Talent, Steroids and Character
With Barry Bonds perjury on his use of steroids in the front and center of this week’s news, I thought it would be a good time to get into this problem. The successes you get through your own personal effort feed your soul forever. While successes that are achieved through deception or shortcuts may feel good at first, but they eventually eat you inside.
Barry Bonds, Mark McGwire and Roger Clemens were probably on their way to Hall of Fame baseball before their presumed use of steroids. Marion Jones was already at the top of the world track and field before his admitted use of steroids before the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games. So, why did people so successful without steroids, and who had so much to lose, would you risk your legacies?
Probably some things were at stake in these cases. It would be difficult to imagine that greed and their ego do not play a leadership role in their decisions. As I mentioned in an earlier blog, when we let our ego get out of control, we act as intermittent and stand in our judgment. We are all susceptible to our impulses of greed, but when we combine that urge with an inflated sense of invulnerability, it makes disaster more likely.
Another factor that was likely present was a fixation on their reputation and the desire to grow their fame. Too many people confuse their reputation with their character. Your reputation is what people think you are, but your character is what you know you are and you can never escape that truth. People looking for quick and easy solutions to their problems, such as using steroids, only deal with their reputations. As John Wooden, widely regarded as the best coach of all time, was fond of saying:Winning takes talent, repeating that it takes character
If you want long-term success and the opportunity to do extraordinary things, you will not go for quick solution or results-oriented methods. Although it takes more effort than popping a pill or getting it and injecting it, learning to use your mind to gain a mental advantage can be more potent than any performance-enhancing drug. Numerous medical studies have shown that the reason patients suffering from physical afflictions have improved when given placebo (pills without medicine in them) is the power of the mind.
A mental advantage is also more durable than performance-enhancing drugs, and the only side effect tends to be better coping skills to deal with everything in your life.
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