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Do You Have the Will To Succeed?

Do You Have the Will To Succeed?
    Photo credit: JD Hancock (CC BY 2.0)

    Earlier this summer, I was watching a bit of the NHL (National Hockey League) entry draft on TV and one of the young hockey players drafted this year by the Florida Panthers team was a young man named Rocco Grimaldi.

    Grimaldi actually made sports history as he became the shortest player at five feet, six inches tall to be selected in the NHL entry draft. This is really something given that professional hockey players these days are hovering at about six feet in height on average. But Grimaldi’s lack of height has certainly not stopped him from playing well enough in the minor leagues to get the attention of NHL scouts.

    Grimaldi’s example echoes a very famous and profound quote by legendary football coach Vince Lombardi (from North American-style football, not soccer). This particular quote, which is on a motivational poster I have on my home gym wall, should be part of standard study in personal development.

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    The Famous Lombardi Quote

    Here’s the actual quote for your reference:

    “The difference between a successful person and others is not a lack of strength, not a lack of knowledge, but rather is a lack of will.”

    Coach Lombardi noticed throughout his years of coaching football that the champions are not always those who are the biggest and strongest players. We also see something similar in the business world, as those with the most education are not always the most successful either. In fact, the most successful people in many different fields are not always the most gifted in terms of size or knowledge. But what they do have is the will to succeed, which more than makes up for their lack of natural assets.

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    Examples Of Great Wills That Have Created Legacies

    Wayne Gretzky

    Another great example from sports is Wayne Gretzky, often acknowledged as the greatest hockey player ever. He was nowhere near the most imposing player on the ice in terms of size, but his intense will to excel in the game since early childhood enabled him to make up for his lack of bulk. The skills he developed — including his skating style — made him a very difficult player for the bigger guys on the ice to bodycheck. In fact, they often referred to him as a very ‘slippery’ skater with a unique way to dodge bigger players. Add on his incredible scoring abilities and it’s no wonder why he was called ‘The Great One’.

    Bill Gates

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    One of the best examples from the world of business to demonstrate Coach Lombardi’s quote is Bill Gates. He dropped out of college to eventually start Microsoft. He didn’t have the most acquired knowledge but had enough computer skills plus his enormous will and foresight to change the tech world. He made up for his lack of business knowledge by recruiting people who did have expertise in other areas needed to build a successful company. The rest as they say, is history.

    Terry Fox

    After having a leg amputated due to cancer, Terry Fox was not exactly the most likely person to be a long distance runner. But because of his incredible will to raise awareness for cancer, his ‘Marathon of Hope’, which was a brave attempt to run across Canada, is now legendary. Terry Fox started his journey from the east coast and never made it across Canada. He got as far as northern Ontario when his cancer finally defeated him. However, his inspiration resulted in annual events worldwide that have raised millions of dollars for cancer research ever since.

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    Applying Lombardi’s Quote to Your Life

    When looking at your own life and goals, don’t be disheartened if you are lacking in a few qualities such as strength or knowledge. Countless people like Wayne Gretzky, Bill Gates and Terry Fox have achieved great success, leaving lasting impressions in society despite having some shortcomings. Natural ability (and even acquired knowledge) can only take somebody so far. Without the additional willpower to do whatever it takes to become successful, these assets can’t be utilized to their potential. This is why many gifted or well-educated individuals still fall short of their goals.

    You can apply Coach Lombardi’s wisdom by developing the will to work hard and be fully committed towards your goals. This will compensate for any perceived shortcomings that you may have. Strong willpower enables you to endure and persevere the rougher parts of your journey.

    This is what Rocco Grimaldi did as he kept working on his hockey skills — even though he was probably told by many naysayers that he was too small to be a professional hockey player.

    The will to succeed can make all the difference. Don’t suffer from a lack of it if you want to achieve success in what you do.

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    Last Updated on March 13, 2019

    How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

    How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

    Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

    You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

    Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

    1. Work on the small tasks.

    When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

    Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

    2. Take a break from your work desk.

    Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

    Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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    3. Upgrade yourself

    Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

    The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

    4. Talk to a friend.

    Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

    Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

    5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

    If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

    Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

    Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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    6. Paint a vision to work towards.

    If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

    Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

    Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

    7. Read a book (or blog).

    The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

    Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

    Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

    8. Have a quick nap.

    If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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    9. Remember why you are doing this.

    Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

    What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

    10. Find some competition.

    Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

    Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

    11. Go exercise.

    Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

    Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

    As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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    Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

    12. Take a good break.

    Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

    Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

    Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

    Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

    More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

    Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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