Tom Brady is the 5-time Super Bowl winning quarterback of the New England Patriots. His ability to come up big in high pressure moments has earned him the comparison to Joe Montana, one of the best “big game” quarterbacks in the history of the NFL.
But it hasn’t been Tom Brady’s passing skills that have helped set him apart from other great NFL quarterbacks. It’s his dedication, preparation and leadership skills. These are qualities that any small business owner, manager or even entry level employees can put into use in their everyday life.
Here is how, and why, Tom Brady has been “motivation goals” since 2001:
Motivation Goal #1: Believe in yourself
Tom Brady was passed on by every NFL team over and over again and was finally picked with the 199th pick of the 2000 NFL Draft. For those not familiar with the NFL Draft, it’s seven rounds with about 250 picks each year. To go from the 199th overall pick in the draft to being arguably the greatest player the league has ever seen is completely motivational on its own.
Patriots’ Owner Robert Kraft still recalls the moment he met Tom Brady. After the draft, Tom reported to the Patriots’ rookie camp where he ran into Kraft while exiting the building. He stopped, introduced himself and said, “I’m the best decision this organization has ever made.”
“If you don’t believe in yourself why is anyone else going to believe in you?” – Tom Brady
Motivation Goal #2: Seize every opportunity
Sure, it was Abraham Lincoln who said, “I will prepare and someday my chance will come,” but nobody personified this quote more than the skinny, sixth round pick Tom Brady. In 2001, the New England Patriots starting quarterback Drew Bledsoe was injured by a hit from Mo Lewis of the New York Jets. The hit took Bledsoe out of the game and led Patriots’ Head Coach Bill Belichick to put in his backup, Tom Brady.
Brady won his very first start against Peyton Manning and the Indianapolis Colts, which if you read the opening, you know is burnt into this writer’s brain for eternity. Needless to say, Brady led the Patriots to a monumental Super Bowl victory that year over the best offense the NFL had ever seen and as they say, “the rest is history.”
Motivation Goal #3: Don’t manage, lead
What sets Brady apart from every other NFL quarterback isn’t his arm or his legs; it’s his ability to lead his team. Any good manager knows that you are only as good as the workers you surround yourself with.
When it comes time to present to your company’s owner what your accomplishments have been for the week/month/year, it’s your employees who got the work done. It was your job to get the most out of them. Like a great manager, Tom Brady demands the most out of his teammates through actions.
Tom is the prototypical “first guy in, last guy out” leader and challenges his receiving corps an offensive lineman to do the same. He is constantly in the film room and trying to find the mental edge over his opponent and when he does, he makes sure all of his teammates are on the same page and will practice tiny nuances over and over in hope of perfecting them.
During the game, nobody gets more fired up than Brady does and this fire is clearly passed along to all of his teammates who take it and run with it. When you talk about a guy you’d go to battle for, Brady is that guy.
Motivation Goal #4: Set your goals and attack them
Tom Brady’s entire career has been one of a phoenix rising from the ashes. He was passed over in college for Drew Henson, but then led Michigan to an Orange Bowl victory. He then took over a starting job in the NFL and in his first year led his team to a Super Bowl win. Then, after an illustrious career, one bad game vs. the Kansas City Chiefs in 2014 was all it took to call Brady “done” and “not good anymore” by most mainstream media.
What did Tom Brady do? He went out and led his team to the Super Bowl and won it; for the 4th time. But the most notable time Tom Brady overcame odds and scrutiny was this past season. After serving a 4-game suspension handed down by Roger Goodell, for a highly questionable “guilty” verdict when it came to Deflategate, Brady tore through the Patriots schedule all the way to the Super Bowl where he really had to earn his moment.
With the prize being a deeply satisfying meeting with Roger Goodell on the podium and a Lombardi trophy hand off he could only dream about, Brady defied all odds and won the Super Bowl.
