Success: Do YOU have what it takes?

A well known quote from US college football coach Louis “Lou” Holts is:

Life is ten percent what happens to you and ninety percent how you respond to it

I had a prescient reminder of this recently. All of the members of the US Metal core band The Ghost Inside were seriously injured in a road accident outside El Paso, Texas in November 2015. Regrettably there were some fatalities and when I say serious – band members have been in hospital for months with shattered limbs. Perhaps one of the worst injuries was to drummer Andrew Tkaczyk was that he lost a leg below the knee. As you can imagine this is quite serious for a drummer – more so in metal where “double bass pedaling” is a norm. However, lets hear from Andrew in his own words:

I have remained in positive and good spirits since I woke up from a 10 day coma in November to the sight of my missing leg. Not going to let it stop me. I don’t care what anyone says. It’s a long road ahead, but I WILL play drums again. Can’t wait to get back on the kit.

Let’s go back to Lou, remember “Life is … ninety percent how you respond to it”. Different people respond in different ways, but this is an incredible example of positivity.

When you put this in perspective, what challenges do you have and how do they compare with partial loss of a limb? Let’s not forget that people overcome issues of gender, race, sexuality every day and their equally positive examples are no less inspirational.

Lou has more wisdom for us, which has some synergy with his life quote:

Ability is what you’re capable of. Motivation determines what you do. Attitude determines how well you do it.

For Andrew above:

  • Ability – you may not like the music, but his band is up and coming. Being a drummer is so much more than the simple physical ability of being able to hit skins.
  • Motivation – lost his leg but “not going to let it stop me”.
  • Attitude – “I will play drums again”.

If you were to reflect on your own situation, what would you say about yourself in respect of these three areas? I’d particularly ask about Motivation (are you really determined to succeed?) and Attitude (are you determined to be the best you can?). Why is it important to look at these three areas – because these are the things that you have to fulfill what you do in your ninety percent response. People often think success is easy – read a self-help book, apply some lessons from a top business guru etc.

If you are honest with yourself and don’t like what you think and feel – talk to a coach. Motivation and Attitude can be developed (#Startsomething) or changed (#Changesomething). These are not the only capabilities you might need to realise your goals, but they are a good starting point.

To quote John Lennon from one of his songs:

“Life is what happens to you whist you’re busy making other plans” (from the song Beautiful Boy (Darling Boy) on the album Double Fantasy)

You can’t predict the unexpected, but you can choose to have the right attitude and motivation to succeed no matter what.

I wish the band a speedy recovery and look forward to hearing their next album. I am sure it will be awesome!