Attributes to Success

This weeks Guest Post comes from Chad Dunklee. Chad is a former collegiate athlete, collegiate strength coach, competitive weightlifter and current data analyst. He has impacted and influenced hundreds of athletes as well as training with some of the best power-lifting minds in the Northeast. His information transcends sport and is directly applicable to our everyday lives!

Attributes to Success

Here’s the deal, everyone wants to be successful. Success looks glamorous, attractive, and most importantly it just looks easy for those that “have it”. No matter where we come from, we all have an image of what success looks like as well as aspirations of what we want to become. These aspirations are built from goals that we complete over time to become successful within our whatever path in life we embark on. Youth baseball players looking to become high school varsity athletes, then to earn their way onto a college roster, and ultimately that big hairy audacious goal of becoming a big leaguer. A question that I personally wrestled with throughout my playing career and now my professional career in business is what does it really take to be successful? What needs to come together in order to take advantage of that opportunity to succeed when it’s at our fingertips? The answer to this is easily said but hard to understand.

We need to be ready for success.
— Chad Dunklee

First step to acknowledging what it takes to be ready for “success” is to define what it is. Success by definition is a favorable or desired outcome. Simply put, it’s going out and accomplishing a goal no matter how big or how small we make it. With that logic, being successful is the ability to achieve repeated success.

Next, we need to take a deep look at people who are successful. These people range from all crafts from business, education, athletics, and beyond. No matter what path they enter there is a constant formula that comes together. Each and every one of these individuals are physically, mentally, and emotionally ready to succeed in what they set out to do.

Yes, we understand that there are millions of factors that come together to be successful, but at the end of the day they boil down to these three major attributes:

If you are not physically able to do the job you are asked to do, you will not complete the objective.

If you are not mentally able to understand what you are aiming to accomplish, you will miss the mark completely, failing to deliver.

If you are not emotionally ready to undertake the responsibility that this success brings, you will not be able to maintain it.

Using the above, let’s use this moment to grasp every concept presented starting with being physically ready. Usually the easiest to grasp for young athletes because this is the most tangible attribute in our trifecta. Physical preparedness is the preparation of your body to act when called upon. In order to swing a bat, we need to practice our swing mechanics. The same goes for our ability to throw, pitch, and field. In the classroom, this means being able to show up to class, read, write, and stay focused. Also included with this is physically eating the right foods, establishing adequate sleep patterns, and all other items that we can go out and physically do in order to work towards a goal. The last thing encompassed in this is simply the ability to show up. Can we be where we need to be when it is time, physically being present.

Mental preparedness has more awareness in today’s athletics than in any other time in history. With advanced coaches in every program, mental fortitude sneaks into every program some way, shape, or form. What does this really mean, physically we read books, we studied the game, we ran plays and know the signs, but isn’t that mental preparedness? No. We physically undertake those tasks and the key difference is that being mentally capable we understand everything that our physical actions entail. Having a proper diet, why are these foods so important. What do our actions do and understanding how we implement these to create change. Another example is the weight room, understanding what pushing ourselves will result in and the translation of having a healthy body will have on your ability to physically perform. Mental preparedness puts us in a position to capitalize on physical preparedness. It allows us to know when and how our hard work comes to fruition.

Emotion. This is the most foreign attribute to achieving success in today’s modern society. As a people, we put our value in the physical and respect the mental without understanding the emotion behind every successful moment. Being emotionally ready is the glue that holds successful people together and involves years upon years to dial in. This is the ability to cope with loss, bear responsibility for our actions, doing what’s right when all others lead a different path, and most importantly it is the ability push beyond any and all limits that we have mentally set for ourselves.

Now the bigger question around all this, how do we work on emotional preparedness when there is so much that impacts the way we feel. The key is to start small, and the first step is ownership. Taking responsibility for ourselves in the good and bad. This doesn’t mean “everything’s my fault”, it means that we take the time to understand what we control versus what we don’t control rather than react to positives and negatives.  The second small step we must take is to establish discipline. Quoting retired Navy Seal and CEO Jocko WIllink in saying “Discipline Equals Freedom”, we must be consistent day-in and day-out ultimately leading to that moment of success. There’s always a way to get better no matter where, when, or how it just depends on us to go out and do despite how we feel.

The biggest kicker of it all is that all 3 of these attributes need to come together in order to achieve success. They all interrelate, and it’s remarkable how each one brings the best out of the other two.

If you are physically able, it is easier to be confident and easier to understand what is happening

If you are mentally able, it is easier to put your body in a position to get better as well as understand what your emotions are telling you

If you are emotionally able, you can dig deeper, stay the course when pushing past physical and mental fatigue, and above all else deal with adversity in any fo