For better or for worse, your perspective shapes everything you do. Your perspective shapes your beliefs, your perspective shapes your behaviors, but most importantly – your perspective can make you a BETTER athlete, or a WORSE athlete.
As followers to this page may know, I recently became a member of a local YMCA. I overheard two guys talk about deadlifts. One was deadlifting, and the other was talking. They were asking about the whereabouts of a certain person who they haven’t seen in the gym for some time, and they both commented that “he is a monster” with deadlifts. They believed his 1-RM deadlift to be 405 lbs, but added that it had been some time since they witnessed such a lift.
While I can’t deadlift 405 pounds (close at 395), I thought to myself… a monster at 405 pounds? I’ve frequently seen athletes and serious lifters lift 405+ in person, and I follow the exploits of powerlifters online who deadlift 700 to 800 pounds on a regular basis. In fact, the world record in the deadlift is over 1,000 pounds.
I wondered, how could people marvel at the wonder of a 405 pound deadlift? After all, that’s just 40% of a world record deadlift. But then I took a step back and realized, it’s all about PERSPECTIVE.
A 405 lb deadlift may very well be the highest deadlift at this YMCA. It may never have been seen before by the majority of members, and because of this, the 405 pound lifter is aptly named “a monster”.
Athletes’ perspectives are created by their environment. Many times they don’t have an opportunity to create their own environment due to the rigid structure in their day-to-day lives, but if or when they eventually do, athletes must create a positive environment.
My perspective on lifting changed when I began to lift with my roommate last year. While I could deadlift 350, squat 335, and bench 220 – he could deadlift 400+, squat 400+, and bench 365 with ease. Was lifting with my roommate an ego-killer? No. Was it added motivation for me? Absolutely.
Rather than settling as a “strong soccer player” – I wanted more. I didn’t want to settle, I wanted to push myself further and in doing so, create new maxes. While I’m specifically talking about lifting, the idea is universal.
Are you happy to settle as the best soccer player in the city, county, or region?
Are you happy to settle with your well-paid, boring job?
Are you happy to settle with being called “a monster” in your local gym?
Because the truth is, settlers do not get better. They get worse over time. Do not settle. Aspire to do great things in your life, within your chosen field of study, within your workplace or within your community.
Whatever you decide to do, you have a choice. Do you settle, or do you change your perspective/environment? The choice is yours.