Sunday, August 1, 2010

Champions: The stuff they are made of.

Champions: The stuff they are made of

Introduction: Champions! We see them everywhere. We adore them, we love them and we secretly envy them. We all desire to be like them. We all have our own idols who are champions in different capacities and areas but let me at the outset tell you something, that you are a champion! Yes, that’s true. You have it in you (though you may not have realized it) to be a champion. That’s how the Intelligent Creator of this Universe, God has designed you and that’s what he has purposed you for. The challenge for everyone of us is to realize this that we are champions, we have in us the stuff that champions are made up of, if we are willing to work on it and bring it up to fulfill our dreams and goals in life. This article will make you aware of the qualities as a champion that you need to nurture, develop and demonstrate.
1. Champions are dreamers: When we probe the lives of Champions, we see one common trait in all of them i.e. the ability to dream big. Yes, Champions are those who dare to dream big. They are not content to be where they are. So they always dream about the place, the Promised Land where they would stand one day as Champions.
They are not just wishers. We all wish for a better future, a better job, a better boss, a better income, a better savings, a better spouse, a better world, but rarely we are willing to make necessary changes in us so that things would start getting better with our world. If you fall into this category, then you are no more than a well- wisher. But Champions are dreamers not only do they wish for better life but take appropriate actions for it starting with their own lives. Yes, for a better job conditions they start to give 110% at their work place, for a better spouse they start loving their spouses selflessly, for better income they start saving their 10% of the income, for a better boss they start being a better employee, for better health they start eating healthy food and exercising everyday.
Mark Spitz the winner of 7 gold medals at swimming events in Munich Olympics in 1972 used to spend 8 hours everyday under water. This he continued to do 365 days a year without holidays, and for many years he put this as a regular practice, the result is that a champion was born. How many of us are willing to be a Mark Spitz?
How many of us are willing to be under water everyday even 1 hour. We wish to be a champion and have it in us to be one but many people remain mediocre because they aren’t willing to pay the price for their dreams. Champions not only dream big but go for their dreams, they give their all for achieving their dreams and when their dreams are fulfilled the world knows a new Champion.
2. Champions are Focused: Focus is what keeps Champions on the course of their dreams. Focus is what keeps them motivated when they feel down and the circumstances are against them. Focus is what makes Champions out of common people. The second trait that Champions have is Focus. First they dream big, formulate goals and then they focus on their goals.
Focus is important to be successful at any endeavor in life. If you want to realize the power of focus, take a magnifying glass and expose it to the sunlight. Allow the sun rays to pass through the glass and hold a paper under the glass. The sunlight that is scattered is now focused and targeted on the paper and lo, the paper burns! That shows the power of focus. When you are focused, you will be able to do great things and Champions realize this.
Focus is wonderfully explained in the bright quote by Stephen Covey as, “The main thing is to keep the main thing as the main thing” When you are focused you know what comes as the main thing in life and at all times and every circumstances your thoughts, words and actions are guided by this main thing. In other words you eat, drink and sleep on it..
Focus helps you not to get off the track at any time and even when you do, you are quick to realize it and come back on the track. Focus is like waking on the rope, you cannot afford to step out of the line or you are down. Why could Mark Spitz dare to remain underwater for eight hours daily for years together is that he was completely focused on his goals the Olympic gold medals.
3. Champions are risk-takers: Champions have the courage to take risk to realize their dreams. That is the other trait we find in them. Risk taking could be defined as, “the courage to come out of one’s comfort zone”.
Yes, Champions are willing to come out of their comfort zone. They are willing to stretch themselves out of their comfort zone and in the process of stretching themselves out of their comfort zone, they learn to grow. We all have our own comfort zones.
Our comfort zones could be our families that we don’t want to be far from, our city that we have lived in all our lives, our work place and the pay- check that it gives us, it could be our old habits that die hard, it could be our unwillingness to embrace new change because we dread to change our state and are unsure of our future. Champions grow themselves out of their comfort zones, they surely feel the same insecurity initially while moving out of their comfort zones, but they feel the fear and do it anyway.
