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5 Signs You Know The Underdog Might Win

Underdog

March Madness is upon us. The most exciting time of the year for college basketball and my favorite sporting event.

It’s my favorite because I love the underdog.

I always cheer for the underdog.

I love to see an upset.

I love to see someone defy the odds and make their dreams come true.

Don’t you?

Normally I don’t make the time to watch all the games but with a 1-week old newborn who wakes up every hour, wants to be held if he’s going to fall asleep, and still has his nights and his days switched around, I’ve had an unusual chance to keep up with what’s going on with the NCAA tournament since it’s on in the background.

And I’ve been reminded of what it takes for an underdog to win.

It’s not a lucky burst of unlikely scoring. It’s not the emergence of unsung talent that suddenly shines. It’s not a barrage of trick plays that no one has ever seen before.

Quite the contrary, you know there is a chance the underdog might win when you see these 5 things.

1. They make their free throws – They take advantage of the easy opportunities that are given to them.

2. They don’t turn the ball over – They protect themselves from making costly mistakes.

3. They rebound the basketball – They do the hard work of out scrapping their opponents.

4. They play consistent defense – No matter the score they keep their composure and don’t let themselves unravel

5. They move the ball on offense – They play like a team, pass the ball and are patient to take good shots.

In other words, what it takes to pull off an upset…

What it takes to win as an underdog…

What it takes to accomplish what no one would ever think possible for you…

Is to be brilliant at the basics.

To be a master of executing the fundamentals.

To be disciplined under the most extreme circumstances.

If you do those things, then anyone has a chance to win.

Maybe we all have something to learn from watching the underdog.

Why Competition is Over Rated

Competition

You don’t have to beat other people to dominate in business. 

There doesn’t have to be a loser in order for you to be a winner. 

And the business world today, seems to be rewarding those who have more of a selfless focus on serving than those who have a relentless focus on competing. 

Those getting ahead seem to have more of an intrinsic drive to improve than an extrinsic drive to defeat. 

Success in business today doesn’t really allow time to be concerned about how you rank compared to other people. 

Because in order to survive and compete in this fast moving generation, you need every extra ounce of that energy focused on how to improve your customer experience. 

You have to have more of your creative capacities going into innovating and less going into comparing. 

It’s not about finding ways to defeat your competition; it’s about finding ways to serve your customers. 

The speed of communication, the speed of technology and a growing overall climate of customers becoming accustomed to having their needs and preferences hyper-tailored to, means that we need every resource possible focused on keeping up with and surpassing their expectations. 

If we do that we’re more likely to win. If we don’t we might be in trouble. 

Many of the industries that have experienced disruption have resulted from the traditionally stable providers benchmarking against their competitors more so than thinking about how to better solve the customers problem. 

That line of thinking encourages the status quo inside an industry and opens the door for those outside the industry to come in and find a better way. 

It’s as if innovation is sometimes forced to come in from outside an industry when the age old players inside the industry are squabbling for market share instead of obsessing over customer needs. 

AirBNB, Uber, digital cameras and Netflix were all created from players outside an industry. 

When it could’ve been hotels, taxi companies, Kodak and Blockbuster that figured out a smarter way to serve customer interests. 

The point is that when we focus on beating other people, we might risk missing out on something more valuable. 

When we focus on serving other people we activate our senses. We come alive. We invent. We innovate. And we combine time tested principles with modern tools to find a smarter and better way to solve customers problems. 

The same is true of personal success. 

Our success is irrespective of what is being accomplished or not accomplished by those around us. 

Our success is measured by how we perform compared to ourselves. How we perform compared to our potential. And most importantly how we perform compared to our capacity to best serve those around us. 

We are only trying to beat who we were yesterday. 

We are only trying to crush the way we’ve always done it. 

We are only trying to compete with the best possible ways to get ourselves and our clients to the next level.

Don’t just work hard. Do the hard work.

work

Working hard is not the key to success; it’s merely the price of admission. 

Hard work alone isn’t enough to bring you everything you want. 

Because if you’re working hard at the wrong things then they won’t take you to where you want to go. 

You have to work hard at the right things if you want to achieve your desired destination. 

Which introduces a second element to the equation. 

