Navigating The Road To Excellence

Dr. Purushothaman
October 16, 2013

The world is fascinated by those who excel in any profession or field. We have all gazed on in great admiration as we’ve watched a skater or an artist perform. Think about the last time you relished the amazing sounds of Yo-Yo Ma on the cello or thrilled at the downhill skiing of Olympic medalist, Bode Miller.

The world is intrigued by excellence in any field. In the past, the accepted belief was that those who excel in their profession or field of study were simply “born with it”. However, the latest research proves that this assumption is wrong. Today’s science is proving that anyone can acquire excellent skills simply through intense training and practice, and by believing in their abilities.

This offers hope to those of us who may have never excelled at much. Research proves that we can acquire the skills and knowledge to become exceptional in a given arena. Those who have excelled in a profession give us clues as to the road they traveled to achieve their success. By utilizing deliberate practice from an early age, these professionals were able to develop skills way beyond their natural ability.

Olympic swimmer, Michael Phelps, who has won sixteen Olympic medals, reveals that he began swimming at the age of seven. By the age of ten, he held a national record for his age group. At the age of 15, he was the youngest male to make a U.S. Olympic swim team in 68 years.

As a boy, Michael wanted to be a football player or a golfer, but both his sisters were swimmers and his mother would take him even as a baby to watch his sisters. When one of Michael’s sisters received news that she had a herniated disk and would not be able to compete anymore, Phelps suddenly decided to take up where his sister had left off and become great, as a tribute to her hard work.

This desire, fueled with his practice sessions, led Phelps to win Gold and Silver Medals in swimming. Each week he would work out for many hours, striving to become the very best. The two motivating factors in his success were a strong desire to please a family member and a commitment to intense practice each week.

This, then, leads us to the question: Can anyone become a Michael Phelps? We could discuss his size. Phelps is tall with long arms and legs and big hands. While these physical attributes may well have contributed to his success, we have only to look at basketball player, Nate Robinson, who is only 5’9” tall. To what can we attribute the success of this athlete? Robinson holds the record of being the NBA’s first three-time slam-dunk champion.

How can someone of short stature achieve such greatness in a sport where the average player is 6’7” tall and height is almost a requirement?

The answer is two-fold: deliberate practice, and the ability to think beyond your limits. As humans, when we believe we can’t do something, we rarely do it. Our eyes search the sport of basketball and tell our brain that a short man cannot succeed in this sport. In Robinson’s case, it is obvious that he refused to listen to what common sense and popular opinion told him. Instead, he said to himself, “Yes, I can!” and then he backed up the assertion with a great deal of practice and hard work.

Though humans possess such a great potential, they rarely achieve the brilliance of which they are capable. Instead, the majority dwell in mediocrity for most of their lives. When we can understand why some of us excel and some don’t, perhaps we will find the key to motivating more of our species to achieve the greatness that lies dormant within each of us.

A man’s size and intellect don’t seem to carry the weight we once believed it did in determining his ability to succeed. Instead, most research by noted scientists such as Howard E. Gruber, indicates that the process of excelling begins in our own brain with our own belief system. When we can conquer our negative doubts about ourselves, we can accomplish the impossible.

Re-Wire Your Habits & Brain for Excellence in Business, Life, and Sports

The Mindset of Excellence is above all a deliberate practice. In order to excel in any field, you must develop awareness. It is also important to examine assumptions, and mental or emotional models. How an individual or organization is ‘constructing’ their result becomes the new playing field where people can learn “how to learn” or how to continually expand their zones of excellence and capacities for the results they truly desire.

The latest research in the field of Neuroscience, and Neuro-education, or how the brain learns, tells us that with deliberate practice we can literally re-train or re-educate our brains and therefore our behavior. We can achieve breakthroughs in our performance, mood, and the vital behaviors that are sustainable for success.

When a vision for success and excellence is identified and mapped with new constructive mental, emotional, and behavioral maps, a new pattern can be practiced and learned. With deliberate practice, we can wire our brains to develop the habit or memory of the new outcome or behavior we wish to achieve. By conditioning and training our focus on how we choose to respond versus react in our chosen zone of excellence we succeed in achieving a new level of performance.

21 Day Re-Wire for Excellence Practice - Getting Started

Think of an area of your life, your business, or a sport that you want to transform.

What would it be like if you woke up one morning and this area had become exactly what you wanted? A miracle had taken place!

Do this now!
Stop and vividly imagine it.
Decide that you will spend the next 21 days deepening your attention on this ideal outcome.

Now ponder these questions:

What would you see?

How would you know this dream outcome or solution had taken place?

What would you feel inside?

What would you hear?

What changes would have taken place in other areas of your life?

As you use this practice, and learn the habit of deliberate mental rehearsal and the proven scientific benefits of training your attention on the outcomes you want - consistently, deliberately, and as a practice - you will have at your fingertips the new science of accelerated success. Health, happiness, and performance are available to support you.

To keep yourself motivated, you might want to ask yourself this question:
Can I really afford the high cost of NOT learning the new science of how to shave years off my talent and learning development?

You want to partake of the growing body of empirical evidence that says you can teach yourself how to master any part of your life. You can accomplish this efficiently as you learn the new cognitive and brain science based methods of learning.

Practicing the 21 Day Re-Wire for Excellence
Regular practice is necessary in order to achieve your true potential and develop your strengths, excellence, and focus. If you’re going to feel and live in the zone of your personal Excellence, then practicing the 21 Day Re-Wire for Excellence is essential; it’s a powerful and proven start.

Find a mentor, someone who knows the benefits of mental rehearsal, and brain science based learning. This is your next step for providing a learning “environment” that will pull you forward.

By: Sue Stebbins, Master Coach

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