Becoming who you are meant to be

Every time you are tempted to react in the same old way, ask if you want to be a prisoner of the past, or a pioneer of the future.

Deepak Chopra

You’re at the gym, one knee on the floor, tightening your laces as you get ready for practice.

As you do this, there are a hundred thoughts that could be racing through your mind.

Some useful, some not.

How you choose to direct your mind in this moment before practice, will determine how you show up for yourself and for your team.

You could choose to focus on other people. Your teammates, coaches, opponents.

Do you compare yourself to them? Get distracted by what you think they think about you?

Or do you choose to learn from these people? Possibly even find ways to serve them?

You could choose to focus on yourself.

When you think of yourself, are you hard on yourself? Do you judge yourself for not doing things perfectly enough?

Or do you choose to have compassion for yourself, and intentionally choose what you want to believe about you?

You could choose to focus on the past.

Do you use that one performance as a measuring stick for your best? Forever thinking you “should” be doing better? Do you focus on things you regret?

Or do you use the past as a tool for learning and gaining awareness about yourself?

You could choose to focus on the future.

Are you in a hurry to achieve those goals you have? Do you lose the perspective of the big picture, thinking it will be better there than it is here?

Or do you use the future to practice becoming today who you want to be in the future? As a way of guiding you?

You could choose to focus on the present.

Being in the moment. Noticing how your shoes feel on the hardwood floor. Feeling a sense of calm that only the present moment can bring.

The more aware you are about where your brain hangs out, the more intentional you can be to direct it.

This is the most important work you will ever do.

You get to decide.

Are you ready to Find Your Edge and become who you are meant to be?

Who are you letting down?

Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.

Winston Churchill

First, let’s be clear. What does it mean to let someone down?

It is to fall short of meeting an expectation. An outcome hoped for, but not realized.

When you think you let your coach and your teammates down, what you really think is that they are disappointed in you.

Maybe they are.

They are also humans and have expectations, so why is it a problem if you don’t meet those expectations? Chances are, your coach and teammates will love and support you even if they feel disappointed. Disappointing others is never the real problem.

The person you truly disappoint is yourself.

“I know I can do better. It’s my fault. Why do I keep making mistakes? I don’t want to mess up again. Nothing is working.”

Then comes the doubt. Maybe you’re not as good as you thought you were. You start playing it safe. Hesitating. Focusing on what you’re NOT doing.

What you’re really doing is failing ahead of time. The only thing worse is beating yourself up in the process.

Chances are, you are your biggest critic.

You don’t want to fail, because you say terrible things to yourself when you do. You are trying to protect yourself, from yourself.

What if letting someone else down wasn’t possible? You think it is them you’re worried about, but it’s really yourself.

Are you willing to be wrong about failing?

What if it was all part of the process? If nothing has gone wrong?

What if failure was simply getting you closer to your goal? Would it be a problem for you?

How much could you achieve if you weren’t afraid to fail?

It is possible my friend. This is the work we do. Let me be your guide.

What are you waiting for?

Staying in the game

Giving up on your goal because of one set back is like slashing your other three tires because you got a flat.

Mel Robbins

So many athletes are navigating new territory.

A pandemic has cancelled their senior prom, sport season, and graduation.

Once in a lifetime events that will never get to be experienced. For many, it feels tragic.

What can you do when something out of your control leaves you feeling stuck on the sidelines?

There is opportunity in every obstacle. You may not control when your circumstances change, but you control so much more than you think.

How you use choose to think about your circumstances will determine your experience during this (hopefully) once in a lifetime crisis.

What can you do today to get you closer to your goals?

How can you make boring things more interesting?

Why would you want to think your goals have been derailed or sidetracked?

Use this time to get even stronger than you were before. To condition your mind and body.

Are you staying in the game?

Chop Wood, Carry Water

Strength and growth come only through continuous effort and struggle.

Napoleon Hill

Have you heard this phase before? Or perhaps read the book by Joshua Medcalf?

Phil Jackson said it often to his players. As a coach he won 11 NBA Championships.

But what does it mean?

Do you often want your goals to happen faster.

In a hurry.

Impatiently suffering through the boring, the monotonous, the grind.

When you feel something is difficult, you want to get out of it as quickly as possible. Thinking you will feel better and be better on the other side of the challenge.

But you miss the most valuable piece. The part where you love the process. Enjoy the challenge. Embrace it all.

You have your past self; the little girl who has always dreamed of doing the thing you are doing now, or even the version of you six months ago that wanted to play on the team you just finished playing for.

And you have your future self. The one who has won a state title, or secured a scholarship playing for the college of her dreams. The one who has done the thing you want right now.

You are always somewhere in between.

What if you actually loved that part the most?

Because being uncomfortable isn’t a choice, but where you experience it is.

Staying where you are is uncomfy, and so is growth.

Once you reach one goal, you will always want more. To get to the next level. The next version of yourself.

What if there was no hurry? If this place wasn’t a destination, but rather a guide? Pointing us in the direction we want to go, but knowing there is no final place. It doesn’t exist.

You are exactly where you are meant to be. Everything is exactly as it should be. The universe is conspiring in your favor.

Everything is an opportunity to learn and grow.

You don’t just want your dream. You want to be the person who built your dream. The one who overcame.

Learn to love the process of becoming great.

To love the struggle.

To love where you were and where you are going, but most of all, love where you are right now.

How good is good enough?

Doing your best is more important than being the best.

Zig Ziglar

“I didn’t do my best. I know I can do better.”

It sounds so innocent. Like it might be a useful thought to motivate you to improve.

But what it turns into is, “It’s my fault. I let my team down. I didn’t play good enough.”

What does it mean to do your best? Is it ever enough?

