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Stop stopping!

Make it count!

Working with Olympic athletes, I often visit their training grounds to observe their performance. This could be either during a competition or during official training sessions. While watching, I have had some remarkable, unexpected moments while witnessing their preparations. One of them always listens to music during training, while another one checks their cell phone repeatedly when given the chance. During the pre-competition days, this athlete followed a relaxed routine, going out with their girlfriend, enjoying a pizza dinner, and actively engaging with social media comments about the upcoming race. This approach to competition preparation struck me as more laid-back and non-effective.

This brings back memories of the time when I trained at the National Institute for Sport Research to participate in the World Rally Championship. During my training, I was fully committed and had no distractions. Prior to the race, I withdrew from social life, which was already quite limited. During race week, I was solely on preparing and recovering to be in optimal condition for race day.

Technology can be both beneficial and detrimental to our productivity. Receiving texts and notifications can be exciting, but they can also interrupt our flow of thought and cause us to miss out on potential solutions. The same applies to other areas of life, such as playing a musical instrument or learning a new skill. Studies show that uninterrupted time is more productive and valuable than constantly interrupted time. The old adage holds true: winners focus, while losers scatter their attention. It is important to consider the impact of interruptions and prioritize uninterrupted time for maximum productivity and fulfillment.

It is important to be intentional about how you allocate your time each day. By carving out uninterrupted time for yourself, you will be able to focus and maximize your productivity. This mindset will allow you to approach your day with determination and purpose. By prioritizing your time and embracing a “make it count” mentality, you will find joy and satisfaction in your time and you will be amazed by the creativity and success that comes with it.

A person who makes every moment count can be interpreted as someone who is skilled in navigating and making the most of the time they have. This person understands the value of time and uses it effectively to achieve their goals and accomplish tasks. They are able to overcome the challenges and obstacles that come with the passage of time, and they have the strength and determination to keep moving forward. In a sense, they are able to "wage war" against time itself, using their abilities and resources to bend it to their will.

Rocky Marciano, the unbeatable heavyweight champion, was the epitome of a dedicated “make it count guy”. According to Joyce Carol Oates, Marciano was so focused on his fight that he isolated himself from the world, including his family, for up to three months leading to the fight. His entire life revolved around that one moment in the ring, and he dedicated himself to it completely. He only talked about the fight, trained with it in mind, and excluded everything else from his consciousness. Marciano saw his opponent everywhere he went, be it while working out, jogging, or even sleeping. He lived like a monk or nun, choosing to see only his goal, the fight, with an unwavering, fanatical will.

Sportswriters analyzed Marciano's in-ring performance for years, trying to explain his unbeatable success, but what they overlooked was his make-it-count-like preparation. Excluding everything unrelated to the fight from his thoughts was where he truly won the battle. A make-it-count person is similar to Rocky Marciano, as they are both spiritual seekers, starting their lives anew each day. The key to this mindset is to restart one's life each day, instead of thinking in a long-term, linear manner. This approach transcends time. Aristotle once said, "We become builders by building, harp players by playing the harp, and just people by doing just acts." Make it count people do not need to know everything, they just choose to take action.

Those high-performance sportsmen who continue to work with me have realized the effectiveness of consistent effort and are eagerly anticipating exceptional results at the Olympics.

I once asked one of my clients, who said that in childhood was a very good piano player, why is he not one of the top piano players in the world. He replied: “I stopped!”

Creating more space and time for ourselves can help solve problems and achieve goals more efficiently. Voltaire recognized this with his quote, "No problem can withstand the assault of sustained thinking." The key is to take the time for sustained, thoughtful reflection. Unfortunately, we often do not prioritize this type of time, as we feel constantly busy and connected through our technology. But it's important to carve out space for solitude, where problems can be effectively tackled.

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