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Saturday, January 02, 2010

Characteristics of Greatness

Sixteen Consistent Characteristics of Greatness, courtesy of Don Yaeger (http://www.donyaeger.com/):

How great athletes think:

1. It’s personal

They hate to lose more than they love to win. People that aspire to greatness know that defeat just isn’t an option.

2. Rubbing elbows

They understand the value of association. We become the people that surround us. Those of us who are aspiring to greatness, it is our job to rub elbows with the right people and to learn what makes them successful and what keeps them going. In turn, it is up to them to help us better ourselves. And if you can’t change the people around you, then choose different people to be around. Think about it.

3. Believe

They have faith in a higher power. It is proven that a strong spiritual commitment, and a strong belief in faith is linked to a positive outcome. In our current economic state, always remember the power of a positive mind-set and the importance of belief in beating the impossible.

4. Contagious enthusiasm

They are positive thinkers… They are enthusiastic… and that enthusiasm rubs off. When you’re trying to work through your challenge-professional or personal – do so with the belief that the best is yet to come. Stay positive.

How they prepare:

5. Hope for the best but…

They prepare for all possibilities before they step on the field. Even if you are an eternal optimist, you also need to be a realist. So contingency-plan.

6. What off-season?

They are always working towards the next game… The goal is what’s ahead, and there’s always something ahead. if you visualise where you want to be and work backwards from there, you can always be moving the ball forward.

7. Visualise victory

They see victory before the game begins. Positive visualisation is a proven ingredient of a successful outcome.

8. Inner fire

They use adversity as fuel.One thing in life is certain… none of us gets through without adversity. What matters is that we find the strength to work through it. When we are knocked down, it may take hours, days, weeks, or months, but we need to get back up.

How they work:

9. Ice in their veins

They are risk-takers and don’t fear making a mistake. Failure is one of our greatest teachers.

“I’ve missed more than 9,000 shots in my career,” NBA legend Michael Jordan, who was known for his late-game heroics in addition to six national titles, once said. “I’ve lost almost 300 games – 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life, and that is why I succeed.”

10. When all else fails

They know how – and when – to adjust their game plan. Flexibility and adaptability is essential to survival.

11. Ultimate teammate

They will assume whatever role is necessary for the team to win. Individual accomplishments are important, but the sum is always greater in value than the individual parts. How much do you step up to help those around you? When others around you thrive, you thrive as well.

12. Not just about the cash

They don’t play just for the money. It’s never about the money. And if it is, it’s about the wrong thing. The money will come if you follow your passion… if you become a part of something bigger than yourself.

How they live:

13. Do unto others

They know character is defined by how they treat those who cannot help them. One of the greatest sources of satisfaction is helping others, from a truly altruistic standpoint. We all have something to give… our time, our experiences, our compassion.

14. When no one is watching

They are comfortable in the mirror… they live their life with integrity. “What matters is not what you do when everyone is watching. What matters is what you do when no one is watching.” Your ultimate accountability has to be to yourself.

15. When everyone is watching

They embrace the idea of being a role model. As leaders, we have an obligation to promote positive leadership, and demonstrate the positive influence we can have on others. Our actions shape those coming behind us.

16. Records are made to be broken

They know their legacy isn’t what they did on the field. They are well-rounded. A legacy isn’t what you took from this world. A legacy is what you leave behind.