How Competition Makes You Better, and Your Team Can Make You Great is a sporting example of how the undersized Bill Russell and his Boston Celtics improved their own game by playing against giants like Wilt Chamberlain. Chamberlain may have put up incredible numbers during the period in which the two went head to head, but Russell helped the Celtics hang nine NBA championship flags in the Garden in his first 10 seasons! Bill Russell later wrote: “To me, one of the most beautiful things to see is a group of men coordinating their efforts toward a common goal, alternately subordinating and asserting themselves to achieve real teamwork in action. I tried to do that, we all tried to do that, on the Celtics. I think we succeeded.”
Jane & Joe are a more practical example which will hit closer to home. For the past 4 years, I’ve seen their day-to-day activities result in consistent personal & professional stimulation & growth. Jane is a born entrepreneur, with her “nose to the grindstone” super positive attitude being the key behind much of her success. Joe is a corporate entrepreneur, vastly experienced in the BIG world of the corporate game, over the past years focusing more on bridging the two worlds of “corporates” & fast growth “start-ups”. Each night this couple share the inspiring ritual of debriefing their day, as they take turns sharing their “biggest wins, biggest challenges & key learning” from the day. During her discourse Jane will inevitably comment “you would have been proud of me today as I took a page right out of your book”, to which later you might her Joe say “when I was feeling a little lull today I thought of how driven you’ve been lately & it really kicked me in the pants to get me going”.
Both Jane & Joe are adamant believers in surrounding themselves with smarter, better, faster & tougher people than themselves. One of Jane’s favorite quotes is “the person you’ll become within 5 years will reflect the books you read & the people you’re surrounded by”, whilst Joe recently latched onto “there is little difference in people, but that little difference makes a BIG difference. The little difference is attitude, the BIG difference is whether it’s positive or negative”.
To the old saying “if you lie down with dogs you’ll get flees”, Tony Robbins can often be heard stating “most people’s lives are a direct reflection of the expectations of their peer group”.
Here are some key tips for taking your game to the next level:
- Find online (blogs, forums, online social communities) & offline (gyms, book clubs, networking, seed camps) environments filled with people you admire and hang out there
- Find a coach or mentor
- Work with someone who pushes you
- When you’re constantly asked to do things, yet don’t know how, it forces you to stretch
- Read any and all material you can find that exemplifies the life you’d like to live
- Compete against yourself first, and your opponent second!
- Push yourself to be the best that you can be!
In closing, I’d like to leave you with the inspirational words of a fellow home-town hero Will Smith who bucked the odds & made it beyond anyone’s wildest dreams.. except his!