Mar 022010

By Darryl L. Mobley
America’s Favorite Life & Business-Growth Coach

[A coaching client of mine just asked me this question in response to a breakthrough she had based on some questions I asked her: “Darryl. How do you know these secrets to life? You know more about my motivations than I do!” The answer I gave her: “I am a student of life. I study and absorb the lessons that life constantly teaches.” Here’s an example.]

Whenever the Winter Olympics roll around, I always have flashbacks to an amazing time in my life. Allow me to share…

Several years ago, I was training at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado. During my 6 am work-out I noticed this guy squat-walking around the track with a tire full of sand around his neck. It was obviously very heavy.

Can You Squat-Walk?

I did not know who the guy was or what he did as an athlete. Finally, one day at lunch I happened to be sitting across the table from him. I introduced myself. His name OlympicRingswas Eric. I said, “I see you squat-walking every morning. That’s incredible. What sport do you do?” And he said, “I’m a skater, you know, a speed skater.” Eric seemed to be a very unassuming person.

The Conversation That Changed My Life

We were both young guys barely into adulthood. We met a few more times at lunch and one day I asked him, “How’re the Winter Olympics going to be looking for you?” (I was training for the Summer Olympics and did not know much about the Winter Games.) And he said, “I’m doing well. My training is going well.” (By his tone he could just as well have been asking me to pass the salt.) I followed by asking, “How are you going to do?” And he answered, without a trace of ego, hype or arrogance, “I think I’m going to win five gold medals.” I distinctly remember thinking at that time: “5 gold medals! He’s a crazy man!”

Unable to stop myself, I Asked…

I was blown away! But, unable to stop the train of my amazement, I asked “Why?” I wanted him to give me his answer to the question: “Why do you think you will win five gold medals?” His answer changed my life. He said:

“Because I train harder than anyone else in the world.”

I believed him. Anyone out squat-walking with a huge tire full of sand at 6am gets my vote as a hard worker.

I look at his answer as giving himself a rational reason for the irrational belief that he could win five gold medals. Therefore, as long as he continued training harder, he was giving himself permission to believe he could win. (I say his belief was “irrational” because he had never before won an Olympic medal and no skater had ever won all five speed skating events. I mean, c’mon! This is the Olympics we’re talking about here and there were great skaters competing from all manner of countries where skating is king. I now think of his irrationality as “productive insanity.” Go ahead – use the term if you like.)

I also asked him: “What about the competition?” His answer to this question also rocked me. He said:

“The competition is with myself.”

Eric only competed with himself. With his goals. With his physical capacity. The many able “competitors” did not exist in his world.

For those of us who are old enough to remember, Eric Heiden did go on to win five Olympic Gold Medals in the 1980 Winter Olympics. While doing this he set Olympic and world records.

Four big learnings here…

1. Have goals.
2. Prepare to reach your goals.
3. Believe you can reach your goals.
4. Compete with yourself.

Eric linked himself to the outrageous goal of five gold medals. How?

Gold Medals = Working Harder Than Anyone Else = Eric Heiden’s Belief

I want to share with you one other learning I gained from this interaction many years ago. This learning now forms the core of my life and business coaching and the foundation of many of my speeches and workshops. It is this:

Your “WHY” Is More Important Than Your “What.” When your “why” is big enough, motivating enough, and powerful enough — then you are 90% of the way toward “what” you want to accomplish. Why do you want to accomplish your goal? Why will you refuse to stop until you achieve your goal? Why must you achieve your goal? Why? Why? Why? This power is in your answer to “Why?”

I have used what I learned from Eric in all areas of my life – professionally and personally. I make a point of sharing these learnings with all of my life coaching and business-growth coaching clients.

So as you watch the Winter Games, remember that…

When you believe that it’s possible, and give yourself a rational reason to believe it’s possible, and you work like your hair is on fire — then… IT is possible!

Remember – You DO Deserve To Live A Great Life.

Enjoy Life!

Darryl L. Mobley
“America’s Favorite Life and Business-Growth Coach”

About Darryl L. Mobley

Known as the “Bulldog of Work-Life Balance,” Darryl Mobley is a top Life Coach, an in-demand Executive Coach, a Business-Growth Consultant, a Professional Speaker, and host of The Darryl Mobley Show: Your Life Coach On The Radio. For info, visit Darryl is also president of the Association of Small Business Marketers. For info, visit © 2010 Darryl L. Mobley

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