Life is challenging. I wish I could tell you that you’ll always be on top of the mountain. The reality is that there are days when nothing will go right, when not only will you not be on top, you may not even be able to figure out which way is up. Do yourself a favor, and don’t make it any harder than it has to be. In those moments:
- Be careful how you speak to yourself
- Be careful how you think of yourself
- Be careful how you conduct yourself
- Be careful how you develop yourself
The great American novelist Henry James directed, “Be not afraid of life. Believe that life is worth living, and your belief will help create the fact.” James could have been a football coach. The first thing you have to do when you’re trying to turn around a football franchise around from a loser to a winner is create the belief that you can win. Most of the time the talent is already there to accomplish great things, but there is no belief that it will happen. This is why positive thinking is so important.
The Powerful Mind
Our minds are powerful instruments and should not be taken lightly. I don’t exactly know how it works, but I have heard about prisoners of war who returned home after being released and were able to play golf or perform other skills they didn’t have prior to their solitary confinement. While they had been held captive, they had merely visualized what they wanted to accomplish. Obviously, the idea of mind over matter has some merit.
All football teams rely on visualization to increase their chances of success. Players visualize in different ways. Some have the ability to just see a diagram in the playbook and visualize themselves in that situation. Others have to see the play on videotape, while still others have to actually do it on the field. That’s what we work on in practice. We run the plays that we will use in the game and fine-tune them against out “look squad.” The look squad consists of our backup players, whose function is to simulate the other team’s techniques as closely as possible so our first-team players see exactly how our plays will work during a game. By running a play several times during the week, and seeing it successfully executed, we can visualize exactly how it’s going to look on Sunday. If we’ve been sharp in practice, then we have confidence that it will go the same way during the game.
Discipline Your Thoughts
Being disciplined in your approach to each day of your life and accomplishing the things you dream of starts by disciplining your thoughts. Focus on those things that you want to occur, not those that you do not want to occur. You won’t always rise to the level of the expectations you have for yourself, but you will never be able to rise above the imaginary ceiling you construct in your mind. How high do you want to set those expectations? How high would you like to go?