It's time to delve into your personal life.
If you are a person with big dreams who is desperate to make something of yourself, a person who wants to become a champion then you'd better listen up because we are going to talk about something that could be in your life right now that is silently killing your dreams, and you probably don't even want to face or realise it.
The way you live your life and spend your time is the foundation for your success. No matter how talented you are if you are not spending your time to evolve and push yourself in the right way then you can forget about it.
When people talk about achieving success they point out how laziness and fear are two major aspects that hold us back, which is true, but what most people seem to forget is the importance of the people that are in our lives, that's what we are going to hit today.
Your friends and the people you hang with are seriously influential on you and they help shape who you are. They are big contributors to how you perform, your reputation and how hard you work on your career. They are also partly responsible for your attitude, your mental state and even your health.
This Decoding The Champion Blog is all about helping you be and achieve more, so we would be silly to overlook such vital area.
You are who you're with
You have consciously or unconsciously tailored your personal life and set things up so you can achieve what you see as happiness. That's normal.
But when you signed up to the process of achieving more in your lifetime than the average person then you also signed up to what comes with that, you cannot live the 'ordinary' life and expect extra-ordinary outcomes. You have to live in a different way to most people in this world and this is one major reason why so many of us fail.
There are so many ambitious people among us that feel like they have tried everything in the pursuit of their goals and after a certain amount of time they give up, they did take action towards their dreams but it was always an uphill struggle simply because (unknown to them) their daily lifestyle was robbing them of the resources that were needed.
The way you live life echoes into your professional life whether you like it or not.
"Most people’s lives are a direct reflection of the expectations of their peer group." - General Schwarzkopf
This doesn't just cover the way you act but it is also a lot to do with who you hang around with. To be as successful as you want to be you must surround yourself with the right kind of people, those who help you to be more than you would be if you were on your own, people who make you feel good and vice versa (you do the same for them).
There are too many race drivers turning up to the circuit after a mid-season month off with constant stories of how they got totally smashed over the past few weekends, how they are the Call Of Duty master among their friends, etc.
When I hear this I die a little inside, they had the golden chance to reclaim themselves and come back stronger in this month off but instead they pissed that time away and are not better off. OK they have regained some energy back but in reality they will still achieve the same crappy results on track as they did before the break. They have not progressed, which should ring alarm bells to any sportsmen.
When you hear this you can't help but think "Does this driver really want this?"
By the way as soon as someone is asking this about you then it's over, you are yet another hobby driver (even if you are in a formula just under F1).
I know it's a need of ours to have fun in life, and you should, but if you want to dominate in any sport then you must shift your priorities more towards brute forward moving action rather than distraction.
Again, you must have the right kind of people around you and this usually means your friends. You must select which ones that are good for you and help you get what you want and see less of the ones that maybe more wild/fun but are holding you back.
This seems hard to do at first
When you start to face what's important to you in your life and tail back on seeing certain friends you will be challenged, they will call you all the time, you will miss out on the odd trip in the summer, you will see on Facebook how crazy the last party was and they will tell you that you missed out.
It may initially seem like you are missing out but you must remember what you are trying to do with your life, you are going for something enormous, you are trying to do something that very few people have done and that requires huge effort. Your friends will have forgotten about most of these parties in a few months time anyway.
Always focus on the end game because once these crazy years pass most of your friends will be in jobs they hate and will be chasing the times they once had. You on the other hand will be carving the life that will inspire us.
Always keep your main target in mind, once you do this you will start to notice the things that are getting in your way and you will start to get just as much pleasure speaking with a team manager as you used to wasting your life away. You will have less in common with the people who want different things in life and when you make it you will not regret missing the odd get together or time on that online computer game.
If your career means enough to you then you must act on this right away.
Don't worry I've been there
Heck I was born in a council house and shared most of my growing years with great friends who didn't want much from life. They were not big dreamers.
I love them to bits even now but as I grew up I wanted more than what my surroundings would suggest, I didn't want to settle for what others around me had and if I'd even mention my dreams back then my friends would slam me down. So would their parents. Hell even my career's officer at school laughed me out of the room.
For years I sat on my dreams and just thought that someone like me couldn't be in racing and who was I to even enter that world. After all I was in my late teens and was currently one of those guys you see in the hot hatches up to no good at MacDonald's car park every night, we had no real life qualifications yet thought we knew everything.
During that time I learnt the skill of having a split personality, of being one person with my friends and then going to work to be like someone else, having a different accent depending on who I was with. Unknowingly this was tearing me apart and making it impossible to progress, so I made a big decision and changed my social life, I kicked my own ass and within 2 years of never touching a race car or race track I had won a championship and this all led to my true calling of becoming a performance coach.
So what's the lesson here?
Well I changed who I was spent time with, this in turn changed my identity and my vision of the world. A whole new life path opened up which I am still travelling now.
Today I am just so grateful for that 19 year old back then who made a difficult and scary decision.
The Friend Test
Let's be honest here you will already know deep down if the people you are spending time with are helping you or not, whether they are making you stronger or are sapping you of the time you need to master your discipline.
Questions are often our way to understand things, so to really unearth if your friends are helping you get closer to your dreams ask these questions about them:
1) Are they sometimes slightly jealous when I do well?
2) Do they quite often distract me from working as hard as I could?
3) Are they not really interested in listening to me talk about racing all the time?
4) Are they really bothered (or even smugly happy) when I receive bad news in racing or bad results?
And the big one...
5) Can I constantly speak about my dreams or do I sometimes have to play down how high I am aiming in life?
To get what you want is going to take a mammoth effort, becoming a professional athlete of any sport is one of the hardest jobs around and to even stand a chance you need to create a life where everything in it is facing the same way, it allows the momentum of your actions to create results. Only then do you stand a chance.
"You have a big mountain to climb, you can't afford to carry excess baggage" - Enzo Mucci
How to handle your friends
If you need to change things in this area then simply tell the certain friends that may be holding you back a little that you need to go for it now and spend more time on your racing. So over the coming year you will be busier, you are still there but will see them less.
Trust me the true friends will understand and be with you on this one, the others will persist for a while but then fade away.
Remember they may look like they are having all the fun in the world but really they are chasing something that isn't sustainable, you on the other hand are going somewhere, you have mountains to move to make this work so it's time to fully dedicate yourself to your craft and see how far you can actually go.
There are certain things in life that test our commitment to the cause we are fighting for, for the things we want to achieve, this is one of those tests. It all just comes down to how much you want it.