Without heroes the rest of us don’t know how far we can go in life. – Bernard Malamud
Part of the reason I love hockey so much is that hockey players can be great models for resilience, character, hard work, and perseverance. Maybe I’m not an NHL star, but I think that those traits extend far beyond hockey into any area of life. Players can act as models on the big stage, but that doesn’t mean we can’t apply those same qualities in our own lives in just as big of a way.
From Mind Gym:
Not everyone will become a world-class athlete, but everyone can achieve inner excellence and become an MVP, a most valuable person.
Inner excellence is a way of thinking and a way of acting. It is a quality of mind, a mentality that says no matter how difficult things become, you are responsible and accountable for your thoughts, feelings, and actions. Inner excellence is staying positive in negative situations, and it is dealing with adversity in an optimistic way. It is finding love and joy in what you do and remaining steadfastly committed to your goals, values, and dreams.
People with inner excellence look at competition as a challenge. They are motivated by a desire to succeed rather than by a fear of failure. They possess an unconditional, high self-esteem and self-image. They have a can-do attitude and a will to prepare to win. They believe the harder they work, the harder it is to surrender. They don’t quit or play the blame game, and they look after the smallest detail to go the extra mile. They are big enough to back down from trouble and strong enough to be kind, fair, and honest.
Excellence goes beyond winning and losing. Inner excellence can’t be taken away by a referee or an opponent or the final tick of a scoreboard clock. Western society is externally oriented; we’re always going outside of ourselves to find validation and heroes and to measure success. We look outside for what only can be found inside. An MVP works on the inside, knowing that it will show on the outside.
Game Plan: You don’t have to be an athlete to achieve inner excellence, and as cheesy as it sounds, you are an MVP. Work on the inside instead of worrying about how you look on the outside. Athletes serve as role models, but you can be just as extraordinary in your own life.
Quote source: Mind Gym by Gary Mack