The truth is, as humans we can always do better. We have unlimited potential. This is a beautiful thing.

It is also true that our best changes from moment to moment.

That game you had where you scored 30 points? That was your best. What about that time you missed the free throw to win the game? That was also your best. In that moment.

How do we know? Because that is what happened.

Instead of measuring your best based on outcome, and comparing yourself to others or to a standard of your best in your mind, what if our best was determined by how we felt?

What if your best was actually a feeling, not a result or outcome?

Circumstances change. Your environment. Your opponent. Your mindset. Your best when you are 100% healthy is different than your best with an injury. As long as you are alive and a human, you will continue to make “mistakes” and there will be things you can’t control.

Instead of having a “never enough” mentality, what if you believed you always do your best? No matter what.

Of course you do. Believing anything else simply isn’t useful.

Your 4-Minute Mile

“It’s impossible” they said. “Can’t be done.” Experts said that the human body was incapable of running fast enough for long enough, to run a mile in under 4 minutes.

Until May 6, 1954.

Roger Bannister did the impossible and broke the 4 minute mile barrier in less than ideal conditions. He did it on a cold day, on a wet track, at a small meet, before a crowd of just a few thousand people.

Only 46 days after Bannister broke this record, another man also ran a mile under 4-minutes. Not long after, others followed. A feat that had been impossible for decades was now being accomplished by many.

So, how did he do it? How can we do things that have never been done? Believe in ourselves without evidence it will happen?

Beliefs have the power to create and the power to destroy. Human beings have the awesome ability to take any experience of their lives and create a meaning that disempowers them or one that can literally save their lives.

Tony Robbins

The answer? With our amazing brains. The human mind is the only thing that can defy all odds. That can dream up the impossible. That can create certainty, without any.

We were all born to create. Every single day. The most powerful thing we create is meaning. We are doing it all the time, whether we realize it or not.

What is your 4-minute mile?

What is wrong with you?

“Watch your thoughts; they become words. Watch your words; they become actions. Watch your actions; they become habit. Watch your habits; they become character. Watch your character; it becomes your destiny.”

–Lau Tzu

It all starts with a thought. A sentence in our brain. We have over 60,000 of these every single day. Many of these thoughts serve us well.

As an athlete, you can run, jump, and perform many skills without too much conscious thought. In fact, we perform our best when we have no thoughts. In the zone. Seeing, observing, acting, without judgement.

The only problem we ever have, are thoughts. Sentences in our brain. What we are thinking, is the only thing that is ever “wrong” with us.

What if…

  • Everything is working in your favor.
  • It was always meant to happen the way it did.
  • Nothing has gone wrong here.
  • You can figure it out. You always do.
  • You are valuable.
  • Hard work feels amazing.
  • What others think about you is none of your business.
  • You belong here. You are needed.
  • You have everything you need right now to make a difference.

Be willing to be wrong about what you are thinking.

Question all of it. Keep only what serves you.

You are creating your reality. You might as well make it the best you can possibly imagine.

One thought can change everything.

3 Reasons why you’re NOT motivated

Our brains are the most efficient, most powerful, most amazing tools on the planet.

People have been trying to recreate the human brain in the form of super computers for decades, and it simply cannot be done.

Your brain is the only one like it in the UNIVERSE. The human brain is one of the few body parts that cannot be transplanted. You are the only person who will ever be able to use the amazing tool that is YOUR BRAIN.

All human brains are motivated in the moment by three things. We call this the Motivational Triad. Let’s take a look at these motivations, and how they are working for or against us.

AVOID PAIN

  • Protects us from danger and keeps us alive.
  • Our brains can’t tell the difference between real danger (life threatening) and discomfort. Pain is pain, and we are always trying to find ways to AVOID it.

SEEK PLEASURE

  • Wants everything to be fun and exciting, and to do what is comfortable.
  • Our brains love false pleasure at least as much as real pleasure, and we can’t get enough.

SAVE ENERGY

  • Helps us make things automatic and be efficient.
  • Our brains want to do what is familiar, known, and easy. It wants to do what we are already good at doing.

All of these motivations are for what feels good in the moment. When we can use this lower (toddler) brain with our higher brain, that is when we become unstoppable.

So WHY aren’t you motivated? Because you think something is too hard, boring, uncomfortable, or will take too much effort.

Want to be more motivated? Ask yourself, “How can I make this simple, easy, and fun?”

Your Goal is not the Goal

That’s right.

Goals are are not merely for the achieving of them, but for who we become in the process.

Who would I have to become to be the person who leads the team? Wins a state title? Gains a college scholarship? Lands the job of their dreams? Starts their own business?

Goals are great for focusing our minds. What you think about consistently creates your reality. We have to intentionally think the same thoughts our future self would think TODAY. How can I be the person I want to be RIGHT NOW? That is, after all, the only way we will ever evolve into the best version of ourselves.

Who you are becoming is always more important than what you are doing, but what you are doing is always determining who you are becoming.

When we truly understand this, we don’t expect immediate results. We know becoming great is a process.

Who are you becoming today?

I’ll be happy when…

How would you finish that sentence?

Maybe when you win that state title? Get that college scholarship? Increase your vertical? Earn a starting spot on the team?

What if being truly happy was available RIGHT NOW?

“Being aware of the present moment simply means you never believe the illusion that the future is going to be better than what is going on right now.

Plan, dream, and organize all you want; just don’t start believing that what you have planned for the future is going ot be any better than your current moment.

You are going to be in this present moment your entire life.

If you are focusing on how good the future (that really doesn’t exist) is going to be, you are just running on the hamseter wheel hoping to get somewhere.

If you are not allowing yourself to be happy right NOW, nothing external in the future is going to change that permanently.”

Mateo Tabatabai The Mind-Made Prison