“What do you do once you have fulfilled your dream?”
That is a good question because for many people after reaching their ultimate goal, they end up taking a nose dive. You may have noticed this especially in the sporting arena where a team may play at an exceptional level to win the championship. Only to find that the following year with same players and the same coach they struggle to win a game.
Many athletes after achieving their dream of winning a gold medal at the Olympic Games come home and after the initial celebration, have feelings of emptiness and even depression. Why would this be?
In business it is the same. Companies that were strong and seemed to be virtually indestructible have now slipped into oblivion. Did you know that out of the original Fortune 500 companies only 71 remain on that list? All of the above mentioned were exceptional people, teams and companies.
Why did they not power beyond the dream?
Let’s look at some possible reasons for this:
NOT PLANNING TO PEAK AGAIN:
Most great teams, companies and athletes have an amazing conviction that they have what it takes to achieve their goal, so with great mental and physical energy they go out to achieve what they know they can do.
Even though this is excellent, the danger is in thinking you are doing your best when you have reached you goal and this is the best you will ever need to be. Those who power beyond the dream have a strong conviction that their best lies beyond their grandest achievement.
Tiger Woods, the world’s greatest golfer, after winning a championship will go and get more coaching. Yes that’s right Tiger Woods has a coach because he believes he still has not reached his best. He may still have some down times but has always continued to step back up and win.
Mark Douglas a share market mindset expert once shared how he was approached by a pit trader who was averaging $100,000 per day. Most people would think that they had reached their best and not need to humble themselves and ask for coaching at this level of success. Not this share trader because after receiving coaching from Mark he increased his trading success by 50%.
The top performers in any area of life always believe that their best has not been yet achieved even after reaching their initial goal, so for them winning a medal is not the end. It is cause for celebration and enjoying the momentary accolades that are due to them but they also know there is still more to enjoy. What a great attitude that is! To always believe that it doesn’t matter how excellent life gets, the good news is that there is always more of life to enjoy.
HOLDING THE FORT MENTALLY:
The 21st century is a highly competitive world where things are moving much faster and the expectations are much higher. It is a place where a, “holding the fort” mentality just won’t cut it. In fact even aiming for excellence in some fields of endeavor will not be enough. The reason being that if most people in a particular field are excellent, it then makes excellent, average.
Reaching our initial goals might have taken excellence in all that we have done, but powering beyond them in a 21st Century world will take more than excellence it will take the ‘Extraordinary’. One of the biggest challenges we will face after achieving a major goal, will be the desire to rest there. The truth is that there is a lot more in you that has not yet been tapped into. It takes the kind of person who will rise to a new challenge and believe they can still achieve beyond their wildest dreams.
It is a natural thing to have time out after a significant achievement, but the difference in champions who are able to power beyond the dream is that they have the ability to rise up quickly and believe for greater conquests before the slump becomes a lifestyle.
PEOPLE MAKE YOU WIN:
Ultimately people are the power for any successful endeavor in life. It could be said that, people are the foundation of success. If you build a construction too large for the foundation it will eventually collapse and this is exactly what happens. Sometimes individuals or leaders come to the opinion that they are the sole reason for their success. When they do this they undermine the foundation which is people and it is not long before the whole building collapses.
Champions who power beyond the dream give praise and high accolades to those around them. This strengthens and enlarges the foundation which in turn allows them to keep building wider and higher.
Whenever you win at anything in life make sure that there are a lot of other people who win with you. Never criticize those around you as this also undermines the foundation of your success. Inspire and build them up, believe in them even when they may not be doing as well as you think they could.
Criticism robs people of their courage and self-confidence, but praise gives people courage to perform at a higher level. It can be stated simply by saying; “If you build people, people will build your success”.
“Playing not to lose rather than playing to win”
It can happen so easily after achieving a number 1 position in any given field to think that all you have to do now is focus on holding that position. The old proverb which says: “The wolf climbing the mountain is a lot hungrier that the wolf at the top of the mountain”, certainly rings true in this situation.
Once achieving a significant position in life the focus should never be just to hold that position. The same attitude that got you there will be the attitude that keeps you there and takes you to the next level.
If you read the auto biographies of any great entrepreneurs you will find that after they achieved a significant point in their lives they were immediately looking for a higher challenge. They never seem to be focused on just holding the fort. In fact, the true entrepreneurial mind is always focused on higher peaks rather than holding a position in the fear that others will take it.
One such person was an Olympic runner named Roger Bannister. Bannister in 1951 after winning the 880m race at AAA championships in White City defeating the current champion at the time went into a slump which caused him to lose in the 1952 Olympics. After the great devastation of losing, Bannister decided to set himself a higher goal, one that no one thought would ever be possible. That goal was to be the first man to the mile in less than four minutes.
World experts at the time said that it would be impossible for the human frame to be capable of running a mile in less than four minutes. They were all to be proven wrong on May 6, 1954 when Bannister was recorded running the mile in a time of 3 mins 59.4 seconds.
Once it had been proven by Roger Bannister that it was actually possible to break the four-minute mile, several other runners in that same year accomplished to run the mile in under four minutes also.
Those who keep on playing to win and powering beyond the dream inspire others to achieve the impossible and leave a legacy for following generations to run on.
After reaching a peak the challenge will always be not to just defend your position because that will always set you back. The real challenge is to rise up from that high place and look up again and see, believe and act to achieve the impossible.
All the best,
Author, Speaker, Motivational Teacher & Traveler!