The Magic Formula of the Champion

 in London - Sherbourne Martial Arts Academy: SMAA

The Magic Formula of the Champion

(Grit + Resolve + Discipline + Character and Skills - Fear) = Champion!


Some people are graced with talent, fortune and fame, while others are confronted with great challenge in all directions.  Yet people from both of these groups have risen to success as Champions in life. So what is it over time that reveals the true nature of a person’s ability to overcome challenge and adversity to become a Champion?

Our perceptions of ourselves are embedded in us all as children.  At this time we assign value to the characteristics of the people who  surround us, and those who are closest to us. Mothers, fathers, grandparents are often the closest circle of influence, and then come close friends and acquaintances.  So, our standards in life are shaped and influenced by the beliefs and behaviours of those we encounter the most each day. Oftentimes this is the point in life where we choose our “heroes” and role models that pattern how we try to develop our character.  


So why is it that some people overcome the most adverse environments and ill treatment to become successful people and Champions (professionals, athletes, expert craftsmen, etc.)?


Confidence in Yourself

The single and most important component to overcoming adversity is the belief in yourself that you can do it.  Confidence in your abilities allows you to reach for your goals without fear of ridicule or failure. This does not mean prideful ego, but it does mean that you push forward without fear of what others might think.  In contrast, those that constantly fear ridicule are forever trapped in their “comfort zone”, left without the desire to ever reach for something more. So, an unwavering knowledge that you will succeed in your focused initiative is crucial to giving you the confidence to reach for the stars.  


Fear and Freedom

Confidence is a crucial characteristic for any champion, but fear is the daunting obstacle that often sidetracks many hopeful Champions along their journey.  I have always told people that “fear kills and panic decimates” any plans or goals in life, and this overriding fear can capture you like a prisoner, shackling you to the wall, and starving you in the darkness of the dungeon.  Many potential Champions have cowered in a corner while fear cripples them, but challenging that demon of fear is what brings you to freedom. Challenging fear is like throwing back the curtain on a dark, stuffy room, and opening the window to see the sunshine and breath the fresh air.  By challenging our fears to step forward on the path of a Champion, we escape our personal prisons and dungeons, and step forward to liberty - unbridled independence that allows us to challenge our obstacles in life, whatever they might be. So whenever you are scared and unsure of your path in life, ask yourself “what will you do without freedom”?


Unwavering Focus

Another crucial factor is to learn how to continually move forward down the road without listening to others who may dissuade you from your path.  You should always consider well-reasoned advice, but I have often found that many people will try to sway you from your path, due to their own petty jealousies (or fears).  The key is to never take your eye off the ball. Listen to sound advice from wise sages, but tune out the noise and silly discord of others who try to pull you from your path, simply because they lack the “grit” or personal integrity to join you on the journey. This requires self-discipline. often over long periods of time, depending on your goal(s) and the length of your journey ahead.    


Homage to the Cause

Choosing to be a Champion of worthy endeavors in life is one way to ensure that your focus does not waiver.  It is easy to get caught-up in superficial moments, but choosing a path with personal meaning and importance can help you dip into that reserve of energy when you feel all is lost.  Homage to the Cause not only drives brave heroes on the battlefield, it allows people hiding in the shadows to step forward into the light with pride that they are “born this way”. Homage to the cause also empowers women to boldly face their fears with confidence as Champions behind the “Me To” movement. Choose your goals wisely and you will not only stay the course - you will find a path from which it is hard to deviate.


Avoiding the “Energy Leeches”

Although unwavering focus is key, another mark of a Champion is to pick and choose your goals (and battles) wisely, and align yourself with positive influences in life.  Your loyalty to the cause should be earned by others (not freely given). Many times in life you will encounter people who try to suck your energy dry for lack of having their own shining light, and they accomplish this by endearing you through musical words stemming from their charisma and magical charm - but in the end, they are empty shells who steal from you, and make themselves strong at your expense.  These dangerous obstacles in your path are like the “snake-oil” salesman of old that offer nothing (but at times, may take everything). A true Champion learns to understand this tendency, and chooses friends and role-models wisely. Careful contemplation can ensure that you do not follow false sages or adopt misguided loyalties.


Succeeding Against all Odds

What does it take to succeed against all odds?  There is a difference between a brave challenge, versus a fool-hearted attempt to accomplish goals with little merit.  This touches a bit on the earlier message that Champions should heed advice and choose goals with merit and meaning (homage to the cause).  But readiness and perseverance lend a strong hand in success. Succeeding against all odds is a combination of (i) solid choices in goal selection, (i) perseverance and hard work as you climb the mountain, (i) and yes - there is a certain amount of providence and  “good fortune” that may come your way in the process. But I am a big believer that we make our own luck in life by continuing to work hard at our goals and spread good things in life, while continually scanning the landscape for that next big opportunity. Being “lucky” often stems from the disciplined habit of maintaining focus (perseverance) and seizing opportunities that arise in your path before they escape you.  Many champions have won at their game by maintaining readiness and capitalizing on a fleeting opportunity, rather than hesitating and letting that opportunity escape their grasp. When you you watch the proverbial “underdog” succeed as a Champion when overcoming an apparent insurmountable obstacle, ask yourself what that Champion did along his/her course that might have led to success.


Words are Cheap - So Help Me Get There!

It is  easy for us to talk about being a Champion, and quite another to think and plan to actually get there.  So what are some of the things that you can do propel you to the championship ranks?


First, make sure you choose a goal that is worthy of the cause.  This is a suggestion (not a mandate), but select a goal (or goals) that mean something to you, and consequently, they might also mean a lot to others - if others around you support your journey, success is much more likely to happen. Seek challenges where others fear to go (but wish they could), and you will earn the respect of those around you.   

Second, learn how to stay the course.  Never give up along your journey, and always persevere. There will be times when the path looks dim, and the goal appears too far off in the distance.  When this happens, sit back for a moment, take a deep breath, and gather your composure. Seek advice and from wise counselors to gain perspective, and tune out the negativity of others.  Carefully weigh your options (and worthiness of the cause), and once you have gathered your composure, set out on the journey once again with renewed vigor and vitality.


Finally, learn to overcome your fears - challenge those fears by facing them. If you are a Martial Artist, then challenge yourself in class everyday, and challenge yourself in competition.  Whether it be Karate, Combat Sports, or Jiu-Jitsu, compete in a few tournaments so that you have that experience. Yes, compete and you may lose, but so what? Who cares? Losing is part of learning how to succeed in life.  The purpose of competing in a sport (or any other life-endeavour) is not about winning - it is about challenging that fear of losing, and only by losing, do you learn to dull your fear so that you can rise to the Championship ranks.  Numbing your fear allows you to step forward and challenge yourself - like putting on a thick jacket to fend off the cold wind on a blustery day. It doesn’t remove all fear, but you numb it slightly and that helps you to face the stinging cold with confidence.


When your days are done, would you not risk everything for just one chance to redeem your sense of self - and free your shackles of fear?.  The magic formula of the Champion is an easy one, but the hard work and challenges ahead are what dissuade most from ever beginning their journey.  Take on the Challenge and be a Champion: Win, Lose or Draw…but do it with no FEAR.

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