Chasing EXCELLENCE, by Ben Bergeron
A story about building the World´s Fittest Athletes
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by Miguel De La Fuente, TS-Coach.
I love helping people become Exceptional.
Are you willing to COMMIT yourself to become the VERY BEST you can possibly become MAXIMIZING every minute of your day?
This week we one of my top-10 books on mental Toughness, by Ben Bergeron, “Chasing Excellence”. This is his website, https://benbergeron.com/
This book is not for everyone but it can help and inspire anyone who wants to be their BEST version. I recommend this book to anyone who wants to become EXCEPTIONAL at what they do.
Ben Bergeron has helped build some of the world’s best CrossFit athletes, like 2-time champion Katrín Tanja Davíðsdóttir and 4-time World Champion Mat Fraser.
EXCELLENCE is NOT about reaching 80 or 90% of your potential.
Most people will feel comfortable with that, and it´s fine. But Excellence is about MAXIMIZING YOUR FULL HUMAN POTENTIAL. It´s about making those TINY DAILY improvements to become BETTER, to become the best you can become, REGARDLESS how painful it is or how long it takes. It´s a DIFFERENT mindset. This is a different way to life. You do it NO MATTER WHAT.
Ben believes wining is a results, not necessarily a goal and that character, not talent is what makes a true champion. The commitment to becoming better than the best will help you win.
CrossFit began some 10 years ago, in 2007 on a small Northern California Ranch as a friendly get together, and it has become a world-class sporting event, transforming itself almost like world fever, with massive amounts of people practicing all over the world. It´s amazing what you can CREATE in just 10 years.
Top CrossFit athletes train 5 to 10-HOURS A DAY, all year round to PREPARE themselves for a one-week competition. This is probably the toughest ONE-WEEK competition in the world. They commit themselves to a life of DISCIPLINE, SACRIFICE AND SUFFERING.
These Are some of TRAITS CHAMPIONS SHARE IN COMMON:
-Discipline, Commitment, Passion, Persistence, Resilience, Competitiveness, Coachability, Growth-mindedness, Humility, Hunger, Dedication, Tenacity and Grit.
Ben focuses on developing character because BETTER PEOPLE make BETTER athletes.
There is a difference between putting a lot of work into something and GIVING EVERYTHING you have into that something. This is a major difference. GIVING YOUR BEST IS THE PRIZE you can receive.
Here is a different definition of HARD WORK that I love:
GIVING YOUR FULL EFFORT EVERY SINGLE MOMENT OF EVERY SINGLE DAY and Becoming the BEST you could possibly be. You ALWAYS give your BEST regardless what’s happening in your life.
This is the way you become your absolutely best. It’s a MASSIVE commitment and the HIGHEST personal standard possible.
Being your Best DEMANDS EVERYTHING you are capable of, and this is HARD.
Basically, everyone at the highest level is talented. So, at this level, It´s about having the HIGHEST level of COMMITMENT what makes the difference.
When you MAXIMIZE potential, You ALWAYS WIN, regardless of the score.
The dedication to competitive Excellence is what make champions different. The ability to MAXIMIZE every minute and compete with excellence.
The only thing that works is working hard on your craft day in and day out, with MASSIVE dedication and focus. There is no other way. There are no secrets. You have to know where you are, WHERE you want to be, and WHAT are you willing to do to get there. And then make the COMMITMENT to do it every single day.
You have to COMMIT TO THE PROCESS by DEVELOPING grit, resilience, accountability, confidence perseverance, optimism, and PASSION. Without those traits is unlikely you will become a champion in anything.
When you COMMIT to being EXCELLENT you don’t care how hard you HAVE TO WORK, or HOW LONG it will take. People who live in at the EXCELLENCE level focus on short term pain for LONG term gain. It´s completely different to how most people live their lives today.
Today most people LIVE for a short term gain against a long term PAIN. They buy a 100 plus inch TV set (on credit) to spend countless hours watching crap in order to feel the long term pain of surviving instead of BECOMING THEIR BEST.
CHAMPIONS ALWAYS FOCUS ON LONG TERM GAIN. They are willing to INVEST the time, as long as it takes, to become their BEST. They are passionate about what they do, and commit to daily improvement.
The commitment to be at this level makes you have to MAXIMIZE every single minute of every single day. Maximize time, nutrition, energy, training, dedication, reading. Doing anything and everything that makes you a little better.
CHAMPIONS COMMIT TO THE GRIND EVERY SINGLE DAY.
Behind the most talented person who has become massively successful, there is a daily schedule of GRIND, and infinite hours of SUCK. There is a whole bunch of WALLS that had to be broken. Behind a massive success there is a massive work ethic.
Regardless of what you do for a living, BEING THE BEST MEANS TAKING ADVANTAGE of every opportunity that each day brings. Success is not a one-time event, it´s achieved by focused, and consistent action.
