We celebrate few things with such reverence and devotion as athletics, perhaps soldiers, but with that one exception they stand alone. As a society, we have reserved a special place of worship for those fortunate enough to play at the highest level. In Canada, hockey. In Portugal, soccer. In the US of A, good ol’ fashion football.
Society believes that professional athletes are some sort of Clark Kent-esque superhuman, chosen by the gods to perform, so much different from the average man. I have been a professional athlete for the past 4 years, in that time I have coached and trained with hundreds of other professional athletes…they are all normal people. They have chosen to dedicate themselves to a craft and apply all their efforts into achieving mastery, no different from a doctor, carpenter or teacher.
The difference between those who compete at the highest level (in any field) and those who do not is consistent action. In theory, the idea is simple but it
takes extreme discipline to execute. Nothing illustrates this more clearly than the alarming trend that is failed diets, (I saw a recent stat claiming 95 percent). The large majority cannot take consistent action for any significant length of time even in an issue pertaining directly to personal health and well-being.
What we are currently will never be enough, self-actualization requires progress and professionals (not just athletes) are committed to this process. They are committed to doing it over and over, undeterred by initial failures.
‘In any moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing, the second best is the wrong thing and the worst is thing you can do is nothing’ – TR
Teddy Roosevelt said it best, nothing truly is the worst decision, it means stagnation and inability to grow. If we make the correct choice it is another step in the right direction. If we make the wrong choice it is an opportunity to learn. Choosing is action and action leads to growth. There is undoubtedly a point at which to retreat and change tactics but we rarely get to there. Instead, we pack it in, frustrated that it didn’t work on the first attempt. If we want to be a professional we must commit to making choices and commit to holding yourself accountable for the continually choosing. Do that consistently and we cannot help but achieve success in any venture we choose.