I’ve been looking pretty hard to find where I heard this, but I can’t find it. I’m guess it must have been on some video or podcast somewhere, but I wasn’t able to find it.
Anyway, Charles Woodson is a football player and he retired this past year. It was his last season.
He played 18 seasons in the NFL, which puts him in a very small group of guys that have played that long. Not only is there the threat of injury, but you don’t make it that long in the NFL without playing at a top level.
The interview I saw was with another player; probably a Packers player because that’s my favorite team and where Charles played for seven seasons including Super Bowl winning 2010.
The player in the interview was saying that he came to the Packers as a rookie and he talked to Charles and asked the veteran player what the key to success was. Charles said that the key is to always do more.
Charles then went on to say that in high school the coaches would ask players to do certain things like drills and film study. Charles knew that not everyone would make it from high school to college as football players. So Charles did more than what the coaches asked him. He did more drills. He did more film study. He did a little more weightlifting on his own.
He then did more on his own in college and in the pros. And it helped him lead a long and successful career. Now he’s moving into a broadcasting career with ESPN and he’s off to a good start. You can bet that he’s doing more than ESPN is asking him to with broadcasting.
One insight into the way Charles went about succeeding is that he had internal drive or self-motivation. It’s easy to do what your coaches or bosses ask of you, but that will only take you so far.
What seems to separate the very successful people is that they not only do what is asked, but they go beyond that. And that takes an internal drive. There is no reward necessarily for doing more as far as recognition and thanks goes.
A coach probably didn’t thank Charles for watching extra film. I bet Charles really didn’t talk about it too much. He just did it because he knew that it would help him improve and he wanted to improve. He wanted to get better. He wanted to be the best and he wanted to do it for himself and because he loved what he was doing.
What Can You Do?
Being in business for yourself is tricky. You’re really your own boss so you have to come up with the standard. You have to set the standard for what you’ll do every day or every week or every month. Then you have to do that and look for ways to do a little more.
That is tricky. You don’t want to set things too high because that will set you up for failure and you’ll be more willing to accept failure.
You can look at what others have done. Look for mentors in business. Ask them or look at what they have done to be successful. Look at the competition and see what they’re doing. See if you can kind of look beyond the obvious and look at the things they’re doing.
Then innovate a little bit. Build on what they’ve been doing. Look for ways to do more and look for things that they maybe aren’t willing to do.
Charles Woodson probably knew that after a long practice of drills that other players just wanted to hit the showers and go home. Nobody wanted to do a couple more drills or more sprints or whatever.
That was his opportunity.
Charles Woodson was a great player, but the reality is that he’s probably going to be a great announcer or great at whatever he wants to do in life. He has a simple understanding of life. He knows that doing more than others will take him places in life. It worked for him in his football career and it works in other aspects of life.
What can you do more of in your life that will take you to the success you want to achieve?