Because not only do you have to work hard, you also have to work hard at the right things. 

So what are the right things?

 Actually it’s usually pretty simple to identify them. 

Typically the right things, the best things, the most significant things you can do to achieve your goal are often the things you know need to be done but you most don’t want to do. 

They are the things that nobody likes to do. 

If you’re trying to build muscle, it means doing pull ups or leg day. 

If you’re trying to lose weight, it means cutting your alcohol, carbs, or sugar intake. 

If you’re in sales, it is prospecting. 

If you’re trying to get out of debt, it’s making and following a budget.  

In other words, it’s not enough to just work hard.  

You have to do the hard work. 

You have to do the things you don’t want to do. 

You have to do the things that other people aren’t willing to do. 

You have to do the things that you know are good for you, but they are hard. 

You don’t do them because the goal is to make life as hard as possible. 

Quite the contrary, you do them because they ultimately make life easier.

But that path is predicated on the unpopular truth that the shortest most guaranteed path to a more productive life is to do the hardest parts of things as soon as possible!

You don’t just work hard. You do the hard work. 

And if you that… 

If you work hard…

And you also do the hard work…

Then you will start to find that eventually things get easier and easier. 

The End of Ego

EGOEvery human is a compilation and expression of every person they’ve ever met.

We are shaped by one another.

We are connected to one another.

We are powered by one another.

Every thing that we do is enabled by someone else having done something before us that paved our way.

Every thing that we think has been informed by all the ideas and educations developed by our predecessors.

Every tool that we use was improved upon by generation after generation who came before us.

It thereby stands to reason that none of us can take sole credit for anything that we’ve done.

None of us are entirely individually responsible for any level of success we may have had.

None of us are so great that we created anything all on our own.

Therefore none of us should really boast.

Because no success happens in a vacuum.

And there is no such thing as “self-made.”

We are completely and utterly reliant and dependent upon those around us to achieve what we achieve.

Arrogance then is not an expression of confidence but of ignorance.

And ego is not only an expression of lack of awareness but also of ungratefulness.

If there is anything we have to be proud of, it’s the fact that we live in an amazing world, full of amazing people, who have created amazing things all around us usually through little to no fault of our own.

Where Happiness Comes From

Happiness

Pursuing happiness is not what brings happiness.

Pursuing service is what brings happiness.

When we pursue happiness we convince ourselves that if we had something else, did something else, or had something more then it would make us feel better.

But if stuff or experiences was what made people happy, then we all should be happy already because most of us already have plenty of stuff.

Serving though is what always fills us up.

Serving brings us joy.

Serving supplies meaning for our lives.

There is something magical about the exchange that takes place when we help other people.

Our connectedness to another human makes us happy.

Our usefulness to someone outside of us makes us happy.

Our contribution to something greater than ourselves makes us happy.

There is nothing like the feeling you get when you serve someone. When you pour into them and fill them up.

The irony is that in dedicating your time, your energy, and your resources to serving others, you gain in return that ever fleeting feeling that we are all endlessly in search of: happiness.

Improving Your Life Trajectory

Life Trajectory

Why is it that some people’s lives improve along a steady or linear growth curve while others improve exponentially?

It’s because the future success of your life is determined by the trajectory your choices set today.

Similar to the power of compounding interest with money, time also compounds our choices.

When we make good choices at a young age, consistently over a long period of time, it doesn’t create a linear improvement over someone who doesn’t but rather an exponential improvement.

Similarly when we make poor choices at a young age, consistently over a long period of time, it creates the possibility of an exponential decrease of future opportunities and an increase of challenges.

It doesn’t mean that we are ultimately doomed to our history and our past, but it does mean that our best chance for shaping the steepest inclined trajectory for a positive future is to start immediately.

Good choices begets good opportunities.

And making good choices again when presented with good opportunities yields even more drastically positive opportunities.

But it needs to happen now!

You need to start today.

Because the sooner you invest into your own personal development…

The sooner you increase your work ethic…

The sooner you improve your attitude…

The steeper and more positive the trajectory you set for your life.

But you are in control.

You are the one who makes the decisions.

You are the one who makes the choices.

And your best chance for big opportunities later is always exponentially increased by making good choices right now.

So make good choices today and multiply.