What Champions Read

Don’t Be Afraid to Fail

Derek JeterThe more I study the world’s top achievers, the more I notice a recurring theme: big achievers aren’t afraid of big challenges. They’re not afraid to put themselves on the line. They set goals that are “unrealistically” high to most observers, but they go after them anyway.

Why are top achievers more comfortable with setting big goals than everyone else? The simple answer is that they’re not afraid to fail. They know that there is a greater risk of failing on the way towards huge goals, but they don’t care. The challenge excites them. They go after it anyway and fully believe that their dreams will eventually come true as long as they never give up.

Legendary New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter sums up this attitude perfectly… [click to continue…]

John CalipariA crucial—but often overlooked—step in accomplishing a major goal is to take time each day to visualize the positive outcome you hope to experience.

Too many of us ignore the tremendous power of visualization. We blow it off as a time-waster, nothing more than mindless daydreaming or wishful thinking.

But ignoring the power of positive visualization is a huge mistake.

The fact is, many of the world’s greatest achievers make positive visualization a vital part of their day and swear by the power of this simple technique.

One big proponent of positive visualization is Kentucky basketball coach John Calipari. Here’s how Coach Cal used positive visualization… [click to continue…]

Mike LeachMike Leach had a problem. He had just graduated from law school, but he wasn’t sure he wanted to be a lawyer. He was married with a child, he was flat broke, and he owed $45,000 in student loans.

Leach knew the “rational” thing to do was get a job at a law firm so he could start paying off those debts and providing for his family. But he couldn’t shake the feeling that he was supposed to be doing something else with his life.

He decided to seek some advice. Leach wrote a letter to a hugely-successful lawyer named Gary Spence. He asked Spence if being a lawyer was worth it. He asked him, “If you had it do over again, would you?”

Spence responded with a thoughtful letter that confirmed Mike Leach’s reservations about pursuing a career in law. Spence told Leach there were times when he loved law, times when he hated law, but that he was always consumed by law. He told Leach, “If you are consumed by law, go be an attorney. If you are not, find something else.”

Mike Leach did find something else. Now the head football coach at Washington State, Leach explains how he found his true calling… [click to continue…]

Bob KnightPretty much everything I write about on this site is focused on building mental toughness. That’s because the older I get and the more studies I read, the more convinced I am that your success and happiness in life is ultimately determined by how mentally tough you are.

But what exactly is “mental toughness”? We hear the phrase often, but is it anything more than a buzzword used by coaches, athletes, entrepreneurs, and military leaders? Does focusing our time and energy on building mental toughness really pay off?

The value of mental toughness can best be summed up by legendary basketball coach Bobby Knight, who once said: “Mental toughness is to physical as four is to one.”

That’s how important it is to be mentally tough.

EVERYTHING follows your mindset. And mental toughness is the ability to make your mindset work FOR you instead of against you. Most people have no idea how much their own mindset is working against them.

I recently came across this data from Pat Williams, the senior vice president of the Orlando Magic… [click to continue…]

Urban MeyerIn last week’s column, we talked about The Success Equation: E + R = O.  That is, Event + Response = Outcome. You can’t control the Es of life—the Events you encounter. And you don’t have direct control over the Os—the Outcomes. The only thing you do have total control over is the Rs—your Responses to the Events you encounter.

Successful people focus on the R part of the equation while unsuccessful people tend to focus too much on the E part.

Once you understand that, the next step is to make sure you’re Responding to Events in a way that leads to a positive Outcome.

So how do you make sure your Response leads to a successful Outcome? Once again, Ohio State football coach and three-time National Champion Urban Meyer offers outstanding advice on the matter. Here are the six “R Factor” disciplines he teaches his players… [click to continue…]

Rocky BalboaOne of my favorite examples of someone who achieved the American Dream is Sylvester Stallone.

Stallone has always been a hero of mine not only for the mega success he achieved as an actor and all that he has done to promote physical fitness, but more so for what he accomplished as a writer.

In 1975, at the age of 29, Stallone had been chasing his dream of becoming an actor and writer for several years, but he was struggling to get by. He even spent some time homeless after being evicted from his apartment. But that March, inspiration tapped Stallone. [click to continue…]

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