“I am not bound to succeed, but I am bound to live up to the light that I have.”
- Abraham Lincoln
"Winning isn't once what I thought it was. I’ve found it to be much more complex than our traditional definitions of success. A lot of people fall to their knees in tears after a big accomplishment, partly due to joy and gratitude, but a lot of what you see is relief and even fear. I don't say this to be cynical, but I've heard it from various people and experienced it myself.
It's a crucial moment in a person's journey, where you need to ask yourself what winning means to you. Otherwise you get stuck in a hamster wheel, chasing a potentially non-existent result.
What I’ve found is that winning doesn't happen on show day; it happens in those early mornings, painful workouts, long cardio sessions, and hungry nights. It happens in those moments of fear we all have when faced with a difficult goal, and then more so in what you make of that fear. It happens in every second of every day, before you win.
If you can take every opportunity you have to bring yourself closer to your goal, win every one of those opportunities all while becoming more resilient in the process, how can you lose. That is an exciting opportunity. An exciting responsibility; to find out what you're truly capable of. A medal around your neck and a trophy in your hands provides but a moment of relief, maybe a surge of excitement, but one that will quickly and surely fade. Then you're back to square one and faced with new decisions.
Can I do it again? Will I do it again? Again, why?
There are new challenges you face now. You were so focused on winning you didn't plan for what comes next. After all that hell you just put yourself through, are you ready to do it again but with more intensity? If you're not improving, you're falling behind now. You've shown the world what you're capable of and they expect nothing less. Another scary, but exciting, opportunity. Another opportunity to grow.
You may have busted your ass and gotten lucky once, but that was then and this is now. You can work 10 times smarter and harder than you did before but you're still promised nothing. Entering hell blindly, with no promise of what's on the other end, is one thing. But getting to paradise and then choosing to turn back around into hell, full well knowing what to expect this time, with a pipe dream of a better paradise on the other end waiting for you? That's insanity. History has a habit of calling ambitious people crazy.
There's no guarantee of what you'll find on the other side of hell. You may even be crazy enough to learn that it was never hell to begin with. Maybe, just maybe, you can open your mind to the possibility that paradise is found in how you choose to look and act in this world. Paradise, like our goals, may not really be a destination but an endless horizon we secretly don't want to reach. A never-ending reason to keep working and growing, with the intention not to accomplish goals but to become someone who can accomplish any goal.
Winning equally has no finish line. It's about the responsibility to ourselves to take control of what little things you can in this world, regardless of circumstance. To train your mind to switch your perspective and focus on being the absolute best you can be in the areas you do have control over.
Having a Champion Mentality isn't about the trophies, medals, or success. It's about having no quit. It’s not letting anyone hear you complain, standing up for all you believe in, living in your truth, and setting the standard at which you operate at for everything in your life. It's about willingly choosing to do every single thing within your power to achieve your end result.
At the end of it all, you may just find that the trophies and money were never the prize you wanted. But rather the journey, and the mentality you built along the way, was everything you ever needed."
- Chris Bumstead
This is a transcript of a video essay by Chris Bumstead, you can watch/listen to the original here.