I was interviewed by Fortune, Entrepreneur and a dozen or so other magazines last week about what business people can learn from great athletes. As always, most of the major content got cut from the interview, so I decided to share the full version on this post. This one idea is a life changer. Watch this video (6 minutes) for the rest of the story and I’ll look forward to your comments. To see the magazine’s version, visit http://www.entrepreneur.com/blog/224132

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Steve Siebold
Author and Professional Speaker since 1997. Past Chairman of the National Speakers Association's Million Dollar Speakers Group. Author of 11 books with 1.4 million copies in print.

18 thoughts on “The Mental Toughness Secret of Olympic Athletes”

  1. Great blog Steve, I have been a personal trainer for three years now and I agree with you that athletes and successful business men and women are driven by the same power.

  2. Hi, I’ve been taking your free course and I LOVE it. I want to buy 177 Mental Toughness Secrets and the Coaching Book that goes with it. I am a life coach that works with performing artists. Reading the chapters that you have on the site. It speaks mostly of money and big corperations. The people I work with are interested in success first and money second. Can these questions be reworded that way. It isn’t that they don’t want money but they know there are easier ways to make money than being in the most competitive industry in the world.

    They, are mostly not even driven by fame (not all) I’ve known for a long time that it is the passion that makes the difference. But I don’t know how to manipulate it or teach or coach that.

    Anyway, Can these books help me with that?
    Thank you. and thanks for the course!

  3. The question I ask a lot of co-workers over the years is how did they choose to be XYZ. The ones really good at their jobs are the ones that are and have always been passionate about the field they are in. You can have the skill or talent to do something and be okay or good at it but unless the passion is there you will never be great.

  4. I work with musicians in music city USA (Nashville) I always wondered why some became successful while others. with the same amount of talent,skill, looks etc. go home after six months. Then, one day it hit me. The ones who make it can’t see themselves not making it. It isn’t a possibility. That is the kind of passion needed in a competitive field like this. Everyone says its luck. It’s not luck. It’s hard work and a ton of passion. And yes a bit of talent never hurt anyone!

    When I have gone for the really hard things that I have accomplished. I have felt that very same way. I don’t know how to control it however, that is still the mystery. For me it just happens or it doesn’t. That’s how I know how bad I want something. This coaching biz that I have….This is the real thing for me!

  5. Hey Steve,
    What a great post! Although Passion is core, focusing and controlling it is the “secret” ingredient. And that’s true in all aspects of life. You must have “Emotional Intelligence”, as described by David Goleman. For me, every athlete is a winner, even those finishing last, because you can feel them emitting their amazing passion for the finish line. No room for doubt or fear there. Just pure passion, faith and a burning desire…

  6. Just one thought.

    I don’t believe that money can be the driving force for passion. You said Steve that passion was emotion, to which I totally agree. I then also, just to throw out the idea out there, believe that most of us have chosen a passion because we believe that it will make us the most happy. I don’t think any of us choose something that we are passionate about not believing that it will be the thing that will make us more happy than anything else. If this is the case, then I don’t think money can ultimately be the goal.

    If you look at the greatest athletes or the most innovative and successful business (and profit does not equal success in my opinion necessarily), they were not driven to make big $, but the activity or object or whatever it was itself was the driving force of the passion.

    Olympic athletes are wonderful examples of this. You will notice that even if they don’t win medals, they seem to be one of the happiest group of people you have ever seen. I personally believe this is because they either love to swim, or love to run, or whatever. And they were driven to be the very best at their sport because they loved it.

    I believe businesses are the same way. If you can find a business whose purpose is to provide you with the best product available, and they sincerely believe in that cause, they will be forever more powerful than those who even create the same exact product with money money as the ultimate goal. It is the source of the passion that changes everything.

    Just my opinion.

  7. Steve, Excellent content along with “your” passion for the subject.

    It’s reawakened my curiousity to reread “The Passion Test” Thanks

    Thomas Turbyne

    P.S. You are definitely a “No Bull” presenter….Thanks again!!

  8. Hey Steve, your video was spot on. I am a former National Class Body-builder and to win the shows that I’ve won, you had to have lazer like focus on the prepration. The only thing you think of is traing and you always visualize winning and never even consider any other than winning.
    Through out my years of running very large companies; I’ve always treated my task in the same way; always with unparalleled focus and determination.

    Great video!
    Nathan Barez
    Las Vegas, NV

  9. Steve,
    great post and while watching some of the athletes You could really see and hear their passion and inner drive to win. Of course, passion without action is nothing and that’s where daily live often comes on. To stay one hundred percent focused on your goal and work on nothing else until it is achieved is key to success. Passion without action will get you nowhere. You must have a clear plan of action and then follow it, maybe revise it in between, to make the passion a reality.
    Dawn and you are great raw models of what passion and action can achieve.

  10. How can a person live and be happy without passion? You are correct in that many people spread their passion too thin with no focus.
    Once you know your passion, everything else is easy.

  11. I’ve been waiting for this post !

    “Controlled passion of top performers (Olympics, top entrepreneurs, etc)

    The ability to control and manipulate their passion is the secret to their success. They think with logic – they steer and direct their performance with logic but they fuel their performance wth passion. Motivation, mental toughness, critical thinking under
    pressure is achieved by the control of passion.

    Dedication level, sacrifice. Your practise schedule everything you do at the highest level is driven by your passion

    So Focus 100% on what you want more than anything else in the world? Are you directing 100% of what you think toward your passion? Or are you spreading your passion all over the place?

    Focus 100% on your goal through the vehicle of passion.

    Mental toughness = controlling and manipulating your emotions. Passion = emotion.

    Indeed. I need help with the techniques of control and manipulation and with their control and direction. Where do I get it? How do I direct my passion toward performance toward passion?

    How ? Are you directing 100 % of your efforts toward your passion. What do you want more than any other goal? Are you simply spreading your passion all over the place? 100% focus toward your goal through the vehicle of passion – controlling the emotions.

    It’s all about controlling and manipulating those emotions. How do you do this? Wake up in the morning and go to bed thinking about your goal? Are you thinking about it all the time?

    We are all capable of getting big results – but the subtle key in performance is contolling and manipulating your passions toward that goal until achieved.

    Are you passionate? Do you know how to direct your passion toward your goal?” Steve Siebold

    Mo Farah, in his BBC 2012 Olympics interview after the 5K said, “hard graft” “hard graft” looking directly into the camera. His wife, pregnant with twins, was on board with the plan. The deal was that she needed to get through the finals without him – and to call him in emergency only. He needed 100% focus. She must have done
    as much right as he did.

    The techniques of the process, the how tos, are what interest me. I am still not
    quite sure. But I will give 100% today and see what I learn ! I’m on board wiht the 100% just not sure of all the ins and outs.

    Great Blog ! Thank you.

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