couple of months. They make commitments and keep them for a lifetime. They take their commitments very seriously. They HONOR their commitments no matter what, no matter how uncomfortable it might be, how tired they may feel, how difficult or challenging the situation may be.They devise and improvement plan and commit themselves to it. If you want to be the greatest you have to have the greatest commitment to your commitments.LIFE WILL TEST YOUR COMMITMENT CONSTANTLY. Make sure you are ready for that.Great champions take great pride in their persistence and patience. This is one of the greatest virtues. Life is not a sprint, it’s a marathon. You will have to reinforce your WILL constantly in order to commit to the process, not just the objective.Exceptional people have habits that help them achieve what they want.
A habit is a circuit rooted in your subconscious mind. The old-fashioned to do list is a great way to reinforce your conscious behavior.
Writing good behaviors and achievements help you improve your sense of pride and satisfactions and give you a sense that you are wining.—————————
- POWER of GOALS:
Champions dream big dreams and have high goals, even when the circumstances are not the best. “It is a big advantage to aim high”, as Bob says. “When you aim high, you have a chance to be great”Its critical to keep your goals in mind as much as possible.Most people fail in goal setting because they lose sight of them. The conscious brain is the one engaged when we are thinking about goals.However, the subconscious mind takes over when we stop thinking about them. This is why is so important constant repetition and reinforcement.
When you are busy with many things you tend to forget about your goals.Steve Jobs used to say that your vision needs to be reinforce and repeated daily.Exceptional people have huge, large visions, but at the same time, they lose themselves in process goals, on improvement plans. They focus on processes.Without making a strong commitment to an improvement process the person cannot know his potential. The key is putting no limits on yourself, and your potential.In sports and business, if you don’t want to DOMINATE, to be the very best, you probably are not succeeding at a large scale. Most people chose to be average. Becoming the best takes massive action and effort and not many people are willing to create this type of dedication.————————-
- NO BALANCE:
Exceptional people don’t care too much about balance in their lives. They are obsessed about being exceptional, about becoming the best. They have a deep passion about what they do.They live with a single-minded devotion, dedication, effort. They are focused on what they are doing, what they want. Their work excites them.Working 100 hour weeks for Elon Musk, even though might be exhausting, it feels amazing, exciting. He couldn’t live any other way. For the average person this is inconceivable. For a champion, this is a way of life.————————-
- Freud believed that people were the product of their upbringing.
on the other hand, Cognitive psychology believe humans can control the condition of their psyche by using their conscious brains to monitor and change the way they think.Martin Seligman discovered that in one way or another people develop what he called “Learned helplessness” They have learned to be helpless.
This happens for example, when someone has tried multiple diets and haven’t been able to lose the weight. They have come to the conclusion that there is no way they will be able to ever lose their weight.Bob Rotella, on the other hand, found that no what happened to exceptional people and champions, not matter what setbacks occurred, THEY ALWAYS FOUND CAUSES TO KEEP TRYING. In other words, they ALWAYS DISCOVERED A REASON TO BELIEVE IN THEMSELVES.So, as Bob says, “A FUNDAMENTAL FACTOR IN THEIR EXCEPTIONALITY WAS THE WAY THEY PERCEIVED AND REACTED TO EVENTS IN THEIR LIVES”.
Learned effectiveness, the contrary of self-helplessness, grows from optimism, confidence, respect and commitment.He calls it the VIRTUOUS CIRCLE:OPTIMISM
- EVALUATIONS AND CHAMPION STANDARDS:CHAMPIONS tends to do things in the opposite way from what most people would expect. And they live opposite to what most people live. That’s why are exceptional, the exception.One fundamental aspect of the champion processes are TOUGH EVALUATIONS on themselves. It’s not only about wining, it´s about becoming your best.If you only focus on wining, you might not becoming your best, and making the best effort. You are looking only at the scoreboard.For a true champion, effort and becoming the best is what matters most.
The scoreboard is just one measure. But internally you know if you are truly winning or you are just scoring more points than your opponent.Champions have their OWN STANDARDS. And this have to do much more with processes than outcomes. They define excellence in their own way.IMAGINE YOUR PERFORMANCE WOULD BE TELEVISED WORLDWIDE. How would you work and operate? Champions train like champions even when no one is looking. They don’t need an audience to motivate them. They set their own standards.Average people TEND TO OVERESTIMATE HOW HARD THEY ARE WORKING. Researches call this “Perceive Exertion”.People think they are working really hard when in reality they are WASTING time on constant coffee breaks, talking to coworkers about football, surfing the net, going on social media, texting on WhatsApp, etc. They think they are working but in reality they are not even close to half their potential output.They grossly overestimate effort. The same thing happens with athletes.
exceptional people don’t delude themselves this way. They are honest and accurate on their self-evaluation.This is why is SO IMPORTANT SELF-EVALUATIONS. Exceptional people are very good at monitoring and evaluating themselves. They separate practice goals form performance goals.————————–
- RESPONDING TO FAILURE:Even at your peak, you will experience failures and setbacks. This is part of the game. This is part of being alive.No matter how exceptional a person is, he needs to learn to deal with failure, needs to be resilient in the face of adversity and failure.Exceptional people refuse to remember failure and focus on what they are doing great and how to do it better. They don’t spend too much time on their loses or miss shots. They leave them behind. They have bad memory for those.Don’t give yourself more than 10-minutes reflection on bad performance.
