“The difference between a successful person and others is not a lack of strength, not a lack of knowledge, but rather in a lack of will.”
That was said by Vince Lombardi. He was talking about American footballl, but really, the meaning of the quote goes way beyond that. Sport is many things, such as a business and entertainment, but for me, it's an inspirator as well.
Athletes work in an extremely competitive industry, but they're not the only ones. If they can train every day to become better, why can't we? And the comparison doesn't just end there.
It's about the whole mindset, to see yourself as an athlete. And as Lombardi said; the difference is the presence of will.
Let's take seven-time Formula 1 world champion Michael Schumacher as an example. When I listed him in my list of inspirators on Facebook, it wasn't because of the success he had, it was because of the way he achieved it. When he made his debut in 1991, he realised that he could gain a lot of advantage on his competitors by simply doing just a bit more. And that bit more made a huge difference.
With better fitness, thanks to a more vigorous training schedule and better diet, he had heaps more concentration, specially throughout the ending phase of the race. He could still discuss the strategy, while others where just busy getting the car to the finish. And when the finish flag dropped and others left the track, he stayed and debriefed with the team, to see what could be improved for the next race.
Now, in 2011, this is the new standard in Formula 1, as well as in many other sports. It's just so competitive, athletes can't have any shortcomings anymore, given they want to win on a top level. But many professionals outside sport still don't realise that 'training' and 'preparation' could apply for them as well.
Adjusting a diet for ideation isn't weird. (more info: here)
I've tried it for over a year now, and whenever I ate unhealthy for over a week, I felt the results. The body becomes weary and with it the mind.
I seriously pity all those fools who take Red Bull with their breakfast, destroying their body for short-term gains.
What athletes understand well is renewal. With us creatives, we're sometimes running from deadline to deadline, and drinking coffee to keep going. With sports, you see athletes taking rest. Football matches aren't played each day, but why are our pitches? It seems unfair, and it's a tad silly. Again, I think there's a lesson we can learn from sports.
Another resemblance to sport: Even solo-athletes like Roger Federer have a whole crew around them: Sport is always about a team. Always, and our industry is no different.
Our industry, which I just see as one big football league; only with agencies instead of clubs, and creatives instead of players. Most of us have a team we want to play for and in the end, we're competing each other; agencies against agencies, as well as individuals, for jobs in the offices.
A small voice in my head hounds me like Drew 'Bundini' Brown:
'You didn't try hard enough. You could have changed that. You must become better.'
It never stops. But the point is this;
I love that voice.