Leadership Factory

Having the Will of a Champion

If you want to talk to someone who knows firsthand about achieving incredible success, you can’t do much better than a Super Bowl champion.

Having former NFL player Ryan Harris on the Start with a Win podcast was both eye-opening and fun. Eye-opening because many of the elements that drove his journey to the top apply to all of our lives. And fun because – well, you’re going to have great stories when you’re the offensive tackle responsible for keeping Peyton Manning safe during the Denver Broncos’ march to the Super Bowl 50 title.

To some degree, Ryan’s winning mindset is based on six words: I am. I can. I will.

It seems to me that those six words can take you pretty much anywhere, in any profession.

Ryan related a story from early in his career when he was feeling beat-up, physically and mentally, from the challenges of grueling daily practices. He was at a crossroads and easily could have given up. But instead he dug deep for the will to keep going, and the drive to keep getting better every day. He says he visualized a specific drill he’d been coming up short in and let his mind see himself conquering it. That visualization – and the impact it had on him – may have saved his career.

Do you find yourself coming up short in some way? Start visualizing the outcome you want. Really bear down and let your brain process the image. That’s the start of something powerful – and if you commit to it, it can change everything.

Here are a few more nuggets from my conversation with Ryan:

• You’ve lived beyond every terrible day you’ve ever had in your life. Think about that. Give yourself some credit. And move forward knowing there’s truly nothing that can stop you.

• Goals are important, but your process, your system and your passion for details matter even more. After all, you live beyond your goals. Like Ryan said, no one climbs just one mountain; once you climb one, you want to climb more.

• Embrace failure, which Ryan calls “the rungs on the ladder of success.” I loved this: He noted that every offensive play is designed to score a touchdown, but the vast majority of them fail to do that. Not a problem – most just move you closer to the next score.

Ryan retired at the end of the 2016 NFL season and is now a broadcaster and author. His book, “Mindset for Mastery,” was an instant bestseller when it came out in October. He’s a prime example of someone who’s been to the top and is now helping others get there, too.

Ryan may be done with professional football, but he’s clearly not done winning. Not by a long shot.


Book: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1544510594

Ryan: https://www.ryanharris68.com/about/

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