What does it look like to WIN at life?
We decided we would take this one to the experts who are absolutely at the top of the game in their chosen field and ask them for the definition of success. As each of these leaders weighed in, we found some common threads connecting their thoughts.
If you’re ready to chase your dreams and achieve success, you’re in the right place! Let’s do this thing.
MICHAEL CHANDLER, UFC LIGHTWEIGHT DIVISION
Michael Chandler grew up smack-dab in the middle of America where, while he was raised to work hard, dreaming big wasn’t a popular idea. “I think, being a small guy from a small town who was taught to do very small things, and going outside the county lines and trying to accomplish great things and get notoriety, platform, wealth, success and impact… those things didn’t come naturally to me because I wasn’t taught those things,” he says.
Michael shared that it’s important to actually believe that your dream matters in the long run. “We were created for so much more than we could ever think or imagine and you playing small doesn’t do anything to serve the world. You playing small actually does a disservice to an Almighty God who created you in His image.”
The secret to success according to Michael Chandler? Don’t give up. Victory comes when you push the extra mile. “The amount of people that give up right before their breakthrough is astounding. It’s not that people don’t do the right things, it’s that people don’t do the right things for long enough to be able to reach your passion. Hard work will eventually pay off, you just have to still be standing there, ready to accept it when it does.”
Want to hear more of Michael Chandler’s perspective on winning? Check out our recent interview with him here.
DARREN MULLIGAN - LEAD VOCALIST OF WE ARE MESSENGERS
Darren Mulligan is often on the stage singing for thousands, but his journey started small. After growing up in a tiny town in Ireland, he had to go without a paycheck for years before his dream became reality. “I didn’t make any money for 24 years,” Darren says. “I remember tearing around America in a hard rock band in 2003, living off five dollars a day with McDonald’s in the morning and Wendy’s at night.”
Darren shared a lot of solid advice for big dreamers in this article, but one tip was an especially good motivation boost. “If you want to follow something that you’re passionate about, do not waste your time engaging in things that are not going to lead toward that end goal,” he says. “You always have to have an end goal. What is the end goal? That starts on the big level of Jesus changing the world, and then you have to break that down into practical steps.”
CRAIG DEMARTINO - DISABLED CLIMBER AND MOTIVATIONAL SPEAKER
Craig DeMartino fell in love with rock climbing at a bachelor party and it quickly became his number one passion. Tragically, after about thirteen years of climbing, Craig sustained a 100-foot fall which badly injured his legs. Craig was faced with an unthinkable crossroads. “The idea was if I amputate, I have a shot at having one leg that isn’t always messed up. I broke both legs pretty badly.” He chose to amputate and that choice gave him the opportunity to begin rock climbing full time.
In this interview, we asked Craig how to find a passion worth pursuing with that kind of zeal. He said to keep it simple. “People probably think [my wife and I] are really strange because literally, all we do is go climb. It’s so simple and yet people clutter it up because there are so many things you could do. You just have to find that one that really resonates with your soul and just pursue that one. Don’t even worry about what people think or what they expect. Just go do that.”
He also shared some advice for those who are going through trauma. “My body is always changing, just like we all are always evolving. You have to just embrace that. It’s going to change, good or bad, but don’t hang up on that. Realize it’s a process. Good or bad, you’re going through it, then move on to the next thing, whatever that is.”
JACOB WHEELER - 2019 WORLD CHAMPION OF MAJOR LEAGUE FISHING
Jacob Wheeler is known for his achievements in fishing. He earned angler-of-the-year and won state championships at a very young age, and has acoomplished recent major achievements. He is a five-time Major League Fishing Champion and two-time Bassmaster Elite Champion, just to name a few.
Jacob started his journey to major success with his eye on the prize. As the youngest angler to win the BFL All-American, Jacob has some advice to share for beginners.
“Trying something and actually fully committing your life to something are two different things,” Jacob says. “You have to commit and you have to understand there’s a lot of sacrifices that you have to make in order to put yourself in the best position to succeed.”
JUSTIN MARTIN - GENERAL MANAGER OF DUCK COMMANDER
Justin Martin has earned the trust of everyone who works with him. In fact, he first started working with Duck Commander after impressing the Robertson family with his excellent work ethic at a local sporting goods store. In a recent interview, he shared that his mom raised him to never turn up his nose at any job and he’s lived by that example. “Make them wonder what’s going to happen if tomorrow you don’t show up,” Justin says. “I’m not scared of hard work for sure. I enjoy it.”
Even as the current General Manager of Duck Commander, Justin’s mindset has not changed. “I’m not just going to sit in my office if there’s a department that’s being bombarded,” he says. “I’m going to jump in there. I think employees appreciate that, seeing you jump in there and help, and realize that you’re not just a boss. You’ll get in there and get dirty with them. They realize when they come to me with a complaint, I know what they’re going through…. You do what you’ve got to do to make it work. And if we’re successful, then everybody is successful. It’s very much a team mindset around here.”
PETER GOODWIN - FOUNDER AND CEO OF GROOVE LIFE
If you’ve spent some time hanging out on our social media platforms or watching our Project Adventure series on Prime Video, you know Peter Goodwin by his crazy adventurous spirit, hilarious sense of humor, and incredible beard. Peter was guiding tours in the bush of Alaska when he first had the idea to create The Groove Ring. After a lot of hard work and brainstorming, he turned that lightbulb moment into the thriving business we are today.
Peter’s advice to someone who is pursuing a dream or idea is to stop seeing failure as a problem. “I’d say to embrace failure,” Peter says. “Fail small. Fail often. Don’t tie your failure to your identity.”
While failure is necessary, you don’t have to make your dream a ‘succeed or lose it all’ situation. “Try, try, try. Don’t go all in,” Peter says. “Fail small. Test, test, test. Admit that you suck. The faster you can admit that you suck at something, the faster that you’ll ask for help, and people really want to help humble people.”
If you’d like to hear more from Peter, check out this podcast!
SO… ARE YOU WINNING?
Are you winning? According to these successful people, better questions to ask would be the following:
- Are you willing to push the extra mile when others are giving up?
- Are you cutting the distractions in your pursuit of the ultimate goal?
- Are you pursuing the dream that resonates in your soul?
- Are you willing to make sacrifices along the way?
- Are you ready to get your hands dirty and do whatever it takes?
- Are you prepared to fail without making failure your identity?
If your answer to the above questions is “YES!" way to go, you are winning!
If your answer to those questions is “No,” well, here’s the good news. Now you know, thanks to the wisdom from these six leaders, what it takes to start winning in the pursuit of your dream! Now get out there and do what it takes. We know you've got this.
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