In one of his Optimize +1 daily posts Brian Johnson shared this quote from Aristotle:
“Just as at the Olympic Games it is not the best-looking or the strongest men present that are crowned with wreaths, but the competitors (because it is from them that the winners come), so it is those who act that rightly win the honours and rewards in life.”
Brian points out, “Theory is rudimentary philosophy. Practice is the advanced work.”
If you want to accomplish great things in your life you have to be willing to do the work every day. You have to take the theory and put it into practice. Having the knowledge and understanding of the theory is nice but, it accomplishes nothing until you take action.
I have had the privilege of working as a mental preparation coach for athletes who won tournaments and national championships. Two of the athletes I worked with went on to compete in the Olympic Games. They achieved those successes because of their hard work. They were willing to put in the effort day in and day out. They were willing to put in the hard work on days when they were excited to train and on days when they just wanted to stay in bed or skip the training for the day. They built a team of people to train with, support and draw strength and support from. They stayed humble and hungry. They were hungry for new knowledge, new ideas, and new ways of thinking, which they would put into action to make themselves better. When they had success they remained humble wanting to give credit to their supporters and team.
I have seen the same with people in training and in business. There are those who read all the books, attend all the seminars and workshops and never take action on anything they have learned. Others are continually striving to find ways to apply and share what they have learned to make themselves and those around them better. They realize that knowledge is not power; it is potential. The potential to empower others. The potential to ignite and drive change. That potential however, is useless without action. There are a lot of people in the world with huge potential who have accomplished very little.
It is easy to look at the people at the top in any sport, business or endeavour and tell yourself, “It is easy for them. They are such naturals. They are just gifted. They are so lucky.” When you peel back the curtain and look behind the scenes you see how hard they work. You see their struggles and setbacks. You see their quest for knowledge. You see their commitment to action. You see the reality.
Action alone will not guarantee success. Action comes with struggles, obstacles, barriers and failures. Action combined with reflection, reframing, a passion for learning, a growth mindset, grit, persistence, resilience, great questions, a great team, humility, more questions and a commitment to excellence are all critical to increase your chances of success and significance. There are never any guarantees.
When my mom used to brag about the success my sons Jesse and Cody were having in all their businesses people used to say, “They are so lucky.” My mom would reply, “Yes they are and the harder they work, the luckier they get.”
What’s Important Now? Do the work. Turn the knowledge and potential into action. Keep striving. Keep learning. Keep growing. Keep moving.
Maximizing human potential through Life's Most Powerful Question - What's Important Now?
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