Excellence can be only achieved in the present moment. Clarify what you REALLY WANT and work as hard as you can for as LONG AS IT TAKES.
This is the hierarchy of development,
1. Person: characteristics of a champion
2. Process:, maximize minutes
3. Ability: strength conditioning and practice.
4. Strategy: Game Plan.
MY FAVORITE BOOKS ON MENTAL TRAINING AND MENTAL TOUGHNESS:
If you are looking for other exceptional books on mental training as well as mental toughness here are my favorites, the ones I have personally read:
Download Now my TotalSuccess App, Your Daily Medicine against being “average”, for my most important ideas about these exceptional books. This app will help you develop the ultimate vision for your life and steps to get there.
I keep updating this list regularly….
Here are some awesome ideas from this exceptional book,
You can define it in many ways, but basically comes to; when things get hard, YOU PUSH HARDER.
When you fail, you GET BACK UP STRONGER. When you don’t see results, you WORK HARDER, AND GET BETTER.
You become RELENTLESS, and unstoppable. When you see weaknesses, you COMMIT on making improvements.
That is the way you become exceptional, use your weaknesses and make them your strengths by working hard on improving them, by working relentlessly on closing the gap.
Negativity destroys performance. There is no guarantee that if you are positive and optimistic you will win. But if you think negative, full of fear and doubt, you will destroy performance. It doesn’t matter what task or profession you are doing.
You need to get in a positive mindset, regardless what you do, and live there.
You don´t control external events, BUT You can always can choose to HOW to see and react to things.
So Ben has this rule in this CrossFit gym:
NEVER WHINE. NEVER COMPLAIN. NEVER MAKE EXCUSES.
It´s not an easy rule to live by. This is not easy because negativity is INGRAINED in our brain and forms part of our automatic responses. You brain is designed to make you survive, not make you happy, as Tony Robins says.
Additionally, negativity is ingrained in our culture. We have a predisposition to see and focus on what´s wrong, what´s missing, and what are the negative news of the day.
Let´s say your flight got cancelled, and you have to wait in the airport or even stay there. How do you see the event and react? You can choose to complain, whine, get upset, angry or you can use to relax, disconnect, read, study or do something that helps you improve.
Life WILL CONSTANTLY TEST your attitude and commitment, giving you options to respond in an exceptional way.
If you want to become the best you can possibly become you will need to stop the whining, complaining and excuse making, even to the SMALLEST degree.
Got to stop complaining about the weather or anything whatsoever, specially things out of your control.
Make a decision to love the weather no matter it is. You love sun, you love rain, you love snow, you love gray days, sunny days. You love every single weather possible.
And this is what Ben does so good training his athletes. Focus on what you CAN CONTROL and make any situation positive REGARDLESS how uncomfortable it is.
“it´s so hot today. Traffic sucks. My boss is an asshole. I am tired. I don´t have time for anything.”
MAKE A COMMITMENT YOU WILL NOT COMPLAIN ABOUT ANYTHING OR ANYONE. You will make improvements, but not complains.
Focusing on anything outside your control reduces happiness and performance. And focusing in a negative way on what you can control ALSO reduces happiness and performance.
YOU CAN SEE EVERY EXPERIENCE THAT HAPPENS TO YOU FROM A POSITIVE AND OPTIMISTIC VIEW. Your biggest challenges are also your biggest opportunities.
As Ben says, “An optimist mindset is a distinguishable characteristic of elite performers because WHAT THE HUMAN MIND FOCUSES ON AND TALKS ABOUT IS WHAT WE SEE MORE OF”.
This is what Stanford professor Arnold Zwicky calls “FREQUENCY ILLUSION”, which basically refers to the fact that you see more of the things you´re already focused on.
This principle applies to everything, from your job, your business, career, relationship, health, everything. When you talk about and complain about things out of your control you will diminish performance and success.
The reality is that YOUR THOUGHTS BECOME YOUR WORDS, YOUR WORDS BECOME YOUR ACTIONS, YOUR ACTIONS BECOME YOUR HABITS, AND YOUR HABITS BECOME YOUR DESTINY.
The adversity you face, an obstacle that might have made another person give up, is the reason you are here right now.
Psychologist call this “ADVERSARIAL GROWTH”, which is based on the idea that —what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger-.
The obstacle is the way. The challenge is the reason you are here right now. You couldn’t achieve what you have without the challenge or the obstacle.
The obstacle MADE YOU A CHAMPION. ADVERSITY IS THE BEST THINGS THAT CAN HAPPEN TO YOU. Adversity is the thing you needed to become a champion.
You will only improve through adversity and SHORT TERM PAIN.
In sports training, it happens the same thing, it´s called the “OVERLOAD PRINCIPLE”, you can force adaptation in your body BY CONSISTENTLY PUSHING PAST YOUR PREVIOUS LIMITS.
You can make yourself stronger and better by PUSHING YOURSELF over previous limits and by overcoming that short term pain.
