Posted on May 20, 2020, 7 p.m.
Article courtesy of : Nicholas DiNubile MD Article courtesy of : Nicholas DiNubile MD, who is devoted to keeping you healthy in body, mind, and spirit.
“If at first you don’t succeed, try again. Then quit. No use being a damn fool about it.” ~W.C. Fields
Not that long ago while watching the Olympics, I was reminded of a lesson that I’ve learned so many times- but always need re-enforced. When should you give up? Watching these amazing young athletes, one word comes to mind-“never”. Time after time I witnessed athletes down and out, almost impossible for them to achieve a medal, only to dig down deeper and come up Gold! I really shouldn’t be surprised. I work with high level athletes and many times, on the sidelines I lose hope and prepare for a loss, but somehow they don’t. They’re not ready to pack it in, and the next thing I know, we’re back in the game. It is a combination of confidence and positive attitude blended to give an almost unrealistic vision of capabilities. Some athletes have it, some don’t, but everyone including non-athletes can learn from it.
Success rarely falls into our laps although to paraphrase the innovative scientist Louis Pasteur, luck favors those who prepare. Allen Iverson, the 76er’s basketball sensation and NBA MVP feels it comes from deep within and believes that when it comes to developing a winning attitude and approach that “you can teach skills, but you cannot teach heart”. Players with “heart” will do whatever it takes to win. Other athletes have said that the mind gives up way before the body does. I think they all are saying pretty much the same thing. That the body will not go where the mind has not been first and winners all learn to effectively channel the powers of their body’s executive suite, the cerebral cortex. At the highest levels of achievement, physical skills are usually quite comparable amongst competitors, so it’s other factors that get one to the finish line before another.
To achieve and succeed, on the field, in the OR or in the boardroom, it takes preparation, perspiration, positive attitude and a sense of purpose. You need to have a vision and believe in your ability to see that vision become reality. Don’t let negative thoughts railroad success, the power of the mind works both ways equally. Also, like our Olympians, never never give up if you really want to reach your goals, Gold or otherwise. Legendary football coach Paul “Bear” Bryant once said that winning football consists of first and second and third efforts. True winners even know how to reap gains from a loss. The ultimate competitor, Michael Jordan, notes, “I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed”. Sure there will be times when success is beyond reach and the wise choice is to pursue your dreams another day or chase a different one. That probably happens less than you think, and remember the power of your thoughts.
Like they say in poker, you need to know when to hold them and when to fold them. Just don’t fall into the trap of folding too soon, too often – even if that means bluffing a little. The wins will indeed come.
Among his many accomplishments, Dr. Nicholas DiNubile, is Vice President of the A4M, an orthopedic surgeon specializing in sports medicine, best selling author, keynote speaker, and one of our esteemed medical editors who is dedicated to keeping you healthy in body, mind and spirit. Dr. DiNubile was appointed Special Advisor to the President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports (1st Bush Administration with Arnold Schwarzenegger as Chairman). He has advised two United States Presidents on matters of health and health policy, and has cared for numerous celebrities and high level athletes.
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