Champions could be called Entrepreneurs in the modern sense of the term. Just as Entrepreneurs venture out and take risk in starting a new business project, so do Champions take risks. But Champions also calculate the possibilities that could turn out after the risk is taken. In other words Champions take calculated risks but they dare to take risks and that is what distinguishes them from the common crowd.
We do know that the Eagle is a bird that flies at a higher altitude than other birds. Do you know how a Mother Eagle trains her eaglets to fly? When they come of certain age, she just pushes them out of their nests and they start falling down. On the way down they learn to flap their wings and fly. If they do not flap their wings the mother will catch hold of them take them on her back to a certain height and again let them go off. In this process they learn to fly. Now it is certainly a risk to push the children off the edge, but the mother Eagle knows that unless that is done, they won’t learn to fly. That’s an attitude of a Champion.
When you take risks, in the process you would develop lot of potentials that hitherto were hidden in you. You will learn to flap your wings, you will learn to fly, you will know more of your potentials.
4. Champions fall down only to get up: “When times are tough, champions are made by going on for one more round.” That quote, sums up my next point very well. Champions do face tough times like any one out there but tough times only make them tougher. Champions outlast tough times, as Robert Schuller says, “Tough times do not last but, tough people do.”
There are times of despair, discouragement and downslides in a champion’s life. Champions are laughed at; face derision and cynicism from the people around them. People usually become uncomfortable with a person who goes against the tide. Champions take a different route of discipline, dedication and determination. They become completely focused on achieving their goals and dreams. This calls for criticism from many around them
When on the way Champions fall, people are quick to attack them like blood hounds. They pounce on them at every opportunity they get and try to discourage them. But Champions take all these things in their stride and continue on their path with self belief.
When Champions find that there is no one that can encourage them, they encourage themselves. In Bible, there is an incident when King David of Israel was very discouraged as King Saul sought his life, his family members were taken away by raiding soldiers and his fellowmen rose against him. The Bible tells us that at this time, “David encouraged himself in the Lord.” That’s a mark of a Champion.
A Marathi poet talks of how a tree wood that was cut as fire wood began to blossom again with green leaves, the poet goes on to say that the tree itself was surprised about it’s hidden potential. Yes, Champions find that hidden potential, that connection with the Almighty, that much needed encouragement in tough times and they get up and continue.
5. Champions carry a heart filled with gratitude: Finally, the last mark of a Champion is when they reach their goals and find their dreams realized, they do not forget to come back to the place where they started it all. They come back to give to the society with a heart of gratitude. Champions are always willing to give back with gratitude to their families, friends, their mentors, teachers, their neighborhood, their societies, their nation and their world. They pass on the baton of Championship to upcoming generation through encouragement, guidance and sense of gratitude in their heart.
This is the reason that our world is filled with examples of people like Gandhi, Mother Teresa, Abraham Lincoln, Ambedkar, Martin Luther King Jr. etc. Real Champions do not live for themselves but for others. They are like the rose flower that blossom on thorns of obstacles only to give joy to others.
We have examples of the world’s richest people like Warren Buffet, Bill Gates giving Billions of Dollars for the welfare of society. It is a great example of Champions who have risen to the peak in business world alighting down from the peak to lend a helping hand to others to climb their own peaks. That’s the mark of a Champion. That’s the heart that Champions carry around, a heart filled with gratitude.
Conclusion: Let me end by reminding you that there is a Champion in you, ready to break forth and reveal himself or herself to the world. Champions are not only those who rise to fame and fortune. Champions are hidden in every one of us single individuals. We have to realize this and work on the above mentioned qualities so that we hewn out the rough edges and sublimate and shape the Champion in us. “Nothing in this world has been ever achieved without enthusiasm and passion.” So my prayer is that this article may ignite the flame of passion and enthusiasm in you that may help you discover the Champion in you and help you to rise above, soar and touch your dreams. I salute the Champion in you. May you be a Champion!
Joy be all yours

No comments:

Post a Comment