"Imagine if you will being on your death bed, and standing around your bed the ghosts of the dreams, the ideas, the abilities, the talents given to you by life and that you, for whatever reason, you never went after that dream. You never acted on those ideas. You never used those talents. You never used those gifts. And there they are standing around your bed, looking at you with large angry eyes saying we came to you! And ONLY YOU COULD HAVE GIVEN US LIFE! And NOW we must die with you forever!"
16 Characteristics of a Champion
1. Hating to lose more than loving to win: They develop this mind-set by making no excuses when things don’t go their way.
2. Appreciating the value of association: They understand the importance of their inner circle.
3. Placing faith in a higher power: They have the perspective on life. Which is driven by an understanding of something bigger than themselves.
4. Having contagious enthusiasm: Their attitudes are infectious. And they want theirs to be caught by others.
5. Preparing for all possibilities: They are ready before the game begins.
6. Having no off-season: They understand they are always working toward the next game. And there is always a game ahead.
7. Visualizing victory: They can see what success looks like before the opening whistle.
8. Using Adversity as fuel: The tough moments of their lives become an inner fire.
9. Being a responsible risk-taker: The great ones understand that most great things occur outside of your comfort zone.
10. Knowing how and when to make adjustments: What got you there won’t keep you there.
11. Becoming the ultimate teammate: They understand that even if they are the best on their team. They may have to take a different role for the team to be successful.
12. Being motivated by more than money: They know that if your driver is cash, you won’t drive long.
13. Doing right by others: The great ones know that character is defined by how they treat others, without expecting anything in return.
14. Living with integrity: When no one is watching, they live their lives with integrity.
15. Being a role model: When everyone is watching, they set the standard for those who look up to them.
16. Creating a well-rounded legacy: They understand they are not defined by their statistics or accomplishments.
Excerpt from: "What Makes the Great Ones Great" by Don Yaeger
To this list we would add, "17. They had a dream and, at all costs, they made it happen."