Becoming a champion in life is a useful framework to use when you are developing your goals. I use the idea of a champion because it is related to ‘winning’, but the type of winning I mean is different from the image you might have in your mind’s eye. One of Merriam-Webster’s definitions of a champion is:
a winner of first prize or first place in competition
With this definition, your tendency is to measure yourself against others because the implication of ‘winning first prize’ is that you beat other people to get there. This is a narrow understanding of the word champion when I use it because it is based on how other people perform.
When I talk about being a champion, I am referring to seeing yourself as the competition – and always striving to get the very best out of yourself, regardless of your circumstances. To be a champion, you cannot think small. You must constantly push yourself to the outskirts of your comfort zone so you can stretch and grow. True greatness is a dynamic state because you are constantly seeking out new challenges to tap into unused areas of your potential.
God designed you for greatness. But it is your duty to tap into the potential He placed in you. When you are consistently maximizing your potential, you will operate as a champion.
If you have never considered this concept of becoming a champion in your life, you may be wondering what it looks like. Knowing what to look for in yourself will help you take the necessary actions to grow. So let’s take a look at four key characteristics of a champion: vision, execution, completion, and excellence.
Vision is critical to any lasting success. Champions see the future before it becomes the present. They cast out a vision of where they want to go and then create a plan to get there. But don’t confuse dreams with vision. A dream only becomes a vision when you make it concrete. When you write it down so it no longer floats around in your head without any plans attached to it.
Are you living your life with vision?
Thinking does not build skyscrapers; execution does. Once you have recorded your plans, you must act on them with conviction and urgency to realize your vision. If you don’t, your vision will revert back to a dream and you will lose your motivation to achieve great things. Champions keep momentum by staying in execution mode no matter what obstacles arise.
Are you living in execution mode?
No matter how well you start, it’s no good if you don’t finish. If you haven’t heard it before, that is why I talk so much about The Finishers’ Club – that rare group of people that start things and finish them. More people belong to The Starters’ Club than The Finishers’ Club because consistently finishing what you start is the mark of a champion.
One of the true hallmarks of a champion is the impeccable standards they uphold. It is not enough just to appear to do things well – what they do when nobody is looking also matters. Champions don’t cut corners because they are focused on greatness rather than quick fixes.
Whenever you are given the option to compromise on excellence – pass.