“In baseball and in business, there are three types of people. Those who make it happen, those who watch it happen, and those who wonder what happened.” – Tommy Lasorda, Hall of Fame baseball player and manager (1954-1956, player; 1976-1996, manager)
There is a lot to be said for committing the time and energy it takes to be an athlete. Many people grow up engaging in athletics at various levels. Whether or not they reach the highest levels of athletic competition is irrelevant because there are essential life lessons to be gained from participating in athletics.
While there is a multitude of arenas one can acquire important life lessons, athletics serve to challenge the physical and mental psyche of its participants. This doesn’t infer that only athletes understand physical and mental obstacles, but that athletes have the unique test of overseeing both, often simultaneously, and amidst other teammates and competitors.
Athletes undergo a lot of strenuous demands on the mind and body. This level of stress, assuming it is healthy, aids to benefit the athlete in other areas outside the sphere of competition. Essentially, what an athlete acquires in terms of knowledge, skills, and abilities coupled with what is amassed intangibly, arms the individual with “life” qualities that have the potential of contributing to enduring success in any field.Advertising
It’s important to remember that this list isn’t an attempt to generalize all athletes. It is merely a personal belief that athletics have a very positive effect on participants who take full advantage of them.
1. Athletes are disciplined and have strong work ethics.
Unless a particular athlete is blessed with raw, athleticism and talent, which equates to complete domination over the competition, athletes have to dedicate themselves to honing their crafts. It is also noteworthy that many of the greatest athletes possess immense natural ability which is complemented by an intense work ethic. And as the motivational quote states, “Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard.”
Employers desire employees who are disciplined and know what it takes to work hard. Athletes possess both of these necessary qualities or they probably wouldn’t have become athletes in the first place.
2. Athletes know what it means to fail, persevere, and overcome adversity.
Anyone who participates in athletics will at some point encounter obstacles. Athletics are a great metaphor for life. There are ebbs and flows to an athlete’s performances and experiences on the field or court. This is similar to life.Advertising
An athlete will fail at one time or another during the scope of competition. At this point the athlete has only two options: give up or persevere. Most athletes will choose to work through and conquer the impediments before them so they can achieve the goals they have set for themselves. Athletics offer a unique opportunity for athletes to learn how to fail gracefully and persist patiently.
3. Athletes are goal-oriented.
While many athletes are involved in their sports simply for the “love of the sport,” there is often something else that motivates and inspires them. Athletes excel at setting goals, pursuing those goals through training and nutrition mediums, and eventually accomplishing their objectives. This skill is very useful in the workforce where setting goals is critical for any successful business.
4. Athletes usually know how to work as a member of a team.
I write usually here because not all athletes are involved in team sports. While the majority of athletes participate as members of a team there are some who perform sports that are individual in nature.
Given the large proportion of athletes who are involved in team sports it would behoove any employer who seeks willing and effective “team players” to hire athletes. Teamwork and learning how to be a competent teammate are ingrained into athletes’ psyches from the time they first engage in athletics.Advertising
5. Athletes know how to lead.
At some point during athletic competition an athlete has to be a leader. Whether this is vocally or through action, athletes acquire the necessary skills to lead.
Leading doesn’t merely occur during the heat of competitions; athletes lead by the way they train and take care of their bodies; they lead by the way they treat their teammates and coaches; and perhaps most importantly they lead by the way they represent themselves, their team, and their sports on and off the arena.
Not all athletes are charismatic or even desirable leaders, but somewhere inside they have acquired the capabilities to lead. Working with other people on a daily basis in pursuit of a common goal forces you to learn how to lead. In the end it is a matter of whether or not they are willing to use those abilities to the fullest.
6. Athletes know how to accept criticism.
At one point or another any athlete will receive criticism, constructive or otherwise, from a coach. If an athlete is unwilling to accept this criticism, than he or she is probably not going to last long in athletics.Advertising
Just like athletes learns how to accept failures and work through them, they must also learn how to accept criticism. Realizing that their coaches are looking out for their best interests makes accepting criticism more manageable.
Employers want employees who aren’t going to shut down every instance they are criticized. Athletes are often “thick-skinned” and able to handle critiques more fluidly.
7. Athletes know how to learn a new skill and utilize it.
One of the most important components of being a competent employee is the ability to learn a new skill and utilize it. All athletes must undergo some kind of skill development in order to sustain their athletic performances.
Athletes strive strenuously to hone their skills in order to make themselves the most complete asset for their specific sport. Equipped with voracious work ethics, and the desire to master their skills, many athletes ultimately breed themselves for success on and off the playing field. And many of the skills athletes whet will pale in comparison to the skills they learn in the workforce.
Featured photo credit: Kemba Walker via cdn-jpg.si.com
Last Updated on August 16, 2018
16 Productivity Secrets of Highly Successful People Revealed
The same old motivational secrets don’t really motivate you after you’ve read them for the tenth time, do they?
How about a unique spin on things?
These 16 productivity secrets of successful people will make you reevaluate your approach to your home, work, and creative lives. Learn from these highly successful people, turn these little things they do into your daily habits and you’ll get closer to success.
1. Empty your mind.
It sounds counterproductive, doesn’t it?
Emptying your mind when you have so much to remember seems like you’re just begging to forget something. Instead, this gives you a clean slate so you’re not still thinking about last week’s tasks.
