If you’re a sports fan, this may not come as a surprise to you:
Repeating success is incredibly difficult.
That is why winning back-to-back championships is SO rare in sports. But when a team does, it’s seen as an even higher pinnacle than a sole championship. It’s also why hall of fame coaches and leaders who can repeat success are so highly paid and sought after.
Who Gets Into The Hall Of Fame?
When people think of great coaches, what are some names that come to mind? Vince Lombardi, John Wooden, Pat Summitt, Scotty Bowman, Connie Mack, Red Auerbach, Bear Bryant, Nick Bollettieri, Coach K, Phil Jackson…The list is extremely exclusive, and very hard to get onto.
Why? Because it takes a lot of skill, patience, intelligence, and fortitude to be a leader who can not only ignite the flame in a team, but also get the players or members to commit to success – not just once – but multiple times.
Succeeding once is hard. Doing it multiple times is often impossible. Why is this?
Listen to those who have had that ONE big success, and have never returned again. Why didn’t they return? Why couldn’t they repeat it?
It’s because we tend to get COMFORTABLE after achieving massive success. We’ve MADE IT. We’re THERE. We’ve attained the Office, the Title, the Trophy, or the Big Paycheck. WE’RE THERE! We party and celebrate this big accomplishment and see it as a finish line.
However, after the big party, there’s this stillness, emptiness even.
“OK, I’ve been working for the last X years to get here, to learn HOW to succeed, how to reach this goal…Now I’ve accomplished it. I have the photos, have the interviews, have the ring, and have the status. Why do I feel empty? Like I’m wandering aimlessly now?”
When we work towards a single goal – be it a Super Bowl Trophy, an NCAA Championship, or that big project’s completion – we are focused on a destination, NOT the process. This is what sets these world-class hall of fame coaches apart from all the rest:
The LOVE the journey. The love of learning, growing, and working to figure out how to do it again.
Each year, the brand new challenges of tackling new obstacles and figuring out how the pieces needed have changed excite them. They know the destination may be the same, but the journey there is completely different.
For those of you reading this who haven’t gotten to your first big success yet, DON’T STOP reading this or begin to think, “This doesn’t apply to me. I’m different. I’m going to set the world of success upon its ear. All I have to do it hustle.”
While I’m talking to those who have achieved their “big success” and are treading water, those of you on your way to your first one have the opportunity to change your mindset and approach NOW. This will allow you to keep that momentum up, and help you attain multiple successes to get into your own hall of fame.
For those treading water after the first big success, I have good news: It’s NOT over. In order to move forward and reach an even bigger success, we have to change your mindset and how you look at things. But you WILL do it again…and again, and again.
Each time may not be easier than the previous one due to different obstacles or circumstances. However, you’ll be much smarter, wiser, and agile so as to tackle the challenges more fluidly.
How do you need to change your mindset to achieve multiple massive successes?
At the beginning of our journey to success, we tend to be very set on our goal. We look at everything around us as a resource that we can learn from. We see ourselves as rookies, and as such, we are hungry to learn. But as the saying goes:
“Familiarity breeds contempt”
As we achieve that first success we, subconsciously or consciously, think that we now have it figured out. Because we’ve had this accomplishment, we now understand how things work and what we need to get to the next success. We think that it’ll be easier the next time.
While in some rare cases this is in fact true, in most cases it isn’t. Situations vary, people move on or change, and the world marches on.
The most interesting common thread among hall of fame coaches and professionals, who continue to achieve successes, is that they have this quiet, strong confidence about them. Yet they are not cocky or arrogant. In fact, they are very personable, cool, calm, and collected when you meet them. They are genuinely in the mindset of “what can I learn from this situation” and/or “how can I help this person”.
To enter the hall of fame of success, you must continue to know yourself, build your character, and hold steadfastly to your integrity. Just because you’ve done it once, doesn’t mean that you’re entitled to the next success, or that it will come easier.
The difference between those who get to the top and hang on there, versus those who get there and fall off, is that the latter LOVE the processes of continual self improvement, learning, skill acquisition, keeping the main thing the main thing, and mastering the small fundamentals that others neglect to.
