After the Olympics in 1988 our team used to make frequent trips to the United States participating in one public relation event or another. On one such trip while attending a Lakers Game at the old Forum, I met Mike Tyson. At the time he was the youngest world heavy weight boxing champion. In fact he had landed a devastating blow to a fellow Jamaican, Trevor Berbick, to win the title. In the ensuing years “Iron” Mike annihilated any opponent who had the audacity to face him. Then lo and behold, Buster Douglas, a guy who probably had no business being in the same arena let alone the same ring, knocked out Mike Tyson.
Complacency breeds failure.
If you are aware of the reports about Mike’s preparation leading up to the fight you will know that he didn’t prepare diligently. No one, to include Mike gave Buster a fighting chance. As a result Mike Tyson became complacent and didn’t bother to train hard. As he now knows, complacency breeds failure.
Success is a journey.
Never allow yourself to become a victim of your own success. It may be a cliché, but it doesn’t mean that its not true….success is a journey, not a destination. The minute you think you’ve arrived at the pinnacle of your success and there is no more growth for you, you have put yourself on the super-highway to failure.
In order to grow and excel you must be involved in a consistent process of self-evaluation. You must be constantly asking yourself “What works?” “What doesn’t work”, “In what areas do I need to improve?” and “What can I do improve?” Of course once you’ve identified the areas you then must take the necessary actions to improve. Force yourself out of your comfort zone. Be willing to take risks.
The law of nature
The law of nature says that you are either growing or dying. You either expand or you become expendable.
Successful companies invariably are those that research and develop new products and strategies. Successful individuals-Executives, students, craftsmen, business people, teachers are those who are constantly learning and developing new skills.
The old philosophy is that if ain’t broke don’t fix it. However we live in a world that is changing so fast that even though it may not be broken it’s obsolete! When Henry Ford sought funding for his motorcar, one banker told him that his idea would never work. The misguided man essentially told Ford that the horse and buggy were here to stay. There is no denying that they are still here but they have been made obsolete by faster more modern modes of transportation.
Evaluate your relationships
No man is an island. You do need the help of others in order to reach your goals. You need employees to help run your business and you need close family members, close friends, and confidantes as sounding boards for your ideas and for advice. These are all your teammates, people who play a role in your personal and professional success. Your success depends on them so you need to evaluate where you are in your relationships with them?
One of the reasons I’ve been able to succeed as a three time Olympian is the fact that I built and strengthened and consistently evaluated the relationships with my teammates and over time built faith and trust which allowed us to work interdependently. Human beings push each other as we work interdependently. As you build relationship and work interdependently you begin to work more effectively as a team.
Overcome the fear of change
Jack Welch was once quoted as saying: “If the rate of change outside your organization is greater than the rate of rage inside of your organization, the end is in sight”. The same holds true for individuals as well and so it is imperative that you get over your fear of change. Growth is born of change, which is not always comfortable; in fact it is oftentimes fearful. However, understand that you are either the master of change or the victim of it. Growth, success, realizing your dream involves pain. Either the pain of change or the pain of regret. The pain of change is temporary but the pain of regret is eternal. Which do you chose.
Keep on Pushing!