Most people recognize a champion only when he steps up the podium, but he actually has become a champion far before it. In fact, he has become a champion years before that glorious moment. Why? Because to reach that moment, first and foremost he has to become a champion in his daily life. He has to train hard for years, control his diet, and deny a lot of pleasures to prepare for the contests. While other people can live whatever way they want, he must live a disciplined life. Most people only see him in the glorious moment, but it is this lifestyle that actually brings him to the podium.
Our life is similar. Do you want to be a champion in life? Then there is no other way:
Live the lifestyle of a champion.
The way you live daily determines what you can achieve in life. Do not hope to achieve great things if you don’t want to pay the price in the first place. Live the lifestyle of a champion, and years from now people will recognize you as a champion when you step up the podium.
Here are nine ways to live the lifestyle of a champion:
1. Have a clear goal
First of all, you should know what you are aiming for. An athlete who clearly aims for Olympic gold medal will live differently from those who do not have any clear goal. Your goal will inspire and motivate you throughout all the hard work you need to go through.
2. Aim high
Having a clear goal is important but not enough. Your goal should also be challenging to inspire you to do your best. It should be both realistic and difficult enough to get you out of the comfort zone and push your limits.
3. Make a plan and do it
Besides having a clear goal, a good athlete has a clear plan for his training and contests. He knows what kind of training he will go through to prepare for the contests. Similarly, you should have a clear plan on how to achieve your goal. What kind of skills and knowledge do you need? When and how do you want to acquire them?
4. Cultivate your motivation
The journey to mastery is long and difficult. You need sustained motivation to walk it. Otherwise, there is no way you can go through the years of hard effort needed. You can’t depend on others to motivate yourself, you should be able to motivate yourself. Your goal (point #1) is a powerful source of motivation.
5. Train hard for long time
You need to have superior skills and knowledge to achieve your goal. There is no other way to have it but by training hard for long time. Study shows that people typically need 10 years of effortful study to become an expert on something. It is this kind of training that you need to go through.
6. Go beyond your comfort zone
Not all kinds of training will give you the improvements you need. The study I quote above says that you need to do effortful study to become an expert. Effortful study is the kind of study which entails continually tackling challenges that lie just beyond your competence. It takes you out of your comfort zone to increase your capacity.
7. Go one mile further
A champion won’t just do things like anybody else. Instead, he tries to add a little more to what is expected. He walks the extra mile to give superior value. This certainly is not easy, but developing this attitude will put you ahead of the game.
8. Have competitors to motivate you
A healthy dose of competition is important to make you move forward at full speed. Without competition, it’s very likely that you will do less than your actual capability. Competition keeps you alert to continuously improve yourself.
9. Put your skills to the test
Training is not enough, you must join real contests.Test your skills and knowledge with real challenges by jumping in and actually doing what you intend to do. Do your dream job, start your dream business. Put yourself out there to really hone your competence over time.
Donald Latumahina is an avid learner who blogs about personal growth and effectiveness at Life Optimizer. Read his articles on 30 Practical Tips to Make Yourself Indispensable to Others and The Art of Arbitrage: The Key to Living Smart.