It is funny how we try our hardest to fit in and yet the people that are idolized the most are the ones that standout far above the rest.
And these people that standout from others in certain areas of our lives, are usually the ones whose performance is simply unmatched by no other. The sort of unmatched performance that can turn someone into an icon that we can look up to.
All around us, there are a lot of people in different fields who get to be called ‘great’ at what they do…but there are only a handful of people who are called icons and these are the ones that make up the club of the elite.
The club of the elite is a club that is said to only have 1% of the world’s population. Being talented has little to do with you being in this club, but truth be told, not everyone can get to be part of it because it takes an exceptional mentality to join it.
It is no secret that what we achieve mostly depends on the state of our mentality. And it does take a different kind of mentality to leave a mark on history, and we can refer to such a mentality as the ‘elite mentality’.
How can you teach yourself to have the elite mentality? By learning from the elite themselves and adopting the traits of that mentality, nurturing it and making it our own.
There are many traits that make up the elite mentality, some of them rare and some of them are common. I’d like to highlight a few of my favorites:
1. Being consistent
One common trait among the elite is consistency.
Performance is a key aspect that separates the ordinary from the extraordinary.
The high performing individuals not only work harder than everyone else but they are more consistent than everyone else.
The results that you see from the elite are not results that were made possible through one day of effort, they are results that are born from years and years of accumulated hard work.
You need to practice and be able to perform at a high level for a very long time to produce iconic results .
When asked how long he had been preparing for the 2016 Olympics, Michael Phelps a man considered to be the greatest Olympian of all time said that he had been working out or was in the water every day for five years.
And just recently, it is reported that Beyoncé Knowles had to practice for eight months to perform at a high level for only two hours. With an elite mindset, being consistent with your work just has to be part of you.
2. Aiming to be better than excellent
‘Nothing works the first time’, but with consistent practice it eventually does, that’s just how almost everything one does works. Any person is capable of moving from bad to average to good and then to excellent with whatever it is they set their mind on. And most do get to that excellent level and stop there and are considered to be one of the best in their field.
But, there is a level that is higher than excellent, that level is called ‘outstanding’. That is the level the elite aim for. To get there the preparation has to be second to none. When you become outstanding you are not just ‘one of the best’, you know full well that… ‘you ARE the best’. There is no doubt in your mind and in most people’s mind that you can perform your task as perfect as it can be done.
That takes persistence and dedicated continuous practice even when you win.
When most people win and they achieve a great victory, they exhale…the elite never exhale. Once you achieve your victory, you have to begin working on your next one.
After winning his first Champions league, a family member living with him at that time reports that on the same night he won the trophy, Cristiano Ronaldo went back to work out. That work ethic and elite mentality has made him a champion in Europe four more times after that.
3. Knowing that hardship is better than ease if you want to progress
We all have dreams but not everyone gets to live out the life of their dreams. Why? Because it is hard and circumstances are rarely in our favor, so when the going gets tough what do we do? We give up. We want the process to be easy so that we can progress to where we want to be as soon as possible.
But hardship is an opportunity because no matter who you are you will face hardship and will at some point. Most people easily stop at failure. The elite think differently in this aspect, they see it as an opportunity to separate themselves from everybody else. They know execution is hard and Hardship accompanies Progress.
That way of thinking will make you complain less, make fewer excuses and focus more on the work. Quotes are simple, the execution is hard. Learning to do the hard things the hard way and complain less about things we cannot change is what makes you win.
That perspective on hardship changes things.
Think of a scalpel, in the hands of an ordinary person it can do great damage but in the hands of a highly qualified doctor it can save lives. That is hardship and failure, it all depends on how you use it.
Hardship and failures are filled with darkness, but they can be the source fuel that ignite you more than any other source. It hurts, but you sometimes cannot grow without pain.
4. Pulling others around you
Success is abundant, it is not reserved for just one single person or just a few individuals. Anyone willing to pay the price is able to have it.
With their work input, the elite show others what that price is and the results of paying that price and that inspires others to do the same. They will constantly tell others to never give up and encourage them to keep going. There is a saying that
‘If someone is putting you down, then they are doing much less than you.’
When you are performing at your best, you want others to do the same so you will pull them up as well through your words and actions. Often times the ones with the elite mindset work harder than everyone else and always encourage others to do the same.
They pull everyone around them.
5. Accepting hard truths
The easy thing to do when we fail is to have someone to blame for why we failed or shift the blame onto something else as the reason for why things are not going our way.
We rarely look at ourselves and say ‘You are the reason you failed’ because that is a hard truth to accept. The elite take responsibility for their success and don’t dare to leave it someone else’s hands. Their line of thought is something like this:
“No one is pulling me back. There is no conspiracy against me.
If I am not getting what I want then am simply just not good enough yet.”
This is a hard truth to accept, but accepting hard truths allows you to make the necessary decisions to move forward rather than hiding behind a smoke screen of excuses which will make you remain stagnant.
There are a lot of times in life when we have to accept the hard truth, we should not run from them, the elite mindset requires us to face them head on and get it over with.
What does it all mean…
‘The body has limitations, the mind does not’
With an elite mindset you can achieve just about whatever you want to achieve, and you can overcome anything you have to overcome.
Everything starts from our minds and everyone has the ability to train their minds to perform better than.
What are your thoughts on this? What are some other traits of the elite mindset? Leave a comment and share your thoughts in the section below.