The eyes of the world are on Toronto for the next several days as we host the Pan Am Games. Despite the grumbling of the locals about the traffic congestion headaches they have caused, this is a spectacle only to be rivalled by the Olympics themselves. We have been told that this event is larger in terms of athlete participants than the Olympic Games. This is a world-class event in a world-class city.

Spectators can expect to see records broken and stars rise to the top. They will witness heartbreak and triumph, teamwork and dissent. Spectators here and at home will be able to cheer on their favorites and look on as the athletes compete for gold. But spectators only applaud someone else’s victory. You have to be in the game to win.

World-class calibre athletes we have here for the Pan Am games, do certain things that we can all do to be world-class. They know that to get to the top of their game they have to practice and sacrifice. They invest in a coach, sometimes more than one. They work at it for years before they see success. And they often endure heartbreaking injuries. But they stay in the game. Otherwise they would never make it to the world stage.

5 Ways to Stay in the Game and Become World-Class:

  1. Take action every day

Right or wrong it doesn’t matter sometimes we can’t tell or worse assume that something is the wrong move until we have tried it. Tiger woods changed his golf swing in order to get better and he actually got worse, at first. Only over time did it prove to be the right move because he went on to play better than he had ever done before. Any action we take needs a process of evaluation and repetition to truly assess whether it is an improvement or not.

  1. Take a risk every day

Try something scary or new gets us out of our comfort zone and helps to build confidence. After all if what we are currently doing was going to get us where we want to go, we would be there already, right? Don’t be afraid to experiment with new things and ideas. You never know when you might find something special.

  1. Invest in yourself every day

Time, money and energy spent to help you grow is never a waste. An investment in yourself is the best investment you can ever make. When you invest in your growth in one area, that growth carries over into other areas of your life. Take the discipline of exercise for example. Developing the discipline of regular exercise improves your health, increases your confidence and your mental clarity and focus.

  1. Grow your network every day

Make new connections and stay in touch with current ones. We need other people and their cooperation in some way for everything we want to achieve in our life. Growing your network by adding new people means adding new ideas and opens new doors. Strengthening current relationships means enriching your life and the lives of others. It increases you influence with them and their willingness to help you.

  1. Develop your expertise every day

Stay current on trends in your sector or industry, read what the top leaders are reading and saying. Reading just one book a month means that at the end of a year, you have read 12 books. At the end of 5 years that is 60 books. More than most people read in a lifetime. Keeping your ear to the ground and your network will come to see you as an expert and a valuable resource to tap into when they need information.

Little by little, a little becomes a lot. In the end, have faith in yourself and trust the process that will develops world-class skills. Just like our garden, sometimes it takes time for those seeds to grow.

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