When people call someone a champion, what is the fundamental reason for this? In its simplest form, it is because they've won a tournament, championship, competition, meet, etc.
I want you to discredit all that and throw away that phenomena for a second. People should be called a champion when the consistency of an attitude, grind, grit, and demeanor is achieved and maintained. Success is a time-oriented idea that I believe is measured based on the amount of influence and change that the individual has brought. Failure is rooted in fear and losing that grind and grit, as I think a champion is never forever. Physically speaking (NBA, Masters, Super Bowl, Wimbledon), yes, but humans stay stagnant when a careless and no purpose attitude is in place. If one can maintain care, obsession, and love for the process and focus on improving and maintaining their ideals/values, the influence and the true reason why they started their dream in the first place will come true. Not only that but wanting to be the best person you want to be and seeing these minuscule improvements of growth. Now you may ask, "What about the trophy, money, fame, etc.?" Well, those are just the little sprinkles in life that even without them, it doesn't matter.
This may sound silly, but a mentor of mine, Scott Bettger, Golf Performance Coach, here at IMG, gave me an analogy about the progression in improvement in golf through a Banana Split Sundae. This analogy can be used in the mastery of any craft in this world, no matter how silly this may sound.
Scott Bettger: "If you take a Sundae, what is the main component? The ice cream... The caramel, chocolate, cherries, and nuts are just the sprinkles, and the Sundae would still be good even without the toppings, right? If there was no ice cream, its just a bunch of toppings. The point is, the Vanilla Ice cream is the star and the fundamentals of your game. You must have the Vanilla Ice Cream before you put the toppings (fancy skills) on top."
Scott Bettger, Golf Performance Coach, IMG Academy
I take this analogy to heart and work on my fundamentals every day to make sure I have a solid base, but I put a little spin on this amazing idea.
Henri: "As coach Scott stated, its no sundae without the Vanilla Ice Cream on the bottom... Now think of the ice cream as the CHAMPION MINDSET that I described earlier. When reaching your ultimate goals, it is not the toppings that you are striving for, but a fancier and higher quality base. Turn that regular vanilla ice cream into a Madagascar Vanilla bean whatever... That development in "flavor" is the growth and actual influence you have over people just by maintaining that mindset. The Hersheys, Caramel, Sprinkles, etc. is fame, money, and glory... It comes with a matter of time and dedication, but is not your true focus."
Source: Henri's Notebook
Let me finish with the fact that you don't need to win anything, have money, and be famous for bringing change. Let's take me, for example... For the people who know me, I have not won a single tournament or competition, but I can say pride and confidence that I do have some extent of influence on people. That is the real power and goal I focus on. To use my influence as an outlet to change people's lives. Hopefully, the win, fame, and money I accumulate will amount to a powerful social platform to bring real global change.
FOCUS ON YOUR APPROACH/ATTITUDE/OBSESSION & MAINTAINING IT!