I was a University professor for 5 years and I would announce to every class on the first day, all that they had to do to graduate college. It was simple…Show up…every day. If they showed up every day, they would almost guarantee themselves a grade of a C, even if they did nothing else. Now, just graduating with a C average probably wasn’t the goal for most, but the point is valid.
Never miss a class… If they are present everyday, then they are taking certain steps to ensure they learn. They force themselves to act as if. They act as a person who graduates does. That’s it. And in doing so, they also ignite specific beliefs. They take ownership and responsibility and as a result of showing up every day, they develop habits.
First we form habits, and then they form us.
Once habits are formed, then beliefs are shaped and we start to conform to our beliefs. The beliefs don’t have to even be deep rooted or existential questions, like does God exist? The beliefs merely form our reason for doing what we do. It becomes our “why.”
When we develop our why, we can come up with any how.
Wait, doesn’t that go contrary to acting as if, and shouldn’t we come up with a vision statement before moving forward?
Neither mental skill is mutually exclusive. Our actions and beliefs work hand in hand. You can’t act as if without having some kindle of a why, a justification, and a belief. Just as once you really discover your why, your purpose, and no longer act as if.
So, when we show up every day, we are in place to get better. We can’t help to learn something and improve in some small way, every day.
When I get in debates about unbreakable baseball records, the one’s that will never fall are those that demonstrated and rewarded perseverance & longevity. One of these records was Cal Ripken, The Ironman. He played seventeen consecutive seasons without missing one single game. He played in 2,632 consecutive games. When Derek Jeter asked Cal Ripken the secret of playing every day, Cal replied, “ You know Derek, I Just…I just play.”
There is no secret….
Now, how many times do you think Cal Ripken was battling a slump, injured, was sick, or had an off the field issue? None of it deterred him from just showing up. What I knew is that when I went to watch the Orioles, Cal Ripken would be playing. #NEVERGIVEUP
Dr. Rob Bell is a Sport Psychology coach. DRB & Associates based in Indianapolis works with professional athletes & corporate athletes, coaches, and teams building their Mental Toughness. His 2nd book is titled The Hinge: The Importance of Mental Toughness. Follow on twitter @drrobbell or contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Check out the new film & e-book, NO FEAR: A simple guide to mental toughness