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One question I love to ask my clients is “What drives you to be great?”  Regardless of whether it is a champion athlete, successful entrepreneur, or a hard-working professional, I find the answers are often similar.  Regardless of your business, dreams, and desires, let’s use the traits of a champion and apply them to our lives.  As we all strive for improving our game, here are some of the answers I often hear…

Focus. Let’s face it.  Many of us are under stress and striving for balance and harmony in our lives.  The ability to focus and endure the tough times allows you to stand-out.  You can achieve improved focus by concentrating on elements you can control and not spending time on those you can’t control.

Attention to Detail. It goes hand-in-hand with focus but if you do the small things and pay attention to the details of your work, than you are more likely to be successful.  Do you strive for detail?  Do you follow-up to complete a project until the very end?  Are you good at communicating messages to staff or your team?  What areas can you improve upon to enhance this area of your life?

Hard Work. Legendary basketball coach John Wooden says “if you want to be successful, you need to be hard-working and industrious.”  I believe the road to success is paved not only with great intentions, but hard-work, enthusiasm, and a detailed plan, as well.

Passion. Play with passion and positive energy and it will rub-off on all that you touch.  Passion breeds enthusiasm and enthusiasm develops a positive energy.  A positive energy attracts success.  Play the game to win and not to “not lose.”  In times of fear, struggle, and challenge, it is critical to focus your attention inwards and find the inner spirit that guides you.  If you are in the right place, you will find your passion that drives you to deliver consistently.

Mental Toughness. Are you going to face adversity?  You bet!  And the higher you go up the pecking order, the more shots will be taken at you.  The key is focus once again on the things you can control and ignore the negativity.  It is important that in your heart of hearts, you know that you are doing your absolute best and being honest with yourself.  Fight the good fight and keep focused on only the things you can control.  When you find yourself in a rut, focus on what needs to be done to climb out of the rut.  Sometimes it means just stop over-analyzing everything and just start “playing” again.  A great example would be a baseball player that is in a slump.  Although the player wants to analyze the swing and look at what he/she is doing right or wrong, sometimes one just needs to stop beating oneself up mentally and get rid of the negative beliefs that infiltrate the mind during tough times.  Play ball!

Believe. You must believe you can do something.  Sometimes we don’t know how we are going to get to where we want to go or what it’s going to take to get there.  I love saying “For what your mind can believe, you can achieve.”  Write down your intentions and start to believe that you can achieve anything you so desire.  Surround yourself with a great team and work towards your burning desires.

Positive Mindset. Just last week I was speaking with a successful client in the broadcast engineering field that was part of a deal that involved another company getting awarded a $36 million project.  I asked him why they received the contract and not the other 2 companies.  He said it was fairly simple.  Although all the bids were within relatively similar numbers, this company’s energy, positive mindset, and detailed plan made them stand-out.  He said the other 2 companies focused primarily on the challenges of the job whereas this company focused not only on solutions to the challenges, but they offered the positive results that would occur when they were chosen.  My client said it was this overwhelming positive attitude and energy that allowed them to win this significant bid.  Although all companies were competent, this company was chosen because this contract was going to span a 3-4 year period and they needed a  “can-do” positive attitude during this time. The company was confident that they not only had the technical expertise to get the job done right, they had the attitude and mindset of success.

Physical Conditioning. All of these traits are important, but it is the physical conditioning that drives the confidence, belief, conviction, and mind-set of a champion.  Train like a champion as you strive for greatness.   As you strive for your “Super Bowl” in your life, train at least 4 times per week, improve your nutrition, and condition your mind and your body for success.  Physical conditioning sets your mindset of success.

Relax & Rejuvenate. One of the hardest things to do when you are driven is to actually take time “off” from your mission.  When doing something you love and are passionate about, it is often easy to work, work, work.  My encouragement to you is to strive to take time away from work.  Get a massage, take a yoga or meditation class, set boundaries with your time, schedule in your workouts and vacations into your calendar, discover a hobby, read a good book, or even take a nap.  Give yourself permission to pamper and take care of yourself.  We all need to occasionally step away from the hustle & bustle of everyday life.  This will re-energize you and allow you to thrive in all aspects of your life.  I wouldn’t ask an athlete to train with me 7 days per week as that would eventually injure them.  If you are “running hard” 7 days per week, take a break and relax.

As you work towards achieving balance and harmony in your life and business, remember the traits that champions use to stay hungry for success.  These are just some of the traits that I believe are critical to derive great results in your life.  Keep your eye on the prize and stay focused on whatever it is you so desire.  Regardless, I encourage you to keep balance in your own life and do all that you can to take care of yourself first, so that you than can take care of others.  After all, if you are hurt and on the sideline, you aren’t going to be able to maximize your effectiveness.

Todd Durkin is an internationally-recognized personal trainer and strength & conditioning coach. He owns Fitness Quest 10 in San Diego, CA, where he and his 33 employees conduct personal training, massage therapy, Pilates, yoga, and sports conditioning. Todd also is the President/CEO of Todd Durkin Enterprises where he conducts motivational talks, educational conferences, Boot Camp Teambuilding events, and presents internationally on health, fitness, and success in life. He is a 2 Time Personal Trainer of the Year, Head of the Under Armour Performance Training Council, and has appeared on and in programs such as 60 Minutes, Business Week, Sports Illustrated and ESPN the Magazine. He works with athletes such as NFL Superstars LaDainian Tomlinson, Drew Brees, and Kellen Winslow, Jr. He has been doing massage therapy and bodywork since 1995 and created his products because of the demand for personal trainers and strength & conditioning coaches to learn more about “hands-on” work.

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