How to prepare your mind for competition.

I love a good quote. In fact, I consider my susceptibility to a good quote one of my greatest assets. I love the way a powerful quote can summarize a complicated concept in a simple, memorable way. I regularly add these little gems to my personal guide-book. Then I pull them out to remind myself how to respond to challenging situations. Like starting a new business. Or Atlanta traffic.

Phil Knight

I recently came across a great quote from Nike Founder, Phil Knight. In his book Shoe Dog, Knight shares the challenges he faced when fighting for US distribution rights of the Japanese-made Tiger running shoes in the early 1960s. He was in a showdown with a formidable opponent who also wanted exclusive distribution rights. Which meant that Knight was going to have to compete to win.

phil.knight
Nike Founder, Phil Knight, who pioneered the concept of wearing a track jacket with a blazer. #SportsCoats

Here’s the quote:

“The art of competing, I’d learned from track, was the art of forgetting, and I now reminded myself of that fact. You must forget your limits. You must forget your doubts, your pain, your past.”   ― Phil Knight

To Compete You Must Forget

When you compete you can’t let past performances determine future outcomes. You have to expect the next performance will produce the desired outcome. It’s true in business. And it’s true in our personal lives.

Selective amnesia is a powerful thing. It gets you to try again, even if you have lost, or failed or suffered in the past. You can’t let a loss win. Forget it, and keep going. Get back up. Dust yourself off (if you live somewhere dusty). Then try again.

goats-competition-dispute.jpg
It’s easier to forget things if you bang your head until it no longer works. But I don’t recommend this technique for humans. And neither do former NFL players.

Key Takeaway

Forget your failures. Forget your rejections. Forget the losses, the suffering, the pain and this disappointment. Remember, every chance is an opportunity for a new and better outcome. Forgetting worked out nicely for Phil Knight. It will work out for you too.

*If you have a great quote relevant to competition, please share it in the comment section. If you want to see more of the quotes I find inspiring, consider subscribing to this blog.

 

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Published by

Adam Albrecht

Adam Albrecht is the Founder and CEO of the advertising and idea agency, The Weaponry. He believes the most powerful weapon on Earth is the human mind. He also authors two blogs: The Perfect Agency Project and Dad Says Daughter Says, a Daddy-Daughter blog he co-writes with his 12 year old daughter Ava. Adam can be reached at adam@theweaponry.com.

4 thoughts on “How to prepare your mind for competition.”

  1. Adam

    I think you need to add to that quote.

    What did you learn from losing? Losing is a good opportunity to learn.

    Harry Truman once said something like this: If I had to do it all over again, I’d make more mistakes. (In other words, he wouldn’t be afraid to take more risks.)

    beth

    Like

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