“It´s important to realize that YOU WORST DAYS CAN BE YOUR BEST DAYS BECAUSE THEY HAVE THE POTENTIAL TO FORCE THE MOST ADAPTATION, mentally as well as physically”, as Ben says.
The problem with limiting yourself to living within your comfort zone is that IT PREVENTS YOU FROM GROWING AND REACHING YOUR FULL POTENTIAL.
You will encounter adversity no matter who you are, what you do, where you live or how rich you are. You will encounter constant adversity. It´s part of life, and it´s part of growing as a human being.
As Jocko Willink says, “There is NO EASY way, there MUST BE DISCIPLINE”. Your biggest problems are YOUR BIGGEST OPPORTUNITIES.
CONFIDENCE doesn’t come from knowing you can control the result, but from KNOWING YOU CONTROL YOUR RESPONSE TO ANY GIVEN EVENT. It comes from knowing you can persevere and overcome your biggest challenges and maintain your winning traits in the middle of the most adverse conditions.
“ULTIMATE confidence is the understanding that you simple NEED to find a way to GIVE YOUR BEST AT EVERY MOMENT AND EVERY OPPORTUNITY IN ORDER TO MEASURE UP TO YOUR OWN STANDARD OF SUCCESS”, AS Ben says.
If you want to become your very best, YOU WILL HAVE TO OPTIMIZE EVERY MINUTE OF EVERY DAY. You can´t just go through the motions and expect to become really good. At a champion level, it´s NOT ENOUGH just to show up.
If you want to improve and get better every single day, you have to MAKE EVERY MOMENT COUNT, making it the BEST you are capable of.
Be ALL IN, every single day. Don´t leave anything on the table. YOU NEED TO BE ADDICTED TO YOUR CALLING. The best in the world do. The have a deep passion for what you do.
When you absolutely love what you do and you want to become the best at it, you are not sacrificing anything because this is exactly what you want to be doing.
“PASSION WILL OUTPERFORM DRIVE EVERY TIME”, as Ben says, because it gives you the needed resilience, the determination and the persistence necessary to become EXCEPTIONAL at something. You have to be in love with what you do.
You have 60 seconds, as the rest of the world, to become your best. EVERY MINUTE DESERVES YOUR ATTENTION AND COMMITMENT.
BECOMING THE BEST AT SOMETHING TAKES AN EXTRAORDINARY AMOUNT OF WORK. It´s not for everyone.
“Today I will do what others won´t so tomorrow I can do what others can´t”
“It´s not what you look at matters, it’s what you see”
-Henry David Thoreau
“NEVER WHINE. NEVER COMPLAIN. NEVER MAKE EXCUSES”
As Ben says, “An optimist mindset is a distinguishable characteristic of elite performers because WHAT THE HUMAN MIND FOCUSES ON AND TALKS ABOUT IS WHAT WE SEE MORE OF”
“Sometime when you are in a dark place you think you have been buried, but you´ve actually been PLANTED”
“Exceptional competitors understand that the primary competition is themselves”
“ULTIMATE confidence is the understanding that you simple NEED to find a way to GIVE YOUR BEST AT EVERY MOMENT AND EVERY OPPORTUNITY IN ORDER TO MEASURE UP TO YOUR OWN STANDARD OF SUCCESS”
– Ben Bergeron
“Success to me is giving FULL EFFORT knowing that was the BEST I WAS CAPABLE OF”
-Katrín Tanja Davíðsdóttir
“Now is everything you have to work with. When you LIVE FULLY, it is MORE THAN ENOUGH”
Download Now my TotalSuccess App, Your Daily Medicine against being “average”… to help you stay away from an average life, with average habits, average results and an average experience. 15-Minutes per day will help you become the absolutely best you can become. You have a responsibility to honor pour potential. The biggest pain in life comes from not maximizing your Potential and doing what you know you were capable of doing, for you and others. You have been given the Most Extraordinary Gift; Your Life. Use it.
Any Goal or Dream You Really Want to Achieve but Haven’t been able to do it?
Call Me, I love helping people become Exceptional and Achieve the impossible. Miguel De La Fuente, Life and Business Coach Exceptional. +507-62463797.
TOP IDEA FROM THE BOOK:
Excellence takes an extraordinary amount of effort. Becoming your best is not a weekend retreat, or going to a workshop. It´s about making the COMMITMENT to those TINY improvements on a daily basis.
It takes a huge amount of work, resilience, determination and a deep passion for what you do to become exceptional in something. You only compete against your very best, the best you can become.
It´s about GIVING YOUR FULL EFFORT EVERY SINGLE MOMENT OF EVERY SINGLE DAY and Becoming the BEST you could possibly be. You ALWAYS give your BEST regardless what’s happening in your life.
It´s about eliminating all complaining, whining and excuse making and BECOMING your best.
TERMS IN SPANISH