In my many years of studying personal human behavior, I have discovered that a person, in and of himself, cannot determine how far they can go or how much they can take. Neither, can they determine the extent to which they are willing to sacrifice, without something or someone coercing them to either their breaking point, or their refusal to break point. When you are pushed and shoved to exceed your personal limits, it demonstrates how your personal boundaries are not necessarily determined by you, as much as by your willingness to triumph against the person or challenge that is poised to conquer you.
Your internal drive and determination to win in life, sports, or business is not accelerated by the limits you have set, but by the challenge that pushes you to reposition the line of your capability, just to overcome. This is usually the story behind every great person who discovered that the boundary they set was only established because they had no opponent or challenge to impel them to reestablish their limits.
There can be no victories without encountering conflict. Whoever concedes to the pressures of life or the abilities of their competitor, cannot exceed the limits they have personally set for themselves.
As I watched game seven of the NBA 2013 Finals between the San Antonio Spurs and the Miami Heat, I saw both teams display resilience and mental toughness throughout the course of the game. My thought was that a loss on either side would come down to one individual breaking down during the last seconds of the game. I thought the person that mentally breaks down and creates mistakes would not be a person who is not a good player, but one who has not consistently played well throughout the series. Unfortunately, that player was Manu Ginobili. The collage of negative thoughts that bombard a person after a poor performance, whether in life, sports or business, has but one aim—and that aim is to discourage and batter you until you find yourself rehearsing the mistakes that you are so desperately trying not to repeat.
Whether a team wins or loses, it is still a team. However, the individual role player on that team who isn’t mentally hungry and composed enough to want to do anything and everything to win, will allow their opponent to push them to move their mental and physical limitation, and they are just as responsible for the team’s loss as the team itself.
I heard LeBron James in an interview after winning the seventh game of the NBA 2013 Finals say, “The Spurs are a great team that pushed us to new limits.” In a nutshell, what LeBron James was saying was that his internal hunger to defeat the San Antonio Spurs became more intense during the game. It made him play smarter and harder than he’s ever played, dig deeper inside himself than he’s ever internally dug, and fight harder than he’s ever fought before.
My friend, this is what champions are made of. You will never realize how great you can be until you become hungrier to succeed than you are fearful to fail.
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