Whether you are an entrepreneur starting a business, or someone who has already achieved financial freedom, one of the best ways to improve your habits, is by studying successful people, and learning the habits of success.
In this article, we’re going to take a look at what Michael Phelps has to say about goals, visualization and success in life.
Michael Phelps’ tips for success in life:
1.Use goals to propel you forward:
Eight year-old Phelps set goals and visualized a future in the Olympics.
He wrote down his goals in the form of race timings, and had them up in a place where he could see them every day, on waking up and before sleeping. Sometimes, you literally have to ‘dream’ about success to make it a reality.
When you’re starting a business, or trying to improve one that’s already doing well, it is crucial to know exactly where you’re headed. Set quantified, time specific goals. For example: ‘Our business needs to make 10,000 dollars in profit, within the 28th of this Month.”
And it’s not just in business. Set goals for your marriage, your relationships, your health, etc. Setting goals will help you know where exactly you’re headed.
Suggested: Best entrepreneurship ideas for 2018.
Coach Bob Bowman taught teenage Michael Phelps to “Watch the videotape. Watch it before you go to sleep and when you wake up.”
What was ‘the videotape’? Michael’s visualization of the perfect race, from a spectator’s point of view, as well as his own point of view in the water.
This is a practice he carried out throughout his career. Looking at his achievements, it is quite evident that it is indeed a useful method.
Want to buy that Bentley someday? Go into the showroom and smell the leather. Visualize driving it.
Visualizing your goals is one of the best ways you can prepare yourself for success in life.
3.Hope for the best, prepare for the worst:
Be prepared to take on all the ups and downs.
In Beijing 2008, Phelps’s goggles broke at the start of the 200m Butterfly event. Had someone else been in his situation, he would have panicked. Phelps… well he kept going.
How did he do it? Mentally he had prepared himself to tactfully handle situations a lot worse that this.
How does this help you achieve success in life? Well, we are confronted with ups and downs on a regular basis. Many of us, just cannot handle this. One moment we’re doing great, the next everything seems to be going wrong.
If we only prepare ourselves, mentally, to accept that ups and downs are a part of life, we will be able to handle such situations in a much more effective way.
4.Love the process, the outcome is just an assessment:
Win or lose, as long as Michael is confident that he trained his hardest and give it a hundred percent, he doesn’t feel bad. It’s something he learnt from his coach.
He loves the process, not the outcome and that’s what makes a true champion.
In today’s time a lot of people chase the end product without having any passion for the process- “I want that paycheck”, “I want to look leaner this summer”, etc. “But, I hate going to work”, “I hate working out.” It doesn’t work that way.
You’ve got to find something you truly love to do- not the end product, but the journey of getting there.
Suggested: 6 Reasons to Never Quit
5.Time and Effort:
Put in the time and effort. That’s all it boils down to.
In preparation for the 2004 Olympics, Phelps trained 365 days a year, for SIX YEARS straight- no Christmas, no new year, no birthdays.
His coach said, “Michael worked harder than I’ve seen anybody work in any endeavor.”
At the basic level, success in life just comes to good old ‘hard work’. Put in the time and effort, and you’ll get the results.
I felt the chills, just typing this out. There’s a lot we can learn from Michael Phelps, but I think the biggest takeaway is that it all boils down to hard work. Grinding out a workout every single day, for six years straight- now that’s how to one can be successful in life.
Another very important takeaway is that you must love the process of getting to the end goal. Just like they say in Business, “if you start a company just to make money, you can only go so far.” Some of the most successful entrepreneurs never started with the thought of just getting rich. It was the strong desire to impact and benefit society that got them there. We live in a capitalist society. If you can come up with a product that improves someone else’s life, they will pay you for it- no doubt about it.
In the words of one of my biggest inspiration, Steve Jobs, “I was worth about a million dollars when I was 23, over 10 million dollars when I was 24, and over 100 million dollars when I was 25… and it wasn’t that important because I never did it for the money. Especially at that time in my life, it was not the most important thing in my life. The most important thing was the company, the people, the products we were making and what we were going to enable people to do with these products.” There you have it- money is great; it enables you to do a lot. But it is not the end-all be-all of success.
Suggested: 10 Steve Jobs quotes that remind us to keep working hard.
I hope this article helps you have a broader perspective on these topics. Click the button below to check out our bookstore, where we have a hand-picked collection of the best business and entrepreneurship books you can get your hands on. Purchase a copy from our store, and we’ll ship it to you for free.
We started Best Business Books, with the goal of providing the best business and entrepreneurship books, to those who need them the most.
Best of 2017: