Staying on top of our game in this competitive world is harder than ever. There’s little room for error, and there will always be someone gunning for the crown. To remain on top, we must realize that success is temporary and it’s paid daily through blood, sweat, and tears. We’re just tenants in this game, and our landlord can kick us out at a moment’s notice.
To pay our dues, we must remain hungry and humble-hearted. We must not feed into our ego and avoid believing the stories we tell ourselves. Stories that magnify our strengths while minimizing our weaknesses. It’s these tall tales that inflate our pride and have us thinking that we’re larger than life.
It’s this reason that Kanye claims to be a god and why Chad Ochocinco (retired star receiver for the Bengals) changed his name to his own number in Spanish. This tendency to let success get to our heads becomes a debilitating handicap and one which will eventually pull us under.
By buying into these stories, we end up sabotaging our psyche. We think we can slack off and still receive the same results, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. It’s at these critical moments that we must have the awareness to step back and humble ourselves.
Realize that we’re human and that nothing lasts forever. With this attitude, we’ll be better suited to adapt to the flow of life, while capitalizing on every opportunity that presents itself. On the other hand, when we let our heads get too big we end up setting ourselves back by ostracizing others and overlooking chances to grow. We think we know it all and we stop learning.
By limiting our expansion, we soon become stagnant. While resting on our laurels, we then get surpassed by those who are hungry and willing to work.
“Believe in yourself! Have faith in your abilities! Without a humble but reasonable confidence in your own powers you cannot be successful or happy.” – Norman Vincent Peale
Humbleness and hard work will pay off
For instance, after sustaining a devastating ACL tear in 2011, Adrian Peterson, an NFL running back, was facing a long road to recovery. Many players don’t return from such knee injuries and most didn’t believe he could play at the same level.
This didn’t stop Peterson however as he quickly got sewn up and immediately started the recovery process. Not much was heard from Peterson in the months that followed, but on opening day a lot was seen.
After enduring the rigorous rehabilitation period, Peterson scored two touchdowns and averaged nearly 5 yards on 17 carries. Peterson would end up capping the season with 2,097 yards and 9 yards shy of the world record.
Peterson carried the Vikings into the postseason that year with little help from his offense and did it with no flashy touchdown celebrations and very few words. When asked about his season he said he’d take a playoff berth over 2,000 yards any day.
Peterson’s selfless attitude and ability to work through paindespite his past success is truly commendable. When most would have not been the same as they were before the injury, Peterson defied the odds and rose to the occasion.
It’s this type of mindset that we too should adopt to reach new levels of success. Instead of sitting back and letting past victories go to our heads, let’s attack the day as if the scoreboard reads 0-0.
With no ground gained and no ground lost, we’ll be forced to view ourselves objectively. As a person trying to make it in this world. Nothing more, nothing less.
“With trials, you become wiser. You learn more about yourself and the people surrounding you.” – Adrian Peterson
Are you staying humble but hungry or are you letting success get to your head? Comment below!