What happens at the Olympics and what we get out of it(what do we learn for our own success)? You may or may not get the same things I get out of it, but I really was taken by some comments during interviews by a couple of the gymnasts that really sung home.
It’s frequently thought that a person who has done as well as Simone Biles or Aly Raisman are somehow destined, that they’re just built that way and it works. They may have some special abilities beyond somebody else, but you have to know and acknowledge what it really takes. Simone Biles was asked that question and she said: “Yes, most people have no understanding how much it really took.” The fact that she was not able to go to homecomings, prom dances, all of the football games, all of the parties. She missed all of them. She was always in the gym all day long. A lot of hard work. It was definitely not easy and it was definitely not always fun.
I partly want to refer to some of the other episodes where I talked about passion. You could say: “Well, she must have had this tremendous passion.” When she didn’t like it, probably hated the hard work at times, at that point did she have passion? Probably not. She was able to work her way through it. Why? Because she had committed to her goal of being the best she could be in her sport in the gymnasium. Aly Raisman made the same kind of comments, a lot of sacrifices, personal things that she’d love to do that she basically had to give up in order to spend all that time and energy in the gym. When she came back from 2012 and said she wanted to compete again for 2016, at first her coach just pushed her off to the side until he saw that she really wanted it badly. Of course, she says: “All of the hard work and dedication is worth it,” but that’s not the way you necessarily feel during the process. Most people lose the fact or the idea as to how much hard work and effort goes into getting to be like them.
Okay, you’re not going to be competing in the Olympics, winning gold medals or silver medals even, but whatever you’re doing, are you working hard enough, are you making the sacrifices? I have a sacrifice episode you can go look at. Are you involved? Do you understand passion is not just something like: “Gee, I’d love to be a dancer so I’d love to be an actor”? It has to be available, it has to be a big enough market you can fit into, and you have to compete so heavily for it. Most of all, you have to know how to do it.
For example, I never was able to gain any muscle, any weight at all, and I was having trouble with my knees. My best friend at the time in the military was a champion powerlifter. He won the Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico Tristate Heavyweight Division, so he truly was a champ. He took me aside and he coached me. I exercised and I followed him. He coached me through three months and one week, and I just did everything he told me to do, exactly as he told me to do it (see episode #7). If I started to look to the side, he’d say: “Hey, back down here.” I ate with him. I did everything with him. People at the end of that time or actually a little bit before that time were walking up to me. There was so much progress, such a tremendous difference that people were walking up to me, saying: “Gee, what’d you do? Would you mind showing me?” Of course I’d say: “Sure, I’d be glad to,” but of course they weren’t willing to put in the effort.
When I went to graduate school at Berkeley, there was a lot of stress involved by the time I got into the end of my second year, beginning of my third year, and I realized: “Gee, maybe I better get back into exercising.” I did nothing new, nothing different. I followed exactly what Joe taught me to do, and I got to be the second biggest at a big California gym all by just following exactly what it was, and putting in the effort and the hard work (but never more than 3x/week and less than 45 min/day), which then of course aided my graduate studies as well because I had more energy and all that other stuff. That’s another story.
That all comes back to something that the announcer that was doing the interview and discussion about Simone Biles and Aly Raisman said. It was almost a question (or what if). “If destiny is not prewritten but something that each of us controls for ourselves…” Think of that. Destiny is not necessarily prewritten. I didn’t have to be a skinny, little kid. I didn’t have to be somebody who didn’t do well in school or anything else until I learned how to do it and did it. It wasn’t prewritten.
That’s actually what happened, falling back to the original topic, I did literally decide before I got out of the service that I was going to give up two and a half years of my social life (sacrifice). That sounds terrible to most people. “Oh my god, you’re going to college and there’s all the parties and everything else, and all the girls or for you girls, all the guys.” Yes, I was going to give that up. Why would you do that? Because that two and a half years would get me admitted, if I did it right, to the best graduate school, law school, whatever else I wanted to do, but the best graduate program that I could get into and that really makes the rest of your life. Because then at that point you just have to make sure you do well enough there. It turns out that wasn’t so easy either, but I already knew how to succeed. That, by the way, and teaching all of that is part of the book, “The Mechanics for Breakthrough Success”.
I’m actually looking at dedication for other people, and trying to pick and choose people that I can find that would like to work with me in really true breakthrough success. If you’re interested, contact me through the website or send me an email: Thomas@LifeUnsettled.com. Thank you very much.