by Jake Thompson

The Mundane Molds You into a Winner

The mundane is what molds you into a winner. I love to chase the e...
The Mundane Molds You into a Winner

No matter how old I get, I'll always associate Texas Tech with former head coach Mike Leach, who I was a huge fan of growing up. Leach was a protege of legendary coach Hal Mumme, the architect of college football's "Air Raid" offense.

Mumme lived by one main philosophy: "Success requires that you have a great capacity for boredom."

In other words, you must be willing to come in daily and work on the simple, boring things that most overlook.

Simple things like...

  • Eating broccoli & chicken over pizza

  • Working your barbell lifting technique with a PVC pipe or empty barbell every single day during warmups

  • Writing a handwritten thank you card to someone in your network

These aren't the BIG FLASHY actions that get our hearts racing and blood rushing.

Our adrenaline isn't going to spike when we practice our keynote presentation over and over and over again alone in our office.

Our excitement level isn't going through the roof when we show up to the gym and do the same warmup and barbell repetitions we've done for the last thirty days.

It's not "fun" to follow boring, simple steps daily; it's fun doing new and exciting things.

However, as Mumme believed - and so do I - that our ability to embrace the boredom of the grind determines how great our opportunity to seize the glory.

Success is always sexy - but the road to reaching it is anything but. It's boring, and no one tells you how long you have to walk it until you reach your goal.

But if you want to win?

You learn to love making that walk.

Competitors aren't chasing the adrenaline rush of news when they know they must keep working the mundane to win.

If you want the excitement and rush of victory, you must be willing to build in the boredom. 

Put It Into Practice

Embracing boredom isn't the most exciting call to action - yet there are ways to make it more enjoyable.

1. Be where your feet are.

Meditate. Journal. Practice controlling your breathing. The most important thing you can do is be in the now.

We lose motivation when we stare at the gap between where we are now and where we're trying to go. We get overwhelmed by the amount of work doing the same thing ahead of us that we start to look for exciting other opportunities - which only delay or derail our chances of reaching our desired destination.

The more you can stay in today, the less you're consumed with "all of the boring" work and instead focused on what one action step you're about to take.

2. Write down your daily progress.

What we don't write down, we discount.

It's easier to follow a 10-12 week training plan when you're tracking your growth in the gym. Each additional rep or pound added to the bar builds our confidence and helps keep us focused on continuing to do the same work.

When we stop tracking progress, it's easy to think we haven't made any - and then we start looking for more exciting activities that aren't as helpful as continuing to work the boring process. (Think diet pills vs. eating chicken & broccoli.)

Embrace your calendar and put a big red X in the date when you've completed the task so you can visibly see your progress. This will also serve as an accountability reminder to get back on track when you miss a day.

3. Shift your self-talk.

Maximize the power of "yet."

You may not be where you want to be, but you're one step closer as long as you take care of the work today. "Yet" reminds us that we're on our way if we keep doing the work.

It's not a "you're not there."

It's an encouragement, "You're not there yet, but you're on the way."

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