Recently, I had the privilege to hear a motivational talk by John Naber, the swimmer who won four Olympic gold medals and one silver medal in the 1976 Olympics, setting several Olympic and World records in the process. His performance is still considered one of the most outstanding feats in the history of the Olympics. He spoke at the 1996 American Dental Trade Association Meeting in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida.
His eight steps to success are achievable by everyone, no matter what their field of endeavor. The steps can be summarized as follows:
Step 1- Have a dream, feel like a champion.
Step 2 - Believe that dreams are possible.
Step 3 - Set a goal-have a specific objective. If you don`t know where you`re going, any road will get you there.
Step 4 - Build a bigger pie. In other words, if your goal is to increase production in your dental office, your goal will be more reachable if you also promote dentistry in your community. If more dentistry is accomplished in your "world," then you also will benefit.
Step 5 - Set reachable stepping stones. Athletes do not expect to move from average to world-record performances in a day, but set incremental, reachable goals that culminate in gold medals in the future.
Step 6 - Work hard for a long period of time. The phrase "no pain, no gain" rings true in athletics, in business and in personal relationships. Growth requires challenging current limitations.
Step 7 - Have willpower, which he summarizes as the ability to overcome obstacles.
Step 8 - Perform under pressure-perform when it counts most. He pointed out that Olympic athletes are not greatly impressed by records set in the preliminaries-it`s that final quest for the gold medal that is most important.
He concluded by reminding those in attendance that, in America, we have the great gift of freedom-the freedom to choose our dreams. If you choose to go for the gold in your personal and professional life, following these eight steps will help you feel like a champion.