I’ve always been one to aim high in life, not just in business, but sport, academics, social – you name it. I’ve had so many wonderful successes in my life so far. I’ve accomplished some impressive milestones thus far in business including a nationally recognised award, I’ve played sport at the semi-elite level and I’ve achieved wonderful academic success. However, for every success that I have been fortunate enough to have, I’ve had just as many crushing defeats.
As I’ve matured through my early twenties I’ve certainly become far more resilient to adversity, defeats and setbacks. I’ve made more than my fair share of mistakes, I’ve probably lost more times than I’ve won but I’ve learnt that if you keep putting your hand up and putting yourself outside of your comfort zones you can have amazing wins that make up for your losses.
I have always had very high expectations of myself, and nothing has changed. But I think the way in which we deal with our expectations makes all the difference in recurring success. In sport especially, winning is often tied together with themes like ‘war’ and ‘do or die’. Although it might be a motivating push for some, I honestly believe that’s not the way we should approach major challenges. Essentially we’re setting ourselves up for defeat by putting our goals on an unrealistic pedastool. There is absolutely no similarities between sport and war in the context of winning. When you lose a war, you’re probably not going home to see your family ever again. If you lose a sports match, you go back into the dugout, have a beer with your teammates and reflect on what could have been. By using this ‘do or die’ mentality we’re building up these milestones and challenges to be the be all and end all. As I’ve learnt, there are always more opportunities around the corner.
I believe that funneling our efforts and ambitions into productive events, milestones and achievements without a ‘do or die’ attitude is the key to recurring success. The crush of losing with a do or die attitude is far too dramatic and it can take a huge toll on you personally to dust yourself off and get back up. A failed business, relationship, test or sporting game is not the end of the world and there will be other opportunities.
Be ready to win, but you can’t let losing and a ‘do or die’ attitude hold you back from your next success.