Fighting for Your Dream
September 12, 2007 Leave a comment
A championship fight took place this past weekend that most people in America probably had no idea was happening. This was a fight between the UFC Champion and the Pride Champion. Most of you still don’t know what I’m talking about. That’s ok, keep reading.
In the last few years Mixed Martial Arts (i.e., Ultimate Fighting Championship and Pride Fighting Championship) has had a meteoric rise into mainstream sports and entertainment. I am amazed at this, because what was once on the fringes of the sports world – many considered it not much more than barbaric street brawling – is now more accepted as a legitimate sport.
While I am not necessarily a fan of the sport overall, there is a lot that you and I can learn from these athletes. They have a passion, intensity, and drive for what they do that exceeds the average person (and maybe even the average athlete). The amount of punishment they give out and receive in one match is astounding. But one thing is for sure, they are not going to quit unless they get put into a submission hold or they get knocked out – whichever happens first.
Are you like that with your dreams? Do you have a fighter’s mentality about your vision? Are you so committed to your idea that you won’t quit until its accomplished? How resilient are you when you have setbacks? How resourceful are you when you run into roadblocks? What is your level of “stick-to-it-ness?” How much punishment are you willing to endure to ensure that your goals get accomplished?
They say the 3 P’s of entrepreneurship are passion, patience, and perseverance. Of the three, I believe perseverance is the hardest to develop. The reason is that you usually have to get “beat up” a lot in the pursuit of your endeavor to develop a high level of perseverance. This is probably even harder for talented people, who are used to things coming to them very easily.
* If your vision or dream can be accomplished easily, it’s too small!
* If you don’t need anybody else’s help to accomplish your vision or dream, it’s too small!
* If your vision or dream only impacts you or your family, it’s too small!
The truth is that nothing that’s going to be great is going to be easy. So how do you develop a fighter’s mentality that will allow you to dream big and then persevere to accomplish that dream? Here are 12 training pointers that will help you in your personal and professional development:
- Set big goals and small goals – Dream big! If you don’t think you can win, then you’ve already lost. Establish intermediate milestones that represent mini-victories that you savor and cherish along the way to accomplishing the big goals. Reaching these milestones also helps you to grow your confidence, which you will need a lot of.
- Focus your vision on others – When your vision purposefully encompasses the impact that you expect to have on others, you will develop an internal motivation to see it all the way through to the end. So when your situation gets so challenging to the point that it seems overwhelming, think about all the people that will lose out if you don’t accomplish your vision.
- Create a vision board – This is a visual tool that you create using words and pictures that you find in magazines or on the web that symbolize your vision, values, goals, personality, etc. You can post in your home or office in an area that you see all the time. So when times get really tough you can look at your vision board to help you get some motivation.
- Streamline your focus – Don’t try to be “good” at 10 things. Strive to be “great” at 1 or 2. This will also help you to better manage your resources and time – which is your greatest resource.
- Challenge yourself – The skill of a sailor is not developed on calm seas. Push yourself out of your comfort zone and take some risks.
- Find a training coach – Connect with people who are “refiners”. They push and challenge you to grow and develop. They have the ability to drive you harder and further than you would typically go on your own.
- Get some training partners – Connect with people who are “refreshers”. These are peers who are fighting similar battles and can relate to what you’re going through. They are not going to let you quit on your dreams and you don’t let them quit on theirs.
- Eliminate distractions that discourage – Get rid of people or things that could derail you from your dream. This could also include negative personal habits that steal your time and thoughts away from activities that are healthy and productive. You always need your mind to be fresh and uncluttered so that you can receive new ideas.
- Learn from your experiences – Don’t keep making the same mistakes. Actually apply what you learn so that you don’t keep going around the same mountain unnecessarily. Also be flexible enough to make adjustments to your plan, because the pathway to your dream may take some unexpected twists and turns.
- Learn from other people’s mistakes – You don’t have to personally experience every class in the “school of hard knocks” if you can learn from other’s mistakes. Whether you know them personally or learn about them through different media, simply read their life/business “cliff’s notes” and apply what you learn.
- Embrace the journey – Perseverance is a developmental process not a destination. Write down your experiences and feelings in a journal as you go through this process. When you read about yourself 6 months or a year from now, you will be amazed at how much you have grown.
- Don’t quit! – Make a pact with yourself that you will keep going no matter what happens. Prepare yourself to bounce back from setbacks. Develop a resolve that you will not stop fighting until your vision is accomplished.
Any dream that’s worthwhile will not come easy. I heard a speaker once say that the theme of almost every success story has 3 key phases: 1) big dream, 2) big struggle, and 3) big success. If you have a dream, understand that you will have to go through a struggle to see it accomplished. And if you are in the midst of your struggle now, just keep fighting and believe that your success could be just around the corner!
Paul Wilson, Jr.
1) Rise Above It