Last week I was able to watch the French Open on TV. The match I was watching was between Rafael Nadal, one of the all-time greats of tennis, and an unseeded player, whose name I can’t recall. As you might expect, Nadal was clearly the better player of the two. That being said, “Mr. Unseeded” was playing a great match…for him. He hit great shots, he stayed in points longer than expected and he even won some games in the match…all of which were great victories, given his opportunity to play against one of the best players in the world. The good news is that competing against such a great opponent elevated his game to a level he had never seen before. The other good news, as the announcers noted, was that he was “redlining.” By redlining, they meant that he was playing beyond his capacity and that his engine was revving at an extreme level for him, which was unsustainable. Nadal, in contrast, was playing at his everyday level, nowhere close to redlining with a weaker opponent.
Redlining is a precursor to improved performance. Without being pushed beyond our limits from time to time, we would never grow, never improve and never better ourselves, our businesses or our lives. To be our best, we have to redline from time to time. We have to suffer defeat from people better than us. We have to have “matches” that test our determination, that scare us a little, that excite us a little and that bring out the best of what’s inside of us. We have to redline.
What I love about our company and our environment is that we have consistently created opportunities for everyone to redline. MAPS coaching pushes us to redline, our leaders push us to redline, our training (BOLD!) pushes us to reline…and our top producers, who got to where they are by redlining, raise the performance bar for the rest of us and push us to new personal highs of thought, action and performance.
I look at my market centers in awe of our leaders, our staff, and our associates, because together we have matured into an encouraging and challenging environment that celebrates failure as a positive step forward towards success, that cheers our peers onward – through their fears, doubts, insecurities, and limiting beliefs. Our environment for redlining creates an even bigger appetite for redlining. And I believe that such an environment has its own energy field that is magnetic, contagious and ever-growing. To be a part of it is to be swept up in it, to contribute to it and to benefit from it, all at the same time. More people create more energy, which, in turn, creates more people who create more energy which creates more people and more energy, and so on and so on. And before you know it, you are redlining. Then the next thing you know is that you’re better because of it… until you redline again and create a whole new level of performance and achievement in your life and business.
So, whether it’s your favorite sport or hobby, your business or your life, look for ways to play at a higher level, to redline and to find new territories of success for yourself. You’ll never know how great you are without playing your heart out and risking defeat while the whole world watches. The truth is, if you are cruising to victory every day, then you’re probably not getting any better.
Oh…it’s important to note that when he redlined his way to losing the match against Nadal, Mr. Unseeded collected the biggest paycheck of his professional career. $170,000. Hmmmm….Something to think about!
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