A very good guest post by Zac Cohn in response to this week's Get Some Victory newsletter. "Parkour," if you don't know the term, is similar to "free running" - it's very cool and check out a Youtube video if you've never seen it. Also, I got a chance to play the Chess variant with Zac he talks about - it's extremely fun. Here's a very good insight, grateful to Zac for sharing this:
A lot of people have self-inflected self-esteem issues. They don't think they're special, don't think they have a chance to succeed or break out of mediocrity and normalcy. They typically aren't very competitive by nature, but being around or hearing about people who are tends to reinforce their nature.
In my five years of experience with parkour, I've come to realize that I have done things that no other human being in history has done. There was a huge, magnificent tree in the city where I went to college, and there was a very difficult jump from one branch to another. I worked hard and built my skill up to the point where I made that jump, and then a few weeks later the tree was destroyed in a storm. I am the only person to have ever done that jump, and the only person who ever will.
Making that jump was exciting, but when I heard the tree was destroyed it was an earth shattering experience for me. I WAS THE ONLY PERSON TO DO THAT, I WILL ALWAYS BE THE ONLY PERSON TO HAVE DONE THAT.
After this experience, I've looked for other places to apply this idea. The idea that I am the only person to have ever done this. I am the best in the world at that. My friend recently developed a really fun chess variant we call Egyptian Laser Chess (no relation to the recent events in Egypt)- there have been maybe 20 games of it played (ever, by anyone), with maybe half a dozen people. Of those people, I've won a majority of the games - you can also see me as the highest ranked player of Egyptian Laser Chess on the planet.
One problem I've noticed with your blog (and other blogs that give similar types of advice) is that the target of the articles are people who know they want to improve, and are just looking for better ways to do that. A demographic that is largely untapped and left out is the huge number of people who need to realize that they can pull themselves out of mediocrity and normalcy. Maybe a blog entry won't be the earth-shattering moment they need, but maybe it can start to adjust their state of mind to help them realize that they are, in fact, the only or the best in the world at something.
Whether they're the first person to make a smiley face in sticky notes on their particular office window, or the best person in the world at finding paperclips on the ground, or the first person to jump from this curb to that curb, or the only person to have ever crawled through the gap in that handicap railing... everyone is the best, or the first, in the world to do SOMETHING. And once you realize that, you can be the best and the first to do more and more and bigger and bigger things and really push yourself to victory.