March Madness, Are You On The Bubble?

It’s that time of the year again! A feverish pace comes upon the sports world while all eyes turn towards colligate basketball in hopes of witnessing history. From Nebraska, to Gonzaga, Connecticut and Florida; everyone wants to know if they have their ‘brackets’ in order to track this year’s upset. You even see evidence of March Madness in stores and television commercials. We’ve all got the ‘fever’ and there is no relief in sight until the end of the month!

I found the term ‘On the bubble’ to be an interesting narrative mentioned by nearly all the analysts on ESPN. When I did a bit of research, I also found this to be an allegory of the potential we have inside. In fact, if we really look closely at the similarities, it will give new meaning to this whole crazy month of sports utopia.

Let me begin by saying, the place of the ‘bubble’ is where behavior meets beliefs. This sports term is defined as: Being on the threshold; finely balanced between success and failure. For example, if a tournament allows the top six teams to proceed to the next round then those who are close to qualification and can get through by a small increase in performance would be considered ‘on the bubble’.

I want us to zero in on the term ‘small increase in performance’. I have found in life that it is usually not the huge margins we find difficult, but the daily, mundane habits that seem to trip us up most. As you look back over the challenges of your life or career, you find that if you had applied minimum discipline in a few minor areas, the outcome could have been much different. It always amazes me during client coaching sessions the look of awe when someone discovers it wasn’t hug deficiencies that held them back, but very small behaviors.

There’s a quote I love that says, “Once we make our habits, it is our habits that make us.” The measure of a man’s greatness will never be about his accomplishments as much as his ability to govern his own self. You and I are always only a few short tweaks away from a life of abundance and innovation. The only question that remains is who will make the adjustments to see the victory?

So what do we need to do to get over the proverbial hump? Where are we missing the mark and continuously coming up short? I believe it comes down to (3) specific areas:

(1) Decide to accept one of two pains; the pain of discipline or the pain of regret: If you are still trying to avoid pain, you are already missing the point! Anything worth having will coast. So get it into your head now that you can either hurt on the front end or the back end. But either way, you will hurt.

(2) Determine to expose yourself to the environment you claim you want: Whatever you think about, you bring about. You have to position yourself around the culture you hope to have. This means a change of scenery can do wonders for your vision. And once you see it, you can embrace it.

(3) Remember, details…details…details; success is in the small stuff: When a ship drifts off course, it’s usually not because of some major mechanical failure. Someone noticed a slight course shift of a degree or two. But traveling only one degree off course can land you in another country if you. Adjust your vision and check it often.

Whether you are a basketball enthusiast or not, March Madness can make for some really cool fun and get togethers. One thing is for sure, there is always excitement in the air. And a great take away from the whole experience is found in where you are on the ‘brackets’ of life. If you are sitting on this area called the ‘bubble’, are you going to do what it takes to push your performance to the next level?

See you at the TOP!

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