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Going For Greatness

I have always been intrigued by greatness. I have always been fascinated with success. I played for a great, successful high school coach—the legendary Warren Wolf in Brick, NJ. I went to a great college in William & Mary. I currently work with many great athletes and extremely successful entrepreneurs and business executives. My constant attention and awareness to special people and special places “Being Great” have led me to some conclusions. If I had to sum it up in a nutshell, there are 3 things that separate people from being good to being great: COMMITMENT, CONNNECTING, and CONDITIONING.

Commitment is the first characteristic of people that I find successful in life. I have never met a “great” person in life that wasn’t truly committed to their job, occupation, or their personal responsibilities. In order to be great, you must be 100% committed to your task and game-plan. There are several components that are part of Commitment: Focus, Passion, and Mental Toughness.

  • Are you focused on your goals? Are you focused on your purpose? Are you focused on your mission and vision?
  • Are you passionate about what you do and do you “play” with the fervor and spirit of a champion?
  • Are you mentally tough? Do you have the ability to overcome obstacles, challenges, and roadblocks? Regardless of the size of the obstacles and challenges, it is your Attitude and 100% conviction that will allow you to rise to the top.

I can’t think of a better example of someone that exemplifies “Commitment” right now than Drew Brees. Drew completely tore his labrum and rotator cuff in the last game of the season last year. Doctors told him that it was a career threatening injury and that there was a very good chance that he might not throw again. Drew committed to a routine that was as grueling as I have ever seen. 10-12 hours of rehab per day EVERYDAY were his daily routine just to get back to a point where he could get out pain, restore joint movement, and start to function “normally” again. When I started working with Drew again a couple months outside of surgery, I saw a man determined, focused, passionate, and as tough as they come. He asked me to challenge him like I have never done. He did things that most men would never commit to. He went beyond “normal” to pay the price to be great.

Drew Brees led the resurgent New Orleans Saints to the NFC Championship game this year, he threw for over 4,000 yards in an NFL record breaking year, he was the runner-up MVP behind LaDainian Tomlinson, and he shared the Walter Payton Award for the Man of the Year for his charitable work in the community of New Orleans with LT. You talk about someone who has demonstrated the will, focus, passion, and mental toughness to overcome adversity and the odds—Drew Brees is that guy.

The second aspect of being great is Connecting. Are you doing everything you can do to connect with others: your family, colleagues, teammates, the community, and to those in need? Being 100% present when speaking to people, looking them in the eye, a firm handshake, saying “thank you”, smiling, or writing a hand-written note to a long lost friend are all examples of ways to Connect with others. Life is all about the “time” that we spend on this earth and it is important to stay connected to those people around you that support you or need you. Life is an exchange of energy and it is important to share your energy with others. For the more you give, the more you shall receive.

Lastly, Conditioning for life is absolutely essential if you want to be great in life. Our health and fitness is a fundamental aspect and drives all relationships, all successes, and everything we do. Most of us are under-nourished physically and spiritually and over-stressed mentally and emotionally. Physical conditioning drives our emotions and it is important to commit to a routine of daily exercise. We often fail to realize how valuable our health is until we lose it. Don’t wait to be a “Champion of your own Health.” Workout everyday for at least 30 minutes and your physical, mental, and emotional health will be great. Furthermore, spend at least 10 additional minutes getting some quiet time or prayer time per day and your life will be spiritually nourished. I personally try to read 2 chapters per day in the Bible. This helps keep me focused and balanced and keeps all things in perspective.

I ask you the question, “Are you doing what it takes in your life or your business to be great?” Are you OK with just being good? Is there something that you always dreamed of doing but you are being held back by fear? In order to be 100% fulfilled and happy, you must continue to grow and take calculated risks. Whether you are a house-mom, accountant, business executive, athlete, retiree, health & fitness professional, teacher and coach, law enforcement officer, or some other job, are you doing everything you can to “Go for Greatness” in your occupation? How about your life? Don’t be complacent and content with being good. Life is all about optimizing your potential and making a difference.

  • Are you 100% Committed to what you do?
  • Are you 100% Focused?
  • Do you play with passion?
  • Are you mentally tough?
  • Are you connecting with people EVERYDAY?
  • Are you spending the time nourishing your physical and spiritual being?

Everything you do in life, put a “10” effort in. If you want a “10” out of life, you can’t put an “8” or a “9” effort in. There are no short-cuts, there are no freebies, there are no free tickets. 10-in, 10-out. Are you willing to do what it takes to be great in the game of life? Go for Greatness and your life will be enlightened and fulfilled.

Todd Durkin is a 2 Time Personal Trainer of the Year and Founder of Fitness Quest 10 & Todd Durkin Enterprises in San Diego, CA. He trains people from all walks of life, but is best known for the work he does with over 25 NFL Superstars. He trains the likes of LaDainian Tomlinson, Drew Brees, Carson Palmer, Reggie Bush, Alex Smith, and Donnie Edwards amongst others. His expert staff of 30 trainers, coaches, and massage therapist/bodyworkers perform over 400 weekly sessions and help educate, motivate, and inspire the world to greater levels of health & fitness. Todd has 17 DVD’s on fitness & sports performance and has been featured in many national magazines and media outlets. His ezine newsletter “TD Times” is his way of connecting clients, trainers, coaches, colleagues, and friends from all over the world. He can best be reached via his websites,, or by using the contact form below: [easy-contact]

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