What makes a champion different from the average person? Do they have more skills or expertise? Are their circumstances perfect? Are they endowed with exceptional natural talents? Do they have more money or greater opportunities? Or, is it simply good luck? The answer is that none of these things by themselves can create a champion. In fact, most top performers have had to deal with challenges above and beyond the average. So, what makes the difference? Studies show again and again that the difference is the champion’s attitude. True champions have a unique, positive outlook–an unfailing belief that focused, consistent effort will yield successful results. Here’s an example from the world of baseball…
Babe Ruth is remembered as one of the greatest baseball hitters in history with 714 home runs. Yet, his averages show that his skill was not unsurpassed. His technique–although impressive–was not particularly unusual. The thing that made “the babe” so great was his tenacity and his willingness to keep trying. He would often swing so hard at the ball that a missed hit would send him sprawling to the ground. But, when he connected, watch out! Once when asked the question, “babe, what do you do when you get in a batting slump?” he replied, “I just keep going up there and keep swinging at them. If I strike out two or three times in a game or fail to get a hit for a week, why should I worry? Let the pitchers worry, they’re the guys who’re gonna suffer later on.” What a great attitude!
Nearly forty years later, when Hank Aaron was about to break Babe Ruth’s record, author Og Mandino called the office of the Atlanta Braves and asked, “I know that Hank has 710 home runs, and needs only five more to break Ruth’s record, but I was wondering–how many lifetime strike-outs does he have?” The answer was 1,262 strike-outs. Imagine that! He was the best of the best, and still struck out almost twice as many times as he hit a home run.
The difference between a champion and the average person is that the champion keeps trying when the average person quits–his attitude drives him on. He refuses to consider the possibility of quitting because he is so totally convinced that success is imminent. I challenge you to adopt the attitude of a champion. Don’t be afraid to fail, be afraid of missing opportunities when you don’t even try.