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Within your control — Universal Principles

Within your control

Tim Sanders in an interview with US speed skater Apolo Anton Ohno.

His message, based on his new book was simple:  Create goals you have the total power to achieve. For those accomplishments beyond your control, consider them dreams that are more likely to come true if you meet your goals.

HH Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche, by WonderlaneHe pointed out that prior to the Vancouver Olympics, he errantly had a goal to become the most decorated US Winter Olympian, which would require winning six medals. He realized, in an aha moment, that anything could happen no matter how hard he trained: Another skater could sacrificially bump him out of races, new super-competitors could show up, he could get suddenly ill, on and so on.

He knew that he needed to watch his weight (he’s old for a competitive speed skater) and that he needed more core strength. So, he made his goals around weight/strength. Before the Olympics, he lost 17 pounds, getting down to 141. That required intense dieting with no cheating and a lot of hungry nights. He went from leg pressing around 1500 pounds to a stunning 1980 pounds. Again, this required hours of highly strenuous training, with pain becoming his best friend.

On the first day he was on the ice in Vancouver, his key competitors, the Koreans and Chinese looked at him and said, “Something has happened to that guy!”. In the end, Apolo did achieve his dreams, winning enough medals to become the most decorated US winter competitor in Olympic history. In his view, reaching those goals was the equivalent to “loading the funnel” in sales speak.

Do other people control whether you will achieve your goals? If so, you might want to change them.