It’s not the size of the dog in the fight, it’s the size of the fight in the dog. – Mark Twain
When you want to be the best at something there are going to be obstacles. When the going gets tough in life, and it will, you have the ability to take one more step. You can’t worry about the whole bite at these times, your focus has to move to progression one increment at a time. Life has a way of beating you down, it always does. But when the going gets really tough, you press on to simply take the next step. If you read my book Intestinal Fortitude you will learn many secrets about success that I learned from Bob Lagerman my gymnastics coach. Bob took a bunch of misfits and in four years we won a state championship and we became All American gymnasts in the process.
Coach would say, if you want to be the best you don’t have to be twice as good, you don’t have to work twice as hard, you just have to take one more step. You have to push yourself to do one more set, one more backhand spring. The one more mindset has probably been the single largest catalyst to my success in all aspects of my life because it is this mindset that allows me to continue long after the desire to quit ever came into my mind. I use it when I jog, I use it when I lift weights, I use it in business and every aspect of my life. If you’re in sales, you do one more call, you do one more presentation, you do one more proposal, you work one more hour. The results of this technique has made more people successful than likely any other trait. I am talking about downright persistence to keep on keeping on, no matter what it takes.
You’re always pushing to do one more in every challenging experience. It’s hard because when you’re trying to be the best, you get fatigued and the battle can make you grow weary.
I was fortunate to see 13 time All American gymnast, Kurt Thomas, speak at an event several years back. In 1978, Thomas was the first American male gymnast to win a gold medal in floor exercise in a world championship. He went on to win two gold medals and 3 silver medals. When Kurt spoke he explained how he wanted to be the best in the world. He knew to be the best he did not have to be twice as good as his competitors, he didn’t even have to be 50% better or even 10% better, he just had to be a little better. To be a little better he knew he had to practice harder than all of his competitors to be the best. He wanted to make sure that he practiced longer than all of his team mates and his competitors. The only problem with this concept was that all of his teammates and competitors were all trying to accomplish the same goal. Everyone was geared up to do long practices and everyone wanted to be the last one out of the gym. So to be the last to leave practice, sometimes might mean hours of extra practice to be better than your competition. It was during these times that you can’t focus on staying another hour or two, the focus has to be on just one more minute, one more set, one more step.
This was often the case with us at practice. We would have endurance training during some practices. We were tasked with doing backhand springs the entire practice. First one to quit has to run halls until the end of practice. The next one to quit has to run halls until the end of practice etc. The only one who wouldn’t have to run halls would be the winner. So you would do one after another and sometimes we would do them for hours. You’d hurt so bad, but you wanted to win.
We all wanted to win? Sometimes you got out of the calisthenics at the end of practice because you won the competition, whatever the reward was it was better than losing. The competition was strictly how many consecutive backhand springs can you do. The three people always in it until the end was Bobby Jennaro, who unfortunately has passed away, Rick Bartelt and myself. We were always going head to head in this competition. We were the three going head to head and one of us was going to win. There were others who would enter the competition but no one else could compete. I can tell you that we all wanted to win and nobody ever wanted to give up. So this is where my one more mindset was derived. As we got near the end of practice, focus on throwing my hands back 100 more times seemed impossible. Even 20 more seemed impossible. The way I overcame it was I would just convince myself to do one more and then I convinced myself to do one more and then I convinced myself to do one more and then I convinced myself to do one more. I think you get the point. If it sounds repetitious, it’s because it is repetitious, but it’s through that repetition that, I was able to win this competition often. I won not because I was always better but because I would not give up because I knew I had one more in me. I could always push myself to do one more.
How this applies in life is even more critical. I can’t think of how many times in my adult life that this has made a difference. In the early 1990’s I was a locksmith and I owned the business. I was trying to make a living so I had to push myself often to do one more call. Sometimes the phone would ring with one call after another. Sometimes you’re working 20 hours straight and the phone would keep ringing and because I needed the money, I’d keep going. I’d tell the dispatcher I’ll take one more call and then I’d do one more call and sometimes it meant literally going hours at a time continually sometimes even more than 24 hours because I was willing to do one more and one more call. It’s funny how life provides for you if you are willing to take another step. Most people quit long before the finish line and when you are willing to take one more step it can be the difference from being a quitter and finishing the Boston Marathon. Most people who participate in marathons or iron man competitions all say that the ability to take one more step or take one more stroke or ride one more mile is the thought process that got them to the finish line. One more makes all the difference. It means no matter what, you’re never going to quit. You’re never going to give up. When you get knocked down, you get up again and you get knocked down and you get up again because you’ve always got one more in you.
That’s the winning attitude. That’s the way you’ve got to be. I’m always going to do one more. I’ve got one more in me and that’s the attitude to push yourself beyond what’s normal, beyond what even feels normal. It’s what creates massive success and can create a long term success in all aspects of your life.
Success is not counted by how many dollars you do, or don’t have in the bank.
Success is a progressive realization of a worthwhile dream or goal. That’s what success is. So when you have a goal and you really want to get to it, obstacles are going to pop up everywhere. This will happen with any goal you set. Nothing worthwhile is going to come without obstacles and when obstacles are right there in your face, you’ve got to push yourself to do one more or you won’t hit your goal. The one more mindset is absolutely critical because you need to be able to convince yourself that no matter what happens I’ve got one more in me. This is how you can hit any goal you set, press on to the end. Add 10 more pounds on the barbell, take one more swing, overcome the next obstacle, do one more routine and one more back handspring. Whatever you do just never give up. This lesson from Bob Lagerman was my biggest and has allowed me to do things that would never had been possible. As the saying goes, how do you eat an elephant, one bite at a time.
To your lifelong prosperity,