Do you ever wonder why the same few teams seem to be at the top every year in every major sport? The Yankees, the Patriots, and the Lakers are always in contention to win a championship. It’s not by accident, it’s by design. What they have more than most others is a “winning attitude.” They want to be successful. They expect to be successful. Anything less would be unacceptable. It’s this type of attitude that determines their level of success.
Vince Lombardi once said, “The quality of a person’s life is in direct proportion to their commitment to excellence, regardless of their chosen field of endeavor.”
If you’re content with coming in second, third, fourth, etc. that is the extent that you are willing to commit to. Likewise, if you are happy with your current status at work or in your career, that is the extent of your commitment level. On the other hand, if you want more, if you want to further your career along to new heights, your commitment level will have to increase in direct proportion.
I have a friend who is successful but has the talent to be even more successful if only he wouldn’t put barriers in his head. He would often say, “If only I were single” or “If only I didn’t have kids,” when discussing his commitment level, “I would be more successful.” These comments always seemed odd to me because having a family shouldn’t hold you back from reaching your full potential. You just have to figure out a way to work around whatever “life” issues you may have to get the results you desire. I tried to point out to my friend that if everyone thought this way then all the CEO’s or executives in this world would be single and have no kids.
Achieving success isn’t easy and gets even harder as you continue to progress. What I’ve realized over the years is how difficult it is for people to push themselves. Most people really don’t know what their limits are because they have never really pushed themselves. You can’t reach new heights if you don’t go beyond your own comfort zone. I’ve always stressed to people that you have to be comfortable with being uncomfortable or you’ll never test yourself. Attempting to do something and coming up short isn’t always bad. It shows you what you need to work on or what you must improve to be successful next time.
That is where formulating a plan is necessary to push yourself to the next level in your career. Removing mental barriers is key but you also need to plan for success. Referring back to my friend regarding commitment and family, I suggested he should organize not only his work schedule but organize his “life” schedule to allow him the ability to find pockets of time to do what he needs to do to achieve his objectives. In my mind, there is always a solution for something. Nothing should ever hold you back. Doing whatever it takes, that is how I define a “winning attitude.” It’s that “winning attitude” that will always determine your level of success. Charlie Sheen shouldn’t be the only person “winning.”
Song Woo, an employment and career management expert, is the President and CEO of Lighthouse Management Group.
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