By four-time Olympian, Ruben Gonzalez
There are many facets to success. You have to have a dream about something you’re shooting for. You have to believe in yourself. You have to take massive immediate action with an attitude that you are willing to do whatever it takes for as long as it takes. Then and only then is success realistic.
More than anything else, your desire will determine if you will make it. How badly do you want it? Is your dream about something you would like to do? Is it something that would be nice to do? Or is it something that you are obsessed about?
If your dream is not an obsession, as soon as you come across obstacles, you’ll quit. As soon as the challenge of reaching your dream becomes an inconvenience, you’ll give up. Burning desire allows a person with average ability to successfully compete with those who have far more ability. Desire allows you to give it everything you’ve got. It helps you reach your full potential. Intense desire allows people to win against overwhelming odds.
Success is not convenient. Trust me. In order to succeed, you will need to inconvenience yourself in a big way and for a long time. That’s why it’s so important to be driven, excited, and passionate about your dream. If your “why” is big enough, the “how” will take care of itself.
When I first took up the sport of luge, we trained in the summer on wheeled sleds. We would slide down the Lake Placid bobsled track from the half mile point on a concrete track at speeds of about 50 MPH. We wore tennis shoes, shorts, and a t-shirt. If we crashed, it was straight to the hospital. That’s the weeding-out process in the sport of the luge. When we got to the bottom, they did not even give us a ride back to the top. We had to carry our sleds back up the mountain. The coaches made it hard on purpose. They wanted to know right away how badly we wanted it. They didn’t want to waste any time with anyone who was not serious.
If you’ve ever played football, you know exactly what I mean. The first couple of weeks of football practice each season are brutal. The coach works the players to death because he wants to find out who his real team will be. He wants to cull out all the “wannabes”.
To succeed, you need to know how to feed your desire. The more you feed your desire, the harder it is to quit. Most of the mental training we do is designed to do two things, to strengthen our belief level and to fuel our desire. You have to get yourself to the point that no matter what your circumstances are, you are 100 percent focused on your dream. You want to become so determined to reach your goal that you convince yourself that you will have it.
How do you do that? How do you turn your dream into a magnificent obsession? You surround yourself with the dream. You put pictures of your dream all around you. The walls in my office are completely covered with Olympic memorabilia. One day, I counted how many sets of Olympic rings were staring at me all day long. There were over 30 sets of them! By surrounding myself with the dream all day long, I’m bombarding my mind with where I want to go. If I daydream, I daydream Olympics.
I read about the Olympics all the time. I watch Olympic videos all the time. I have over 200 hours of Olympic videos. Most importantly, I allow myself to get emotional about my dream. Many times when I’m watching the videos, especially Opening Ceremonies videos, my eyes well up with tears. If you want something badly enough, the facts don’t count. I talk to everyone about my dream. I regularly speak with other athletes that are in the hunt. I think about my dream all day long and I dream about my dream all night long.
I vividly imagine what it’s going to feel like when I’m walking into the Opening Ceremonies. I can hear the people cheering. I can see the Olympic flag and Olympic torch. I can feel the cold air and the snow hitting my face. I can feel the tears of joy. I can feel the goose bumps. Vividly imagining what it’s going to feel like feeds my desire. Writing about my dream is a powerful exercise. Whenever you put your thoughts down on paper your mind gets very focused and intense.
Professional and Olympic athletes aren’t the only ones who use these techniques. If you’re married, you’ve probably done many of these things. When you first fell in love, you constantly thought about your love; you had pictures of him or her around you all the time. You wanted to know everything about them. You wrote letters to them. You constantly talked about them to your friends. In fact, they were probably sick of hearing you talk about him or her! You were obsessed! And what happened? You probably ended up getting married.
A child that wants a puppy does the same thing. They talk about puppies. They read about puppies. They think about puppies. They collect pictures of puppies. And eventually, the parents break down and buy the puppy. Do the same with your dream. Get obsessed! Become a fanatic! Obsessed fanatics make dreams come true. If I could do it, you can do it!
Ruben Gonzalez is an award-winning keynote speaker and the author of the critically acclaimed book, “The Courage to Succeed.” His experiences as a four-time Olympian and as the owner of two businesses give him a unique perspective on how to conquer the corporate struggles of today. For his free 10-Part Success eCourse, visit www.StartWinningMore.com or contact him at 832-689-8282.