According to Terry Orlick, the first two elements of excellence are commitment and belief. They form the axel around which the wheel of excellence rolls.
Again, he shares a couple of quotes with us:
I was really confident. I knew I was good enough, that if I put everything together, I could win. But I wasn’t really thinking that. I was thinking how I would put it all together (Olympic Champion)
The focus is so clear that you shut your thoughts off and you trust yourself and believe in yourself. You’ve already prepared for years and years. All you do is go, it’s very natural. (Kerrin Lee Gartner Olympic Champion – Alpine Skiing)
And again, this doesn’t describe me. But I have noticed some things.
I don’t wonder whether I’ll be able to keep exercising. Sure, I miss a day or two here and there, but I generally exercise every day. I look forward to it, expect it to happen, and make time for it to happen.
And I don’t even think about reading books anymore. It’s like the air I breathe. I’m always listening to, or reading, books. Whenever there’s a spare moment, or I’m doing a “mindless” activity like folding laundry, then I’m reading a book.
When I began this blog, I wasn’t sure I would have anything to say about practice beyond the first few posts. Now I’m beginning to believe that if I just sit down and do the work, the post will come.
The practice builds belief. The more I practice, the more I believe.
And if I have someone to practice with, then we feed off one another’s belief, positive or negative. So I want to practice with someone whose belief edifies my own, and make sure I reciprocate. That doesn’t necessarily mean our beliefs are the same; just that one doesn’t poison the other.
We want our belief to grow in a positive direction, and to encourage that positive growth in others.