Chapter 55

They Can't Beat Me!

Today's Empowering Quote

"I don't like to lose, and that isn't so much because it is just a football game, but because defeat means the failure to reach your objective.  I don't want a football player who doesn't take defeat to heart, who laughs it off with the thought, "Oh, well, there's another Saturday."  The trouble in American life today, in business as well as in sports, is that too many people are afraid of competition.  The result is that in some circles people have come to sneer at success if it costs hard work and training and sacrifice."
-Knute Rockne

Today's Empowering Question

"Whom can I have a (friendly) competition with to use as my motivator?"

Today's Fast Session

So many people wilt under competition.  So I don't want to propose that you use as an important source of motivation a mental activity that makes you perform worse in whatever area you'd like to improve.

What you find difficult today, though, with even a little "private" competition, you'll find to be easy.

What we're discussing is a way to give yourself a passion that can give you such drive to reach your objective, that it will not only get you there, but you'll actually love the process.

An example in my life is having been a very mediocre student in high school, and then flunking out of college.  At that point, I kind of got the idea that I better start doing something well or I just might end up dead broke or
just dead sooner than I'd like.  So I enrolled in a local community college and began using my neighbor, who was an 'A' student his whole life, as my competitor.  It was friendly, of course.  And at that time, I was badly overmatched.  I mean, he was a seasoned studier.  He knew how to learn.  I didn't.

Every day, I kept him in my sights.  He usually beat me on tests and quizzes, but I won some occasionally...

...enough to keep me motivated.

In fact he drove me to achieve things that I had never done before. Enough to turn me into an 'A' student in a single semester.  Not bad for someone who only ever got A's in Art and Gym.

That's the key.  You can't pick someone, even in secret, that there's no way you'd ever measure up to.  You at least have to be able to win occasionally. And someone you beat constantly won't stretch you.

You have to be able to imagine victory or else you won't try, long term.  You'll get demoralized too easily.

Pick someone in a magazine, someone you used to know, who you work with.  It doesn't matter.  Pick someone that motivates you that you can reach.

If you want to lose weight, find someone who's a little slimmer than you. Make that an intermediary goal.  Then, go for someone who's just a little further beyond when you arrive at your first guidepost.

Sure, aim for total success...

But don't swing for the fence every day.  Little victories add up.  Allow yourself to feel incredible satisfaction when you achieve your little benchmarks.

Every time I got a quiz or test within a few points, and especially if I beat my friendly rival, I literally glowed... like a star!

Those moments so revved me up that it completely redirected my life.

Now don't get me wrong.  I was due for many more challenges in life... most of which I would not win for a long time.

But it was this process and those victories that gave me a taste of success that took a sustained effort to achieve.

I can't stress enough that the little victories along the way are every bit as important as the end goal.  They keep you going when you have a setback.

If you want to quit smoking and you've quit for a week, don't let one slip up ruin all you've built . Every hour you go without a cigarette, where you didn't bite someone's head off, give yourself permission to feel an incredible sense of accomplishment... because it is.  Call someone up on the phone. Go out to dinner.  Celebrate in whatever appropriate way you can.  Put a mark on the wall.  Give yourself credit. Smile.  You did it.

You must do this...

...because setbacks will come. And if you built up a series of successes AND RECOGNIZED THEM, you'll treat the setback as just a slight delay, a little detour.  Without your private victory parties, setbacks can be made to look
like a sheer rock cliff.

During the second year of my becoming a real student, I achieved something that found a permanent home in my victory log.  On the Statistics final exam, I got the only perfect 100 ever recorded in that school.

Yes, I had beaten my rival...

...and it felt great!

Today's Winning Beliefs

-- I turn my goals into a game that I enjoy winning
-- My competition keeps me sharp and exhilarated
-- I appreciate the value that competition has in my growth
-- I love winning
-- I see losing as just a temporary setback
-- Losing increases my determination to continue and win

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