Focus On Improving More Than Winning

At the age of 22, American skier Mikaela Shiffrin just won the women’s World Cup overall title. People are starting to speculate whether she will eventually have the most World Cup wins of all time, because she is winning at an unheard of pace.

Is this because she is so obsessed with winning? Not exactly.

The New York Times quotes her saying, “I can tell you now that when I win a World Cup race — or a bunch of them this season — I take about 15 seconds of pure pride and joy to celebrate.

“And then I immediately start thinking that I can’t wait to get to bed tonight and get back to training tomorrow. I’ll have felt something in the race that day that I want to work on and do better. Winning an Olympic gold medal was amazing, but I actually do enjoy the process that got me there more than the winning. And it’s been motivating to figure that out.”

“… I take about 15 seconds of pure pride and joy to celebrate. And then I immediately start thinking that I can’t wait to get to bed tonight and get back to training tomorrow…”

Enjoy the process more than winning.

 

Shiffrin wants to get better more than she wants to win.

What if you adopted this mindset? What if – win or lose – that each day what you wanted more than anything was to get out and work on what you learned the previous day?

What if… you adopted the growth and learning strategies that work best for you, instead of simply doing whatever other people are doing?

Years ago, Shiffrin told the Boston Globe why as a teenager she would skip certain races in favor of more training, a revolutionary practice for any highly competitive skier.

“Why would you want two runs in competition when you can get 15 runs in training? I don’t need racing experience to be able to race well. I learned that because Kirk (Dwyer, her coach) had me stay back from a lot of races and train.

“When I got to the bottom of a training run, I’d ski right up to Kirk and he’d be like, ‘What did you think?’ If I said, ‘Well, I didn’t pole plant,’ he’d say, ‘Say that in a positive way.’ I had to say, ‘I need to pole plant next run.’ He said, ‘Avoid all negative words. Don’t. Can’t. Won’t. Anything like that. Say it in a positive way so you can find something to work towards.’ ”

Be positive. Always learn. Always improve.

Win or lose.

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