How to prepare for success
Yesterday, watching the Germany-Brazil game. Before the game starts. Camera shots of the lawn being mown and lines painted on. People arriving in the thousands, all expectant, with painted faces. Having spent thousands of dollars to go see their team win. The stadium is filling up. Rows of fans, chanting and cheering. Sixty thousand fans waiting, yelling, hoping.
The tour bus rolls into this atmosphere of expectancy. A team of young hopefuls exiting the bus. They are being greeted like young gods, carrying the dreams of a whole nation. Behind the scenes, players carrying in their mind the future that awaits if they win this match. Managers spurring their protegees on, “If you score one more goal, the offer from club x,y,z is in the bag. Win this baby, and your pay check doubles!”
Hot wives and girlfriends picturing a future in a far-away country, once this offer becomes reality. “Honey, we’ll buy a house in the Hampton’s, ok, everybody’s doing it!” All their lives have been spent preparing for a moment like this, practicing, sacrificing, pain, sweat, tears, years and years on end. And most of them are only at a tender age yet.
They walk into the changing rooms, the stadium is roaring. Who can prepare for such a situation? In a training camp one can practice skill, trying to stay calm under pressure, being concentrated when distracted. But is there a stadium-simulator, one where the heat, thousands upon thousands of faces smiling, all your hopes are being replicated?
It is vital to stay calm under pressure, not loose your cool so as to not get too many fouls, to notice the strategy of the opponent. Yet mental stability to that extent can not be trained. There is no way of reproducing the exact same situation. What can prepare one sufficiently for such a time as this? Only failure can.
Failure, being in this situation and having all these emotions uproar and seeing all ones hopes crashing down. The next time you approach this exact same situation you will have more, maybe sufficient calm to tackle it head-on. Germany was in the situation of loosing the semi-finals in their own country only eight years ago. It prepared them for this massive win. It will prepare them for the finals, too.
The interviews afterwards showed a collected, calm team. One, that did not get ahead of itself. “One day we are loved by everyone, but only a few days ago the press tore us apart. It means nothing to us, we just need to concentrate on the game!” Such wise words from a relatively young player can only emerge once succes had been an option, yet failure was the outcome.
The whole team mentioned their own faliure some years back, and how they can understand Brazil’s situation now. It was precisely the failure that prepared Germany for this massive win. If Brazil will see this failure as the ultimate training ground for future successes, they too will see a world cup win, soon.
Nothing can better prepare you for success than having failed in the exact same place over and over again. All inventors have this history, fail and you actually win. Today, I want to encourage you with this: Allow failure to teach you what it is you need. Overt enthusiasm rarely leads to success. Being able to deal with pressure building up and still remembering all that you have learned nonetheless, that will lead to success.
Embrace failure in anticipation of your win. Only then can you achieve what you truly hope for.