I enjoy running. I like to tell people that I started long-distance running when I was a tween since it’s one of the few sports that can be done anyplace. You don’t need any particular gear or the correct season; simply put on your shoes and hit the road.
This was going to be my thing, I determined. Running for the track team in high school in British Columbia, Canada, became an important part of my life. I ran the one-mile and two-mile races. I did well as well. My family and I then relocated to Bethel, Oklahoma, due to my father’s company.
My new school didn’t have a track team, which was understandable given that every grade level shared the same facility.
I was determined to keep running—having my thoughts to myself while driving is still my favorite way to sift through complex problems—so I ran drills with the basketball team until I got sick of doing ladder sprints over and over again.
There’s nothing quite like going outside and feeling the miles pass beneath your feet to give you a rush. As a result, I did the only logical thing I could think of: I joined the wrestling team for my senior year of high school.
It Was a Complete Disaster.
In my first year, I lost every match.
My senior year didn’t seem to be going well.
Needless to say, I was disappointed. Then one day, I was paired with someone who had a similar track record to mine.
Before that match, I felt as if a switch had been flipped. I made up my mind that I would win. That is exactly what I did.
Consider the context if that seems like something out of a Hallmark holiday movie to you: My coach nearly halted the match early after I took an elbow to the nose, and it wasn’t a nice win.
We were physically and technically equals, capable of defeating each other. We both put in a lot of effort, trained hard, and heeded the advice of our instructors and teammates. It was a mental adjustment that triumphed.
Prior to that day, I had only played the game for the sake of playing it.
It gave me something to do when I wasn’t on the track team or assisting my father with his latest business venture. That day, I was in it to win it. I made the decision to put myself out there, regardless of the outcome.
How many times have you held back out of fear of appearing foolish, failing, or even losing money?
How many times have you passed up an opportunity because you were afraid of disappointing yourself or others? Being an entrepreneur entails taking risks. Risk is required in many other aspects of life, including wealth-building, parenthood, and personal success. Our results will match if we play it safe and put in only enough focused effort to pass muster.
Rather, we must think that the danger will be worth it, as well as the benefit that will follow.
Because they know there will always be someone better, many people resist making the commitment to go all out. It’s a coping method for dealing with the disappointment of failure. It’s absolutely correct.
In almost every situation, someone will be better positioned or more talented than you. You have no control over that. However, you have control over your attitude, dedication, and amount of effort. You can use tried-and-true tools to assist you.
My tools as a teenager were to see my opponent as the worst kind of person—my arch enemy—and to think horrible things about them.
I don’t like how I got there, but I’ve since upgraded to more productive and positive techniques. One of my personal favorites is fairly straightforward.
When confronted with a difficult or overwhelming issue, begin by committing to a positive outcome. Declare it aloud. Make a note of it and post it somewhere visible.
Related: 8 Weight-Loss Motivational Tips
Make It Unique.
Making a firm commitment to a project generates a different kind of energy than simply attempting. It promotes focus and alignment. It pushes you to think beyond setting goals.
Goals Are Gradual, Whereas Challenges Are Enormous.
Even the language we use demonstrates the distinction: I want to establish a goal to sell 25 houses this year instead of the 20 I sold last year, versus I challenge myself to sell 100 houses this year. The latter demonstrates a complete dedication to an exponential outcome.
This isn’t a case of having naive faith that your sales would instantly increase fivefold. The challenge drives you to think bigger and tackle problems in new ways.
The greatest approach to address a problem is to take on a bigger one. My challenge is to develop a $10 million company if my goal is to build a $1 million company.
What obstacles stand in your way? What would your objectives look like if you tenfold them? Sit with it for a while, let it stew, and then devise a strategy for preparing yourself and your company for exponential development.