Learn and put it behind. Otherwise you will destroy yourself.Perfectionists have a tendency to this DESTRUCTIVE behavior, of focusing on their mistakes and failures. For a perfectionist NOTHING is ever good enough and every performance is a failure. Perfectionist set themselves for failing and suffering. Perfectionists tend to get depressed because nothing is ever perfect. And therefore, they usually not arrive at the highest level of sports.Perfectionist cannot survive at the highest level because nothing is ever perfect, so it´s too much stress and suffering for them. The best coaches, athletes miss most of the time. This is not a perfect world.The reality is that if you want to accomplish something awesome, it won’t be easy. If not everyone would have 6 Wimbledon’s and 5 Super Bowls. Dealing exceptionally with adversity is a major trait in any great champion. You are going to be knocked down constantly.Same thing will happen if you are building a business. Dealing with obstacles, limit resources, challenges, etc. It’s a solving problem attitude and mindset.Same thing as when you put a piece of metal in a fire, its impurities are burned away, and the metal becomes stronger and harder, the same thing happens with a human being when he goes through challenges and difficulties, he BECOMES STRONGER, BETTER AND MORE EFFECTIVE.
POWERFUL BELIEFS of Champions:
- Exceptional people believe is their job to develop their God given talents to the highest degree possible. It doesn’t matter what those talents are.
- Exceptional people believe the EFFORT IS MORE IMPORTANT than the result.
- Exceptional people don’t believe they are more entitle than anyone else. They don’t feel bigger or more important than anyone else. If they are entitled is because what they have done, not simply who they are.
- It´s EFFORT that matters. It´s COMMITMENT TO PERSONAL EXCELLENCE that will separate you from others and make you exceptional.
- Exceptional people believe that the JOURNEY is more important than the destination, and the EFFORT more important than the outcome.
- Champions believe LUCK CAN AFFECT OUTCOMES BUT NEVER EFFORT. You have total control over your effort. It´s your commitment to giving your best effort that will create luck and breakthroughs.
- Dealing EXCEPTIONALLY with adversity is a major trait in any great champion.
GREAT QUOTES and slogans
“People tend to BECOME what they THINK about themselves”
REFUSE TO LOSE.
Download Now my TotalSuccess App, Your Daily Medicine against being “average”… to help you stay away from an average life, with average habits, average results and an average experience. 15-Minutes per day will help you become the absolutely best you can become. You have a responsibility to honor pour potential. The biggest pain in life comes from not maximizing your Potential and doing what you know you were capable of doing, for you and others. You have been given the Most Extraordinary Gift; Your Life. Use it.
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TOP IDEAS FROM THE BOOK:
- Extraordinary achievement doesn’t happen in your comfort zone. Exceptional people do what they can´t do. Living on the edge of what’s possible.
- Exceptional people believe is their JOB to develop and maximize their God given talents. It’s their duty. Life is their greatest gift. They must honor that gift. EVERY DAY COUNTS, EVERY MINUTE COUNTS, EVERY EFFORT MAKES A DIFFERENCE.
- They believe effort is more important than outcomes. Giving their best, making the very best effort creates the biggest satisfaction. They are committed to improving, to the daily process.
- Champions REFUSE to place limits on themselves in any way shape or form. They REFUSE to believe they can’t do something regardless what other might think.
- The biggest trophy and gift you can give yourself is knowing you GAVE YOUR BEST, you made the effort to become the very best you were capable of becoming.
- LUCK CAN AFFECT OUTCOMES BUT NEVER EFFORT. You have total control over your effort. It´s your commitment to giving your best effort that will create luck and breakthroughs
- Successful people choose OPTIMISM. Regardless what happens to them, they find a reason to be hopeful. They find a way to be inspired.Being optimistic doesn’t guarantee results, it only increases the chances of something happening, but being negative guarantees poor performance. There is a perfect correlation between negative thinking and failure
- Bob Rotella, on the other hand, found that no what happened to exceptional people and champions, not matter what setbacks occurred, THEY ALWAYS FOUND CAUSES TO KEEP TRYING. In other words, they ALWAYS DISCOVERED A REASON TO BELIEVE IN THEMSELVES.
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