If you’ll be consistent and disciplined when the amounts are small, then you will earn the abilities and rights to large amounts.
6 Tips To Get Into The Hall of Fame of Success
Enough with the general overview, let’s get down to brass tacks:
1. Understand and know yourself.
Knowing what you like and don’t like to do, as well as what you couldn’t be bothered to do, has a big impact on your success. Stay true to yourself, and make sure to constantly stretch yourself – but do so in an intelligent way.
2. Life, like basketball, is a game of runs.
Sometimes you’re up, sometimes you’re down. Focus on what is within your control and what you can do to improve, and you’ll keep the game in your favor.
Knowing this integral truth to life will allow you to properly take advantage when the runs (times) are going for you, and prepare for when the runs are going against you.
Think of it as the different seasons to a farmer. In the spring, you work your butt off to prepare the land, to plant, and water. In the summer, you work your butt off to harvest, maintain, and enjoy the fruits of your labor.
The Fall, you work to ready the fields for next year, as well as prepare for winter: prepping and putting grains in storage, pickling vegetables, and harvesting the hay to feed to the cattle or sell, etc.
During winter, you learn from the previous year and look to advance your skills. You work to ensure your tools and talents are in great shape for next year. But you also learn new things and improve. You re-focus your mind and goals for the year ahead with its emerging obstacles.
3. Don’t stop practicing and refining the fundamentals.
They are what got you here, and will help you to build further.
Coach John Wooden dominated College basketball for two reasons: 1) He was always looking to help each one of his players to get better as an individual and as a teammate; 2) he kept his focus on the fundamentals, regardless of the success or failures.
To paraphrase Coach Wooden:
“Do the best you can, with what you have, in those circumstances, at that time, in that place, giving 100 percent effort EVERYDAY, and success will surely follow. It is not the score that dictates if you are a success or not, but rather it is you being able to say, that I gave 100 percent and did the absolute best I could with what I had, at that time, in that circumstance, in that place, and held nothing back. I left it all on the court.”
4. Always look to make those around you better; to give, not just receive.
Short-term successes think about themselves, and how THEY can get ahead. Those who get to the hall of fame and stay there, think about how they can use their position, talents, or skills to give EVEN MORE to PEOPLE. They look to make those around them better. We reap that which we sow (See Tip #3).
5. Give credit where it is due.
When you prop others up, you solidify your foundation. Never be afraid to lay claim to the work that you have done, but NEVER lay claim to work that someone else has done (See Tips #3 and #4).
6. Learn how to deal with rejection in a positive and productive way.
I hope that you’d have learned how to deal with rejection in a positive way on the journey to your initial success. But if for some reason you haven’t, then you’re behind the 8 ball.
The greatest obstacle, in my opinion (as well as to many of the up-and-coming athletes), is that they have too many people telling them how awesome they are. Why is this the greatest obstacle?
It’s because they don’t learn how to deal with the hard truths, with the rejections, or with challenges.
Learn to surround yourself with supportive and positive people who aren’t afraid to be honest with you and tell you how it is. Teach yourself to see failures and negative feedback as a blessing and gift. You’re certain to see a bounty of success come your way.
Your Hall of Fame Waits
This article is NOT for those who “just want to get there”, to have a single success, and then to wander. Life can give you a single success and you can live the rest of your life “remembering the good old days”.
Or you can, as Tony Robbins says “Get after the CANEI – Constant And Never Ending Improvement!” You want to continue adding value to the world, to help others, and to grow your skill sets, knowledge, and abilities.
If you want to have a single success, power to you. A single success is an incredible thing, and something that certainly MUST be striven for. But let me tell you a secret: if you have ONE success within you, then you have MANY successes, too.
What do you have to do differently to realize these multiple successes?
You have to challenge yourself to grow, to constantly stretch, sharpen, and refine your fundamentals. You need to learn from the past, learn new skills, and gain knowledge from others.
Celebrate your first success. Do it right, but don’t let it be your end game. You have A LOT of talent and gifts that you must share with the world to make it a better place.
I look forward to hearing about your first BIG success – and the multiple successes you have thereafter.
Stay Humble. Stay Hungry. Keep looking to grow.