What Champions Read

John CalipariThe more I study the lives and inner beliefs of the world’s most successful people, the more I notice a common theme: they dream BIG dreams. Their goals and dreams are what most people would call unrealistic, impractical, or crazy.

But these high achievers don’t care what other people say.

They dream big, crazy dreams and they ignore anyone who tells them those dreams are too big or too unrealistic.

John Calipari is one of those achievers and he stresses the importance of dreaming big and ignoring the naysayers… [click to continue…]

Urban MeyerUrban Meyer believes that the difference between winning and losing isn’t as complicated as people might think.

On any given Saturday, any number of variables will factor into a game’s outcome, but Coach Meyer believes there is one variable that is more important than all the rest. There is one variable that accounts for the single biggest difference between winning and losing… [click to continue…]

Nick SabanNick Saban has won five national championships (one at LSU and four at Alabama), which makes him the most successful active coach in college football. His “secret” to success is something he calls, The Process (something that was discussed extensively in the bestselling book, Think Like a Warrior).

Strikingly similar to the philosophy embraced by history’s greatest college basketball coach, John Wooden, The Process is a relentless focus on only the things that you can control. It means not being distracted by the scoreboard and not being intimidated by an opponent’s perceived strengths. Instead, Saban teaches his teams that they are responsible for what they create, not the other team.

Whether things are going good or bad at any given moment, Saban tells his teams to focus on the process of becoming champions and nothing else.

Practically speaking, here’s how Saban’s powerful philosophy applies to all areas of life… [click to continue…]

John WoodenLegendary basketball coach John Wooden had an insatiable desire to learn and he took the study of success very seriously. He spent several years coming up with what he felt was a proper definition of success.

Based on his experiences as an athlete, coach, and teacher, Wooden defined success this way: “Success is peace of mind that is the direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing you did your best to become the best that you are capable of becoming.”

After he was satisfied with his definition of success, Wooden then spent many more years coming up with his system for achieving success. He would eventually refer to his success system as the Pyramid of Success, which consisted of seventeen meticulously-researched building blocks.

In 1997, Wooden boiled down his success philosophy to a simple list of eight rules. Of course, being the humble leader John Wooden was, he referred to this list not as ironclad rules for success, but instead what he called, “eight suggestions for succeeding.”

Here they are… [click to continue…]

Emmitt SmithIt’s one thing to set big goals and dream big dreams. It’s another thing entirely to make a total commitment to pursuing those goals and dreams.

Lots of people dream about what they want to achieve and what type of life they want to live, but very few people are willing to go ALL IN on chasing their biggest dreams.

You can’t tentatively pursue a major goal and expect to achieve it.

The odds of success will be stacked against you if you’re not willing to sacrifice other opportunities and distractions.

Too often, people get so worried about what will happen if they pursue their dream and fail that they spend most of their time and energy creating backup plans and building safety nets in case their dreams don’t work out. They always have one foot out the door as they cautiously pursue the thing they really want to do. This approach makes it too easy to quit whenever inevitable challenges and setbacks arise.

At some point, you have to have the courage to go ALL IN on your dreams. At some point, you have to decide that you will FIND A WAY to make this dream come true…no matter what.

The NFL’s all-time leading rusher, Emmitt Smith, recognized the importance of going ALL IN on a dream early in his career… [click to continue…]

Vince LombardiVince Lombardi is famous for saying, “Winning isn’t everything, it’s the only thing.” And for years there’s been some controversy over how the legendary coach intended the statement he is now synonymous with.

While it is true that Lombardi did indeed repeat the statement often throughout his career, it’s also true that he spent a lot of time trying to explain that his words were taken out of context.

“I wish to hell I’d never said the damned thing,” Lombardi once told a reporter. “I meant the effort… I meant having a goal… I sure as hell didn’t mean for people to crush human values and morality.”

So why did Lombardi repeat the phrase so often if it was something he knew could be easily misunderstood? [click to continue…]

Jim TresselTo live a successful and fulfilling life, you must work for a purpose greater than yourself.

I talked a lot about this principle in my books, Life to the Fullest and Old School Grit. The main point is that you have to have a compelling reason for WHY you’re doing what you do. This reason has to be a driving force that carries you forward when the going gets tough.

A paycheck isn’t a good enough reason. Personal glory isn’t a good enough reason. Proving someone wrong isn’t a good enough reason.

In the short-term, these reasons can fuel you forward. In the long-term, that motivation will dwindle and you’ll lose your enthusiasm.

You have to live for a purpose much greater than yourself.

Jim Tressel, the former football coach at Ohio State and Youngstown State, illustrates the power of purpose with the following story… [click to continue…]

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