If You Want to be a Pro, It Starts with Mindset

True success does not come from money and opportunity but what you do with them

If you’re a big NFL football fan, this week was a big one for you. The NFL draft took place in Chicago, IL.

For those not into the NFL, the draft is the time when professional football teams draft young players from college and pay them extraordinary amounts of money to play a game.

The story of a fast downfall

Two years ago, in the 2014 draft, Johnny Manziel, or “Johnny. Football” as he was called, was drafted by the Cleveland Browns as the 22nd pick in the first round. The resulting contract was around $8.3 million with a $4.3 million signing bonus. Overnight, Jonny Football was a millionaire.

Fast-forward two years, after a string of off-field issues, including substance abuse and alleged physical abuse of his girlfriend, the Browns cut Johnny Football in March. During this year’s draft, Manziel watched the NFL draft as a “free agent”, alone in a bar in Columbus, Ohio.

A few days later he wrote this on Twitter : “You guys act like what I'm doing is something new. I've been the same person, doing the same things since it all started.”

Mindset: the key to success

All this goes to show a universal truth, money does not make you rich. Mindset does.

In fact, mindset most often is the dividing line between those who are successful in life and those who are not. In the NFL there are many players who do not have the natural skills and talents that Manziel does, but they thrive. They show up, put in the work, and continually learn and grow. They listen to their coaches. They surround themselves with smart people who lift them up instead of pull them down. They have a mindset of success—the mindset of a pro, not of an entitled amateur.

I don’t personally know Johnny Football, but I can say that his quick downfall stems from many things, not the least of which stems from a poor mindset. To brag about being the same when the results of your behavior prove over and over again that you need to change is living proof of that old adage that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

Change your mindset to change your future

Today, if you’re running into a wall and not experiencing the success you were hoping to, I ask you to take a look at your mindset. How are you viewing the world? Are you falling into old habits and ways of doing things that resulted in the same lack of success in the past?

If so, it’s time to stop being the same person and doing the same things. It’s time to change.

Start by looking here

Start by looking at how you use your time. Do you waste it in unhealthy ways? Is there places you can take back your time to grow rather than be stagnant?

Then, take a look at the people you hang out with. Do they have loser mindsets that hold you back? Do you need to trade in your old “friends” for new ones that help you become better than you are and give you a new mindset?

Finally, take a look at what you read and listen to. Do you fill your mind with things that reinforce the status quo? Or do you fill your mind with things that challenge you and ask you to grow to be more than you are?

In the end, there’s hope for Johnny Football, and there’s hope for you. It starts with a change of mindset and continues with getting down to work, day in and day out to continually grow and challenge yourself.

Again, success and riches don’t come from opportunity and money. They come from what you do with them.

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