“You have to be in it to win it.”
Lottery tag line
I love watching the Tour de France, not just because of all the gorgeous French countryside floating through my TV screen, but because of all the drama and strategy that play out during the grueling three-week race. And one of the things that fascinates me most is not just the physical stamina it takes to make it through hundreds and hundreds of miles of grueling racing to get to Paris, but because of the mental stamina required.
A case in point: After riding 10 Tours — a total of 210 stages — Australian Michael Rogers just had his first stage win. That’s right, it’s taken him more than 200 stages and thousands of miles to win a stage. Winning a stage of the Tour de France is huge because the Tour is widely viewed as the most demanding event in all of sports.
After his win, an interviewer asked Michael why he was having such a great season. In his response, Michael didn’t attribute his success to being in peak physical condition; instead, he talked about a shift in his mental attitude that had really made a difference.
As a veteran rider, he said that he had begun to “clearly see opportunities” and to put himself in a position to take advantage of them. And once he put himself out there, more opportunities began coming his way. Somehow, he also let go of his fear of failing — and when he did, he started winning.
He also said that he stopped worrying about what the outcome of a particular race was going to be and just focused on giving it his best. In short, he focused on effort and attitude instead of results. This shift in his mindset made a huge difference in his performance.
When he saw a chance to win the stage this time around, Michael said that he decided to commit all the way: He was “either going to crash or win.” He didn’t expend any energy thinking about which of these outcomes was more likely. He just put his petal to the metal and rode the best race he had in him.
There’s a lot for us to ponder here: Focusing on our attitude and effort rather than on outcomes. Putting ourselves “out there” so that opportunity can find us. Fully committing and giving our best to the work at hand. Let’s bring Michael’s winning mindset to our work — and write on!