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April 8th, 2008

Don’t Give Up

Two minutes are left on the clock. You’re down by nine points. And momentum is not on your side. What do you do.

Give up, give in or RISE UP.

Sports are a great metaphor for how we live our lives. They show us how we can and do make choices that lead us to a victory or a loss – and all of it is on public display in a microcosmic way.

Last night I watched the men’s NCAA championship game between Kansas and Memphis. No matter what the score, I had a strong feeling that Kansas was going to win. There was a calm aura surrounding them. No matter what, they kept their composure and focus.

Even when they were down by nine points with two minutes to go.

Memphis, on the other hand, showed a number of weaknesses in their mental game. When a play didn’t go their way, one or two players would start to whine. And whenever you see whining, you are seeing a weakness.

It didn’t surprise me then, when the Jayhawks tied the score with a 3-point shot with time almost out, forcing the game into overtime.

When the players walked to their benches to regroup, you could see Kansas was excited to have another whack at the crown while Memphis was deflated.

Kansas dominated in overtime, going on to win by seven points, 75-68.

In a post-game interview with Kansas head coach Bill Self, he was asked about his pre-game remarks to the team. Before leaving the locker room, Self thanked the team in advance for what they were about to accomplish.

Once again, this is powerful self-image psychology. He gave the team a mental picture of himself being thankful to them for making history, for accomplishing something great.

He began with the end in mind.

And the end was not victory. It was GRATITUDE for victory.

Big difference.

There is a key to making this type of gratitude work – especially with a team. If you do it wrong, you create resistance – not momentum.

I’ve seen salespeople who will send an offer and at the end write something like, “Thanking you in Advance.”

This shows the salesperson’s focus is only upon himself.

Coach Self’s remarks were the opposite. He was thankful to the TEAM – not for himself alone. He was grateful for what THEY accomplished. He was glad to be part of the victory.

I think Bill Self and the Kansas Jayhawks most deserving of the BIG SELF award.

Truth is all of us have a BIG SELF within who is guiding us to victory – if we will only listen.

Matt Furey

P.S. This May, at my Get Tough Fitness Challenge I’m going to teach a secret way to catapult yourself to success, in anything, that is so powerful you’ll feel like you quickly tied the score and won the game in overtime.

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