I have recently started working with a program to help people achieve results that they have believed to be beyond their reach. This program leverages the power of believing and imaging to propel people to the heights of their dreams, and to success that only a few people ever achieve.
When I first heard of the program I remembered one of my classmates from graduate school, and the story he told me about how he achieved success on the football field. When I first met this guy, I did not peg him to be a football player. He was about 5’ 9” and 190 – 200 lbs. He was probably not a bad size if he had been a running back or a defensive back, but he told me that he was an offensive lineman. Although this was more than 35 years ago, and offensive linemen were smaller then than they are now, this was still ridiculously small for a Canadian University football program. I knew that the team had offensive linemen who were 6’ 4” and 240 lbs, and 6’ 6” and 260 lbs. Given what I knew of the team, I assumed that my classmate was one of the players who warmed the bench. I later found out that he was the team’s starting offensive guard, and that he had played football for four years at a small college in the US, where he had been recognized as one of the best college linemen in Texas his senior year. I was dumb founded.
Being a big football fan, I followed the team and my classmate’s progress through the season. The team finished the season with one of the best records in their conference, and received a playoff berth. One week before their first playoff game, the Canadian coaches association announced the All-Canadian team. Our school placed one player on the team, the small offensive guard who was my classmate. I was determined to find out how someone of his size could achieve this kind of result, so made up my mind to discover the secret to his success.
I arranged to have lunch with my football player classmate to see if he could shed some light upon how he was able to achieve the kind of recognition which would not usually fall upon someone of his stature. What I found out was quite revealing. Although my classmate attributed some of his success to his quickness and the training he had received in playing for a US college, the real reasons were less about his training and his physical capabilities and more about how he used his mind. He explained two aspects of how he played the game where he relied on his mind. The first was tied to his ability to envision himself defeating his opponent. He told me how he would watch films of each week’s opponents prior to the game, and create a mental image of himself blocking the players that he would be playing against. He said that he played these images over and over in his mind before each game, then when he played in the game, the images he had created became a reality. Years later I heard similar stories about the East German Olympic team, and how they were able to win the most gold medals because of how they used the power of imaging.
My friend finished our discussion with another very interesting comment. It was almost an after-thought, and I feel certain that he did not appreciate how much this had to play into his success. He told me how, throughout his football career, he believed without question that he could defeat any opponent that played across the line from him.