I came across something called “The Wheel of Excellence” this morning, while I was reading Dan Brown’s “Mastery of the Mind East and West.”
I want to share a couple of quotes with you:
“Everything I do, whether it is weights, or running, or the normal training things, or the leisure activities I do, is all geared toward how it’s going to affect my performance. Everything is opportunity/cost. If I go out to a movie instead of going hiking as my leisure activity, what is the cost of that? If I go to the movies instead of a hike, does that help or hurt my performance. I’ve got to judge that. I’ve always thought this way. I have always dreamed about being the best in the world. Maybe that’s different from other people. ( Larry Cain – Olympic Champion – Canoeing)
You still have to be committed and still focused and still trying to win every race. I think the day that you let your commitment go is the day you don’t have a chance to win. ( Kerrin Lee Gartner -Olympic Champion -Alpine Skiing)
I don’t think like that. I have thought that if I want to be an expert at something, that if I want to accomplish something significant, then I need to do the things Larry Cain talks about. Everything I do should contribute to the accomplishment of my life’s vision.
But I don’t think about winning. I can’t say whether that’s good or bad. Maybe I don’t think about winning because I’ve been on the wrong side of so many beat downs it’s just too painful to think about.
Isn’t winning a zero-sum game? If there’s a winner, isn’t there also a loser, that most pejorative of American slang? Being the best, is an infinite process of making comparisons between yourself and others. It never ends. Even those champions will eventually have their records broken.
At what point does someone like Larry Cain do something like Lance Armstrong? Armstrong was the epitome of a champion for so many…how many are like him I wonder? What separates the bhikhu from the champion? Can nonattachment make champions of people?