Developing Your Regime for Success
I was reading an article today about the Scottish tennis player Andy Murray. Once reported as a lightweight he has been following a regime that has turned him into one of the top sportsmen in his field. There’s no doubt that his regime is a punishing one from the general public’s view. To him, he probably feels that if he works harder than anyone else now he will reap the benefits for the rest of his life. A tennis player’s career is a relatively short one. If he can win multiple grand slams and at least one Wimbledon title, his career and earning potential beyond playing tennis is secured. He will of course also go down as a legend who reached the top of his profession and one of the best players Britain has ever seen. In doing so he will make his family proud and inspire thousands of youngsters. He will be a hero to his own children (if he has any). When you begin to stack up what is at stake versus the percieved sacrifices of his daily regime you can see how it’s worth it.
If you want to be remarkable, you have to do remarkable things.
notably or conspicuously unusual; extraordinary: a remarkable change.
worthy of notice or attention.
You have to be prepared to go beyond what others are willing to. There are lots of versions of a quote that I think sums this up.
Do what others aren’t willing to today, so that you’re able to do what others aren’t able to later on
Andy will get up at 6.30am and practise more, exercise more and eat a more restricted diet than his competitors. He knows that if he’s willing to make more sacrifices and work harder than his competitiors then he is likely to win out in the end.
What does this mean for you? You’re probably not a tennis player, but you need to start thinking of yourself as an athlete.
You have a purpose. Your life goal is to reach your potential in your field. You want to go as far as you can go. You want to feel pride at your achievements. You want your family and children to be proud of you. You want to serve your clients and customers at the highest level.
All of this can be yours.
Look around you at what your colleagues are doing, or others in the same niche. And then do more, be more, create more. I don’t necessarily mean volume here. Hold yourself up to producing the highest quality too.
To be an athlete your mind, body and technical skill need to be honed together. If you’re lacking in one area then it lets your whole performance down. Let’s have a look at each area.
Your mind needs to be strong. You need to have the ability to overcome adversity.
Your people – Andy has his own team around him, do you have yours?
For me it starts with a supportive family. You can choose your friends but you can’t choose your family. You can however decide which family members you spend most time with. You can also pick and choose who gets to enter your inner circle of people whose thoughts and opinions you value. If Uncle Alf thinks you’re batshit crazy for attempting to realise an ambition then he’s outside the inner circle of trust (see The Fockers!).
Your network – You are the sum of the five people you spend the most time with. Make sure those five people are as good, or better than you. In short, spend time with like minded people who will push you on. Commit to doing this regularly.
Your coach – many people find having a coach or mentor to help guide them is invaluable. I have dipped in and out of this kind of support and have always gained huge value and taken big strides as a result. You can find my mentoring services here.
Your personal development – personal development is brain training. If you want to be physically strong you go to the gym, if you want to mentally strong you have to read (or listen/study). Understanding why you think and feel the way you do is a good first step. Reading books related to psychology eg fear, self awareness, confidence will help you to manage your own perceived shortcomings and help you overcome obstacles.
Your rest time – you can’t be working all the time, but you can make sure that your rest time contributes to your success. In the West we’ve been brain washed into believing that shopping is a good thing to do during our rest time. Furthermore we have been led to believe that shopping can cure us of our ills – ‘retail therapy’. Buying stuff may momentarily make you feel good but every unnecessary purchase takes you a step further away from your dreams. If you have to earn money to buy things or pay debt then you’re limiting your choices in life, at the top of your list you need to consider earning significant ££’s. Personally, my family, a quality newspaper, tasty food, and perhaps a good film or tv programme is all I need to recuperate and get ready for more work.
You need to stay healthy, periods of illness can keep you from working towards your goals. As someone with a chronic illness (crohns) I know all too well the importance of self care in this area.
Diet – I’m not a nutritionist but I know how food affects me. I know that cream, raw onion and certain types of spice flare up the crohns. I avoid these. I know that pasta and white bread make me feel sluggish, I avoid these foods when I want to be productive. Fresh fruit, vegetables and juice give me energy so I eat these as much as I can stand. Tune in to how food affects your performance and adjust accordingly. Enjoy foods that have ‘negative’ effects when you’re on down time.
Exercise – I’m not a fan of vigorous exercise but it’s an area I need to improve. A daily walk always makes me feel better and increases my productivity. Set a manageable goal that you know will help improve your performance.
Sleep – find a sleep pattern that produces the optimum amount of work during waking hours.
Your Technical Skills
Athletes practise the same skill repeatedly and aim for perfection.
Keep up to speed – subscribe to relevant publications in your niche. Join a membership that provides news and networking opportunities.
Develop new/advanced skills – never stop learning. Most people will gain ‘enough’ skills and stick at that. To be remarkable you have to commit to developing your skills further than other people in your niche.
Higher quality output – if training is input then the work you produce is output. Commit to producing the highest quality output you’re capable of. In tennis it’s about making every point count. For you it’s about not putting anything out there that isn’t your best, or very close to it. That last part was for the perfectionists who would never get anything out there as they never think it’s their best! Good rule of thumb, don’t put anything out there that isn’t at least an eight out of ten. Make your standard a nine and aim for a ten as often as you possibly can.
To be remarkable, you have to do remarkable things. What remarkable things are you doing? Please add your own thoughts below.
For more on success and making life changes, consider my 12 part program for life improvement
Photo from www.telegraph.co.uk
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