The best success in life usually comes down to accomplishing things that people told you “you can’t do”. Every underdog story, even some that have occurred as recently as this year, started with the victor being told that they couldn’t achieve what they eventually did.
When the NCAA basketball tournament began last month, all of the “experts” and professional sports analysts picked Michigan State, North Carolina, Virginia, or Kansas to win it all. Only a small percentage picked Villanova. They had “the hardest bracket with Kansas, the best team in the country”, Miami, and Maryland. Then, even if they got lucky, they would have to beat Oklahoma and then North Carolina, who many believed was the second best team in the tournament. By now, we all know Villanova won. But the road to their championship wasn’t easy and they surely heard the “experts” and most people picking all of the best teams besides them.
So how did they do it? How did they keep the faith, belief, and positive thinking to overcome the odds and the experts that told them they “couldn’t do it”?
As you embark on any endeavor in life of achievement, there will likely always be somebody or many who don’t believe that you can succeed. Often times, the problem will not be you; it will be them. For example, you will often find that those who doubt your potential or talent don’t have any talent, potential, or special talent themselves. They also might not share in the same passions that you have. In addition, there will always be those who resent your talents and are jealous of your opportunities.
There’s nothing you can do to change people, especially those who don’t believe in you for their own personal shortcomings, but there are several strategies that you can take to override, offset, and transcend such negativity and ignorance.
Here, once again, fitness and exercise becomes the perfect metaphor for the situation. When you go into the gym to do a workout, a heavier set, or a more advanced and challenging type of training, there will always be those doubts and questions about if you can actually do it and accomplish it. So you can begin there and accomplish things in your workouts with these strategies too. It’s a great place to start. I always said, “If you can get in great shape, you can pretty much do anything in life.”
So here are 5 basic strategies you can use in order to accomplish goals that many people you know would consider impossible or disbelieve you could achieve it:
1. Stop Surrounding Yourself With Underachievers and Negative People
First, you must stop associating with the types of people who would bring you down and have a negative influence on your thought process. For example, you’re not going to get in great shape and that body you always wanted, losing the weight and fat and building strong muscle if you are surround yourself with those who aren’t interested, don’t find that endeavor worthwhile, or who don’t believe you can do it. You can apply this to any goal.
Instead, you must create, find, and develop a new social circle full of people who encourage you, build you up, are positive, share common goals, and who inspire you to remain motivated. This may be difficult for some as nobody likes to lose their friends and associates and you must be careful about how you go about this transition, but it is a necessary step to achieving your goals.
2. Develop Your Own Systematic Schedule for Making Progress
The best goals usually require the most daily dedication and planning. For example, anyone can just follow the crowd, get any job, walk on the treadmill for thirty minutes three days a week, and eat grilled chicken instead of fried. Anyone can make minor adjustments that are ultimately average. But when you’re embarking on achieving great goals, this will not be effective. You are going to have to go above and beyond the ordinary actions and discipline.
The best way to do this is to make a schedule, daily and weekly, and be able to check off and measure your progress. If you don’t hold yourself accountable in such a way, nobody else will. Also, if you think that these goals you have are natural that you will be able to easily remind yourself of the steps you’ll have to take, you’ll find out soon how difficult it will be to stay focused and dedicated to them soon enough when life throws you some obstacles, distractions, curveballs, and setbacks.
By creating a daily, weekly, and monthly schedule of your goals and objectives and also enabling yourself to be reminded of them consistently and continuously, you will be able to get a lot more work done in a short amount of time. Most importantly, if you ever fall off track, you will know right where you left off and what you need to do to get back on it.
This is your “success plan”. Consider it sacred. It is ultimately the line between point A and point B and how you can bring an abstract, difficult to achieve goal to life. Your plan and schedule needs to contain all of the things you need to do to succeed in reaching your goal. For example, if you want to lose a certain amount of weight and get your body fat low to the point where you obtain a 6-pack or flat abs, your plan should contain things like:
-Buy only whole foods, vegetables, lean protein, and healthy things when shopping every grocery day.
-Monday thru Friday accomplish a total of at least 3 hours of cardio at an acceptably high intensity to qualify
-Train each muscle group/body part twice a week thoroughly for at least 12-15 sets total each workout per muscle.
3. Go the Extra Mile, Outside the Box, Figure Out and Do Things Most People Would Never Think Of.
This strategy is tricky to apply in general because it really depends on what specific goal you are trying to reach, but it often times entails “putting yourself out there” or facing rejection sometimes.
It is basically a more specific way of saying, “Get outside your comfort zone”. Unlike the previous step, which is a necessity which requires the “bare minimum”, this step takes you outside of your comfort zone, taking some risks.
Now, your risks must remain safe and calculated, and you must also approach them in a realistic way, maintaining professionalism and confidence. Whatever great goal you are looking to achieve, you’re going to need to do some things that you wouldn’t ordinarily think of and that may make you get uncomfortable.
Once again, if we apply this to your fitness goals-the same ones covered in step 2- rather than just go through the conventional general routines each day and week, you may need to shock your body by adding new, more challenging, and different methods of training, especially once you’ve gained some progress and your body adapts and plateaus. For example, rather than just say “do 12-15 sets twice a week for each muscle” or “do a minimum three hours of cardio a week”, you will do your 12-15 sets using drop sets, supersets, triple sets, giant sets, and other various manipulations that shock your muscles into transformation and you’ll also try new kinds of cardio training like a new machine, style, or technique such as sprints, respectively.
4. Never Give Up
Here, we once again get into the spiritual side of your goals and endeavors. Once you’ve solidified strategies 1-3, and you are working hard towards your aim, now you must not give up in the face of adversity. Easier said than done, this can make all of the difference, especially in the long run.
Abstract traits such as tenacity, perseverance, dedication, discipline, and sacrifice will be critical to your fulfillment and achievement. When setbacks occur or progress ceases for a time, it will be your commitment, will to win, and spiritual strength that will allow you to never give up.
You see, you have to believe in something, something greater than just yourself when you face these challenges. Whatever it is, you must find it and keep it. Even if you don’t succeed on your first try, or even second, third, or more, you must have the inner strength to never give up until you do.
It’s incredibly important.
5. The Courage to Cross the Finish Line
Once you have made it to your glorious ultimate feat, and you will, it may seem surreal and hard to believe. All of your hard work has paid off and you are on the doorstep, face to face with your dream, knocking. It can be natural to become nervous. A lot of pressure will be on you and the magnitude of your accomplishment can seem overwhelming.
This is when you must let go of your doubts and just accept that you earned it, you deserve it, you won. You must just let go of all negative thinking and accept that you did it! You accomplished your dreams!
Is there a much better feeling in the world? Enjoy it, and never let the naysayers stop you from reaching your potential and the life you deserve.