I love to watch the football playoffs and the Super Bowl. One of my favorite years for football was 1985 when the Chicago Bears won all their regular season games but one, then marched through the playoffs and the Super Bowl, which they won easily.
The Bears team that year was explosive. They decided from the season opener that they were going to go all the way to the Super Bowl. It wasn’t, “we hope we can win” or “maybe we can win;” it was, “yes, we can win, and we are going to get there.” It was never, “if we get to the Super Bowl,” it was, “when we get to the Super Bowl.”
As you watched the Bears play, you could see in the players’ faces and eyes a determination and sureness, and you could see that, mentally, they were already at the Super Bowl. I am sure that there was never a doubt in any of the players’ minds that they would be Super Bowl champs.
It has been said that there are three types of people in the world: those who make things happen, those who watch things happen and those who wonder what happened. The Bears that year made things happen because they decided they were going to do it. That is the whole key.
You can be positive and enthused, you can be negative-free, you can believe in yourself and you can have goals. All of these things are important, but if you don’t decide that you are going to reach those goals, then you may become stagnant.
When individuals or groups decide to succeed, there is no looking back, and mountains can be moved. The power of decision is one of the strongest powers on earth.
Not everyone has the discipline to decide they are going to succeed, or the stamina to stay with it until they do. It’s what separates the really successful people from the rest.
Here are some tips to help you decide to succeed:
• Convince yourself. When you look in the mirror each morning, tell yourself you are going to succeed, and say it with conviction. You not only have to tell yourself, you have to convince yourself you are going to succeed. You have to know it throughout your entire body. Think about it each morning, during the day and when you go to bed at night. You have to convince your subconscious that you are going to do it and it will guide you to your goal.
• Work hard. There is no free lunch. Goals are nothing without action. Be like Nike and “Just do it.” Behind every success story is hard work. You don’t just set goals and then sit back and wait for them to happen or expect them to happen without any effort. You have to exert yourself, you have to work and you have to make things happen.
• Self-reflect. Each night when you go to bed review your day’s activities. Evaluate yourself. Did you do all that you could? Are you any closer to reaching your goals? Are you happy with the day’s results? If you were your boss, would you be happy with the job you did today? If not, take the steps necessary for self-improvement.
• Be persistent. If you go on a diet to lose weight, you don’t just go on it for a day or two. If you go on an exercise program to tone up your body, you don’t stop after just a few days. You check your weight or your muscle tone each day to monitor your progress and make adjustments to your program as needed. Whether it’s a diet, an exercise program or any other challenge, you have to stay with it for as long as it takes to get the job done.
• Visualize it. You have heard the expression “A mind is a terrible thing to waste.” You have to exercise your mind each day. You must keep feeding your mind the image of yourself already at the place where you want to be, as if you were already there. By doing this every day, you will condition your mind to carry on and bring you to where you want to be.
Just like the saying, “A quitter never wins and a winner never quits,” you must never quit thinking and believing that you will achieve your goals. The people who decide to succeed and stay the course make things happen. The others watch and wonder what happened.
Be the one to make things happen.
Brad Larsen is a life coach and corporate consultant from Northern Utah. He can be reached at email@example.com.