“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit.” —Aristotle
In part one of “The First Premise” we discussed how we must sow the conditions for victory in our minds, first, before setting foot into the heat of our battles in life. We cannot leave things to chance, or by hoping we are the strongest and smartest person in the ring. Sowing the conditions for victory in our minds is the focus of Unbeatable Mind, our online mental toughness training program at SEALFIT.
In part 2 we will look at habits. Our habits define us. They are the little actions we take every moment, every day. The problem is that many of our habits may not be “bad” habits such as smoking or over-eating, but they are not “excellence habits.” Thus we tend to view them as “ok” and do nothing to change them, while wondering why we don’t perform at the top 1% or even .1%.
We must examine all of our habits, seeking to weed out bad habits, and drive out “ok” habits with “excellence habits.” As a nail drives out another nail, so a new habit will drive out an old. But what are the “excellence habits” of the top tier athletes and performers?
The three excellence habits I encourage you to begin forming immediately are discipline, drive and determination. These three words are more than values, they are a way of life that when habituated will propel you relentlessly toward victory.
When we have habituated discipline, drive and determination such that they become exemplified in our every action, then we have developed Kokoro. Kokoro is synonymous with grit. It means that we grow stronger through trial and tribulation. We grow through a disciplined approach to learning, training and mastery ourselves. We grow stronger by driving forward, not shying from hard challenges or quitting when the going gets unfathomable. We grow through quiet determination to win and persevering until we do.
Kokoro is gained by habituating discipline, drive and determination through hard work, life experience, and proper training. Great athletes, like noble warriors, seek training with the severest discipline, methods and schools. They do this not just to be better at athletic skills, but to be better people.
In part 3 we will come back and look at 3 “excellence disciplines” which I believe that, when habituated, will make you unstoppable.
Until then, train hard, stay present and have fun! –Mark Divine
Note: We will be at the Silicon Valley Triathlon next weekend with a booth. Then we are gearing up for Kokoro 23 on June 29th,2012 There is still space in the June and August Kokoro Camps. July is sold out. Hey – looks like school is out for summer! If you are a student, don’t lose your focus and fall off your training plan. Have fun, but remain disciplined! It will pay off in a big way in the long run.