Having a set of core values, things you can look to to center yourself, will always be invaluable. I’ve made plenty of comments on professional success being tangential to hobbyist success in CrossFit. I’m a true believer in that successful people are all successful due to strong habits, and knowing who they are. Every now and again you’ll see someone who was ultra talented, but not successful. Mike Tyson – A world class talent in an arena, made enough money for 10 lifetimes, but never established his values, who he was or what he was about until later in life. Success without values is a house of cards, destined to fall and fall painfully. Values first, struggle and adversity stacked on top of values, will create a rock solid foundation. For us – This looks like:
- Integrity – Of movement, reps, effort.
- Empathy – Listen to coaches, remove the ego, you’re never too good for the fundamentals.
- Discipline – Nutrition, sleep, hydration, prioritizing time.
- Passion – Loving what you get to do everyday and who/where you get to do it.
- Thoughtfulness – Being aware of others, yourself, and the situation. Assessing and making intelligent decisions.
Ironically, people who embody these traits will rarely struggle financially, in relationships and in new endeavors. If you are capable of taking these 5 things into every area of your life, and ensuring that you stick to them regardless of circumstance, you will always find your ‘true north.’
What you need to understand though is that everyone of those values requires constant conscious effort to maintain. It requires adversity and challenges to stay strong. Without actively thinking and working on these things, it will not continue to provide value to you. I frequently tell young 20-year olds the importance of living alone for a few years. No relationships (or maybe a few failed ones), hard professional work and plenty of hobby changes. You will learn a lot about what you’re about and who you are. Do some reading, do some traveling and make some intelligent decisions with your experiences. If you’re past that time in your life…have you established those things? Do you know your values? Do you actually have discipline and integrity? Can you stop yourself from buying those shoes to make sound investment choices? Can you put your phone face down in another room when it’s time to be with family or your loved ones? Can you tell your family what you’re passionate about and ask them to help/support you…with conviction?
Some of the richest people in the world live in small condos and drive Honda Accords. Some of the poorest people live in mansions and drive Mercedes. Some of the most talented athletes never made it out of high school, some of the most talentless mediocre athletes play on Sunday’s and have Olympic medals. Some of the dumbest people have created amazing things, and some of the smartest work 9-5 for 40 years. Once you realize the only difference is your choices and your actions – you are free to do whatever you want.