Clear your mind and then start thinking only about what you need to do immediately, and then today. Tasks that need to be accomplished later in the week can wait.
Here’s a guide to help you empty your mind and think sharper:
2. Keep certain days clear.
Some companies are scheduling “No Meeting Wednesdays,” which means, funnily enough, that no one can hold a meeting on a Wednesday. This gives workers a full day to work on their own tasks, without getting sidetracked by other duties or pointless meetings.
This can work in your personal life too, for example if you need to restrict Facebook access or limit phone calls.
3. Prioritize your work.
Don’t think every task is created equal! Some tasks aren’t as important as others, or might take less time.
Try to sort your tasks every day and see what can be done quickly and efficiently. Get these out of the way so you have more free time and brain power to focus on what is more important.
Lifehack’s CEO has a unique way to prioritize works, take a look at it here:
4. Chop up your time.
Many successful business leaders chop their time up into fifteen-minute intervals. This means they work on tasks for a quarter of an hour at a time, or schedule meetings for only fifteen minutes. It makes each hour seem four times as long, which leads to more productivity!
5. Have a thinking position.
Truman Capote claimed he couldn’t think unless he was laying down. Proust did this as well, while Stravinsky would stand on his head!
What works for others may not work for you. Try to find a spot and position that is perfect for you to brainstorm or come up with ideas.
6. Pick three to five things you must do that day.
To Do lists can get overwhelming very quickly. Instead of making a never-ending list of everything you can think of that needs to be done, make daily lists that include just three to five things.
Make sure they’re things that need to be done that day, so you don’t keep putting them off.
7. Don’t try to do too much.
OK, so I just told you to work every day, and now I’m telling you to not do too much? It might sound like conflicting advice, but not doing too much means not biting off more than you can chew. Don’t say yes to every work project or social engagement and find yourself in way over your head.
8. Have a daily action plan.
Don’t limit yourself to a to-do list! Take ten minutes every morning to map out a daily action plan. It’s a place to not only write what needs to be done that day, but also to prioritize what will bring the biggest reward, what will take the longest, and what goals will be accomplished.
Leave room for a “brain dump,” where you can scribble down anything else that’s on your mind.
9. Do your most dreaded project first.
Getting your most dreaded task over with first means you’ll have the rest of the day free for anything and everything else. This also means that you won’t be constantly putting off the worst of your projects, making it even harder to start on it later.
10. Follow the “Two-Minute Rule.”
The “Two-Minute Rule” was made famous by David Allen. It’s simple – if a new task comes in and it can be done in two minutes or less, do it right then. Putting it off just adds to your to-do list and will make the task seem more monumental later.
11. Have a place devoted to work.
If you work in an office, it’s no problem to say that your cubicle desk is where you work every day.
But if you work from home, make sure you have a certain area specifically for work. You don’t want files spread out all over the dinner table, and you don’t want to feel like you’re not working just because you’re relaxing on the couch.
Agatha Christie never wrote at her desk, she wrote wherever she could sit down. Ernest Hemingway wrote standing up. Thomas Wolfe, at 6’6″ tall, used the top of his refrigerator as a desk. Richard Wright wrote on a park bench, rain or shine.
Have a space where, when you go there, you know you’re going to work. Maybe it’s a cafe downstairs, the library, or a meeting room. Whenever and wherever works for you, do your works there.
12. Find your golden hour.
You don’t have to stick to a “typical” 9–5 schedule!
Novelist Anne Rice slept during the day and wrote at night to avoid distractions. Writer Jerzy Kosinski slept eight hours a day, but never all at once. He’d wake in the morning, work, sleep four hours in the afternoon, then work more that evening.
Your golden hour is the time when you’re at your peak. You’re alert, ready to be productive, and intent on crossing things off your to-do list.
Once you find your best time, protect it with all your might. Make sure you’re always free to do your best uninterrupted work at this time.
13. Pretend you’re on an airplane.
It might not be possible to lock everyone out of your office to get some peace and quiet, but you can eliminate some distractions.
By pretending you’re on an airplane, you can act like your internet access is limited, you’re not able to get something from your bookcase, and you can’t make countless phone calls.
Eliminating these distractions will help you focus on your most important tasks and get them done without interruption.
14. Never stop.
Writers Anthony Trollope and Henry James started writing their next books as soon as they finished their current work in progress.
Stephen King writes every day of the year, and holds himself accountable for 2,000 words a day! Mark Twain wrote every day, and then read his day’s work aloud to his family to get their feedback.
There’s something to be said about working nonstop, and putting out continuous work instead of taking a break. It’s just a momentum that will push you go further./
15. Be in tune with your body.
Your mind and body will get tired of a task after ninety minutes to two hours focused on it. Keep this in mind as you assign projects to yourself throughout the day, and take breaks to ensure that you won’t get burned out.
16. Try different methods.
Vladimir Nabokov wrote the first drafts of his novels on index cards. This made it easy to rearrange sentences, paragraphs, and chapters by shuffling the cards around.
It does sound easier, and more fun, than copying and pasting in Word! Once Nabokov liked the arrangement, his wife typed them into a single manuscript.
Same for you, don’t give up and think that it’s impossible for you to be productive when one method fails. Try different methods until you find what works perfectly for you.
Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com