YogI Berra

How do champions give 100 percent?

champions-give-100-percentHow do you give 100 percent to all the important activities in your life? Do you give part of your time to each one – if there are five activities, should you give twenty percent to each? No you should give 100 percent to each, when you focus on each one. This isn’t 500 percent, its 100 percent five times. When you focus on one thing, the others are not on your agenda at the moment. Champions give 100 percent attention to each activity…one activity at a time.

Baseball great Yogi Berra is known for his great quotes that meant more than meets the eye. On the topic of dividing your 100 percent he said, “You have to give 100 percent in the first half of the game. If that isn’t enough, in the second half, you have to give what’s left.” Always give 100 percent of you.

A basketball season covers six months and 82 games. Every game counts if you want to be the best. Three times NBA champion, four times NBA Most Valuable Player, LeBron James says, “Every night on the court I give my all, and if I’m not giving 100 percent, I criticize myself.” Bring all you have to each opportunity.

Rebuilding the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 1996 involved getting the team to think and act like champions. Tony Dungy evaluated the team at that time and said, “They were unwilling to give 100 percent if they didn’t personally think it was important. What you don’t understand is that champions know it’s all important.” Everything you do deserves your best.

John Wooden coached the UCLA Bruins men’s basketball team to ten NCAA national championships over twelve years. He said that practice was just as important as the games. “What you do in practice is going to determine your level success. I used to tell my players, you have to give 100 percent every day. Whatever you don’t give, you can’t make up for tomorrow. If you give only 75 percent today, you can’t give 125 percent tomorrow to make up for it.”

How do champions give 100 percent? The secret is they don’t divide up their 100 percent. Champions give 100 percent attention to each activity…one activity at a time.



All in good timing

timing is everythingKnowing what you want to do is important, but understanding the right timing of when to do what you want to do matters if you want to be successful.

Anna Wintour, editor of Vogue Magazine shared her thoughts on timing, “It’s always about timing. If it’s too soon, no one understands. If it’s too late, everyone’s forgotten.”

When the timing is right, success flows easily. Well known baseball player and manager for the NY Yankees, Yogi Berra, use to say, “You don’t have to swing hard to hit a home run. If you got the timing, it’ll go.”

Here are some thoughts on the timing of success:

Somethings you should do now.

Take short steps that build a lasting foundation on your way to long-term success. Don’t just go for short-term success alone.

Apolo Ohno, an American Short Track Speed Skater, became the youngest U.S. national champion in 1997 and was the reigning champion from 2001–2009, winning the title a total of 12 times. He is an eight time Olympic medal winner, and a twenty-one time World Championship medal winner.

Ohno discussed the competing desires to win and the steps you must take to be a winner, “We all naturally want to become successful…we also want to take shortcuts. And it’s easy to do so, but you can never take away the effort of hard work and discipline and sacrifice.”

Somethings you should do later

Sometimes you have to wait for the world to catch up to your ideas. Is your team, company, or industry ready for your revolutionary new process? If not, maybe you should invest more time in laying the groundwork of acceptance before you launch.

Joshua Chamberlain was best known for his heroism as a Union General at Gettysburg in the Civil War. He went on to be a professor of languages, speaking ten fluently, and the Governor of Maine – successful in his endeavors. One lessor known fact was his investments in Florida real estate in the late 1880’s. At the time, railroads were being built to bring tourists to the state, but not to the area he and other investors chose, Ocala. After several years they secured a railroad stop nearby, but the development didn’t generate successful returns until the mid-1900’s, many years after Chamberlain exited the investment.

Scott Adams of Dilbert Cartoon fame, put his thoughts on timing this way, “Your best work involves timing. If someone wrote the best hip hop song of all time in the Middle Ages, he had bad timing.”

Somethings you should never do

Never give up your dreams. A person’s dreams are the vision of what they can become.

Lyman Frank Baum is best known for his hugely successful book and the subsequent movie The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. Raised in a wealthy family, Baum was known as a day-dreamer. After failing as the owner of a theatre due to a fire, he moved to South Dakota where he opened a general store that ended in bankruptcy. Baum then started a newspaper which also went out of business.

It was not until he moved to the Chicago area and published his first children’s book that he found the success that he had dreamed of. In 1900 Baum published The Wonderful Wizard of Oz which became the 1939 movie classic. Many remember the line penned by Baum from the famous song sung by Judy Garland, “Somewhere over the rainbow, skies are blue, and the dreams that you dare to dream really do come true.”

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