Ever wonder what sets peak performers apart from the rest of us? Or how it might be possible to reach that level of performance ourselves? Raw talent and intelligence are not enough.
Here are the top 3 most important daily habits of champions, at least according to Olympic champion Michael Phelps’ coach–who certainly would know!
1. Take Charge of Everything You Can Control
Having a desire to be at the top of your field is one thing. But having a clear vision for what that looks like is another. There are so many variables in your career that you cannot control. What you can control is the process of doing what you need to do, i.e. getting into the pool every day and swimming fast, every single day, week, month, and year. Stay true to the journey, every step, and focus on the parts you have power over. You’ll be in a much stronger place to grasp your dreams when they come within reach.
2. Visualize Your Best Self
You have to visualize yourself doing what you know you need to do to be the best. You have to do this every day. See yourself winning and achieving your goals. Don’t just fantasize, visualize. Run through your success in a variety of different scenarios with obstacles to overcome. Watch yourself winning. Your brain will get so used to that success, it will be that much more likely to help push you toward it when the time comes to perform. Form a strong mental picture of where you want to be in a year, and hold on tight. Your brain will help deliver opportunities to get you there.
3. You Have to Put in the Work
Here’s the catch. You have to work hard. All the talent and drive and intelligence and mental preparedness in the world can’t get you where you want to go. Only hard work can. Practice practice practice. Michael Phelps practiced 365 days a year for 6 straight years to prepare for the Olympics. This is part of what programmed his brain and body for peak performance. Whatever your equivalent is—put in the time and effort. Run through that presentation not just one, but ten or a hundred more times before you give it.
Working on these three daily habits won’t necessarily get you a record-breaking heap of Olympic medals, but it sure will help get you where you want to go. Find your equivalent and get to work.