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Sustaining Greatness – an Interview with Three-Time Gold Medalist Karch Kiraly

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How do you become the best of the best and then stay there? I recently had the privilege of interviewing Olympian Karch Kiraly, widely regarded as the best volleyball player of all time, about his decades-long pursuit of greatness. Having won at every level as both an athlete and a coach, Karch gave tremendous insight into his unique drive and mindset. Here are some of the top takeaways:

Achieve Excellence

When you study greatness around the world, in many areas, it’s not about the facilities or the technology – it’s about great coaching, athletes who are passionate and have their passion ignited and really intense, mindful practice. To excel at anything in life, you must focus on these three priorities.

Be Demanding of Yourself and Others

Life is filled with adversity – everyone falls down, loses or fails at some stage. The people who can pick themselves back up and try again are those who are acclimated to doing it. If you’ve never had to experience failure or challenge, dealing with adversity is really difficult. As teammates in life, sport or business, we must bear in mind that, instead of trying to shield ourselves or others from all setbacks, we must strive to strike a balance between support and challenge. Remember: adversity builds, tests and grows us!

Have a Beginner’s Mindset

When you’re trying something new, always approach it with a beginner’s mindset, even if you’re at the top of your own game. By assuming as little as possible in terms of what you know and seeking out training and mentorship, you will be open to learning and experiencing more deeply. As Michelangelo once said, “Ancora Imparo: I am still learning.”

Be Grateful

It’s not always easy to practice gratitude but, when you focus on your blessings instead of on the things that you don’t have, you’ll be more grateful, lead a happier life and be better for the people around you.

There is a uniqueness to those who become the best at what they do, and then stay there. To learn more, listen to the latest episode of “It’s a Good Life.” 

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