1. The Score will take care of itself.
John Wooden is one of the most decorated coaches in the history of the NCAA. He won 10 national championships in the span of 12 years, including seven in a row. The only thing he never mentioned was the score. He was all about the process.
Of course, everyone who played for him knew that they were playing basketball and that they wanted to win. But the focus was always on the process of playing the best possible game. He used to say that the score takes care of itself (a phrase he later described to Bill Walsh, another great coach).
When you create your goal, set it aside and focus on the process that will take you there. If you work in the process, the score will literally take care of itself. You can do it through daily habits.
If there’s anything you could point out where I was a little different, it was the fact that I never mentioned winning.” – John Wooden
2. I know, do not do
The change in your life does not start when you do something, start with your mentality. First you need to become that in order to do that. Here is an example. If you are a smoker and want to quit smoking, you will fail if you adopt the “I’m quitting smoking” approach.
This does not make a fundamental change in your personality. The actions we do come from the perception of who we are. So, in order for us to change our actions, we must first change our beliefs about that or, inherently, we will self-sabotage ourselves.
The correct way to deal with this is to say “I am a non-smoker”. This changes all your belief about yourself as a person. “I am a healthy person” in front of “I go to the gym”. “I am a reader” vs “I read books”. The examples are infinite.
3. You will not rise to the level of your expectations, but you will fall to the level of your practice
Do you know in action movies when the main character suddenly turns on through screaming and screaming and arrives with an impossible action? Well, that’s a Hollywood movie. In real life, we do not rise to the level of our expectations, we fall to the level of our practice. So the more (and better) you practice, the better you will perform.
Break down the skill you want to learn into small subsets of skills and learn each and every one of them. If you focus on those small parts and improvements, you will be better at general ability. This is called deliberate practice.
4. Play the long game
There is a quote from Charlie Munger that says “No matter what you do, a woman still needs nine months to give birth to a child.” What this means is that sometimes things just need time to gain momentum and start working.
I already had a blog for two years and it took me a year and a half to get up to 20,000 readers. But in the last six months, I did that three times. Most great things take time to start functioning properly. So get ready for the long game because the biggest returns come at the end of the line.
“I’m not concerned with noise because I’m playing the long game.” – Jay Z
5. Learn daily
If you want to make better decisions, live a fuller life and stay relevant with your skills, you must learn daily. What better way to do this than to read books and borrow the wisdom (and skills) of the teachers who came before us.