What Exactly Makes a Person Perform Better?
It’s hard to pinpoint exactly why one person excels far beyond his or her competitive peers. What winning combination do these “Top Achievers” possess that sets them apart? Why is the margin sometimes so pronounced? Why did Michael Jordan standout? What allowed Gretzsky to dominate on the ice? Why does Mia Hamm seem to always be there when the ball is? What was the one quality that made Ali the seemingly unstoppable champ?
Let’s not stop at sports, there must be one distinct feature that sets the top achievers in every field in a category of excellence that is exponentially unique! I’ve heard some say, it’s genetics. But, is it?
The world famous Martial Arts Master, Bruce Lee studied this same query. Lee was totally obsessed with the question of what made the superior athlete, technician, or warrior. I began reading about Bruce Lee and studying with his protege over 28 years ago. This is where I first learned about the concept of concentrating on improving the defining “Qualities or Attributes” that made a someone a top achiever or champion. Really, it is these attributes that create the combination that is superior.
“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” – Aristotle
So, what are attributes? Attributes are strengths that attribute to or help make up who you are, sort of like personal assets. In order for us to have a clear distinction of our capability, aptitude and indeed our potential, we need to consider what our areas of strengths and weaknesses may be. In previous Tips of the Week, we have identified some of our emotional strengths and weaknesses. We have also confirmed that our beliefs are in part relevant to our own perception of our strengths and deficiencies. These are some of the elements that contribute to the make up of our identity, of who we are. But, it goes much deeper than that. Our attributes can be both psychological and physical in nature and can be naturally adopted skills and traits, or specifically learned and cultivated. I am of the belief that all attributes can be improved to some degree. It would also appear that certain attributes are absolutely crucial, if not critical, for any marked success in given fields.When we have that critical combination of attributes, necessary to succeed in our chosen field of endeavor developed to a level outstanding to that of our competition, we increase our chances for success beyond what we would have ever believed possible!
How Can I Use This?
First you must identify what qualities the most outstanding people in your chosen endeavor possess that make them outstanding. Now, write these qualities/attributes on a sheet of paper. Next, on a separate sheet draw two columns. At the top of the two columns write Psychological Attributes (focus, perseverance, courage, integrity, clarity, flexibility, confidence, etc.) On one side of the column write Strong on the other Needs Improvement. Half way down the paper write Physical Attributes (balance, endurance, flow, strength, speed, timing, coordination, etc.) as your second category, with the words Strong and Needs Improvement on either side of the column. Now investigate your personal qualities and areas of necessary improvement introspectively with absolute honesty. You are on the way to making some of the most important distinctions for improving your future success that you have ever made in your LIFE!
Now that you know what you possess, strengthen it. Now that you know what needs improvement, change it. The best way to improve something (or strengthen it) is to simply find the activities that most exemplify that skill and do them, as much as possible. This attribute specific cross training will do more to improve you than you would ever imagine. Don’t believe me! Believe yourself, try it.
“Believe in yourself.
You gain strength, courage, and confidence
by every experience in which you stop to look fear in the face.
You must do that which you think you cannot do.”
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