Are You Capable of Achieving Greatness?
With the 2014 Winter Olympic Games quickly approaching, I’ve found myself inspired to reflect on how people really get to the top in their sports. What really brings people to the level of greatness? And possibly more importantly, what stops people from achieving this?
Of course agility is not an Olympic sport, but I believe the same factors propel us to be successful in any area of our lives. Everyone is capable of greatness, but not everyone is willing to do what’s necessary to achieve it. Instead, we often credit some other factor such as “talent” or “luck”; circumstances that conveniently we feel we have no control over. By doing this, we trap ourselves into feeling that we lack the resources to achieve our version of greatness. We find ourselves saying things like, “if only I had his/her talent!” or “if only I had the time,” or my personal favourite “If I had started younger…” I could have that success too!
These are excuses.
Success comes from focus, determination, and hard work; not talent and luck.
I can’t count the number of times I’ve been told I’m naturally co-ordinated by people that have only known me through agility. Anyone who has spent any time with me knows I’m a total klutz! The first time I tried to do a front cross, I tripped and fell. It took me months to learn how to do a threadle back in the day. My coach at the time used to joke that he could hear my feet stomping from the other room because I was so lead footed! This is a big difference from how people describe me now. I’m often told how graceful, fast, and coordinated I am. This did not come from some inborn talent. This came from sheer hard work and determination.
When everyone else was done, I kept going. When I had no access to equipment, I made it out of things I found in my garage. When my dog was kicked out of class for being dog aggressive, I moved on and found a trainer that could help give us both the confidence we needed to break through our barriers. I remember being a part of a dog training club that had access to a facility once a week for a few hours. Most of the club spent their time split between obedience, agility, and basic socializing. I would spend the whole time in the agility room practicing my skills without my dog. This meant hours of rehearsing footwork and memorization. This has not changed. To this day I still practice my skills daily, often without my dogs.
I don’t consider myself talented or gifted in some way. These results are possible for ANYONE. The question is how much do you want it? Get focused on the result you want, and don’t let anything hold you back. If you are already making excuses in your head stop and think them through for a moment. If you really wanted to, could you find the time to train? If you were completely dedicated, could you fix your start line or contact issues? If you did 100 front crosses every day for a month, would you look smooth and fluid doing them? If you were creative enough, could you find a way to practice in the winter without having access to a training facility?
Of course you could!
You are your own greatest asset or liability. People who are consistently at the top have worked their butts off to get there and continue to do so because it matters to them.
Does it matter to you?
Here’s a link to a Nike commercial that I feel really puts greatness into perspective.
“Never underestimate the power of dreams and the influence of the human spirit. We are all the same in this notion: The potential for greatness lives within each of us.”
We are all capable, but we are not all willing. So the next time you see someone accomplishing something you admire think past the obvious to HOW they got to where they are. Model their actions and get their results.