“You have to believe in your process. You have to believe in the things that you are doing to help the team win. I think you have to take the good with the bad.” – Tom Brady
Motivation Goal #5: Perform when the pressure is on
Plain and simple, Tom Brady gets better when the pressure is on. Super Bowl 36, game tied with 1:21 left. Brady leads his team 53 yards down the field to get them into field position for an Adam Vinatieri, game-winning field goal.
Super Bowl 38, game tied with 1:08 left. Brady once again leads his team into field goal position for the game-winning field goal by Vinatieri. Fast forward to this year’s Super Bowl. At halftime, the Patriots were down 25 points. Brady had a pretty bad first half, but when the second half started, it was clear that a different, more determined Tom Brady was on the field.
The Patriots scored 31 unanswered points in the second half and overtime, including 19 points in the 4th quarter alone to tie the game up. When the pressure was on, when it mattered most, Brady once again delivered.
You certainly don’t have to like him, but to not appreciate him is absurd. Tom Brady is a constant inspiration to anyone who enjoys success, and if you are reading this right now, you are most likely addicted to success.
What inspires you the most about Tom Brady? Leave your thoughts below!
How to Stay Motivated to Achieve Your Goals
Time is the raw material of our lives. How we choose to spend it, shapes our life accordingly. So having the motivation to spend it on achieving goals is crucial to creating a life we want.
What is Motivation?
The Oxford dictionary defines motivation as the desire or willingness to do something – our drive to take action.
Scientifically, motivation has its roots in the dopamine pathways of our brains. When we do something that feels good, that’s dopamine kicking in. Our actions are driven by the desire for that reward (the good feeling).
Author Steven Pressfield describes motivation more practically. He says we hit a point where the pain of not doing something becomes greater than the pain of doing it. He sees motivation as crossing the threshold where it’s easier to take action than it is to be idle. Like choosing to feel awkward while making sales calls over feeling disappointed about a diminishing bank account.
However you choose to think about it, we all want to harness motivation to achieve our goals.
How to Get Motivated
James Clear, the author of Atomic Habits, says that most people misunderstand motivation. They think that motivation is what gets us to take action. In reality, motivation is often the result of action, not the cause of it. Once we start a task, it’s easier to continue making progress. Like Isaac Newton’s first law: objects in motion stay in motion.
This means most of the resistance when working on your goals comes right before we start. Since motivation naturally occurs after we start, we need to focus on making starting easier.
4 Ways to Make Starting Easier
1. Schedule it
One reason people can’t get started on things is that they haven’t planned when to do it.
When things aren’t scheduled it’s easier for them to fall by the wayside. You’ll end up hoping motivation falls in your lap or hoping that you’ll muster enough willpower to get it done.
An article in the Guardian said, “If you waste resources trying to decide when or where to work, you’ll impede your capacity to do the work.”
2. Measure something
It’s easy to feel uninspired when you don’t know if you’re making progress or what you’re even working towards. That’s why you need to make your success measurable in some way. Starting is easy when you know exactly how much closer your current actions will bring you to achieving your goal.
3. Extrinsic motivation
This type of motivation is from external factors. It can be either positive or negative. Positive motivation consists of incentives like money, prizes, and grades. Negative motivation consists of deterrents like being fired, having a fight, or being fined. Extrinsic motivation doesn’t work effectively long-term, but it can work well in the short term to get you started on something.
4. Make it public
Keep yourself accountable by telling friends and family your goals, or even sharing them on social media. This makes it easier to start something because you’re pressured to not let others down.
How to Stay Motivated Long Term
When we say we want to feel motivated to do something, we don’t want to be pushed or guilted into doing a task. We want to be so attracted and drawn to the idea that we can’t resist not taking action. That’s why it’s important to build a foundation that will set you up for consistency.
These are 5 techniques that will help you do just that:
1. Stay in your goldilocks zone
The goldilocks zone is when a task is the perfect level of difficulty—not too hard and not too easy. In this zone, we reach peak motivation and focus.
For example, let’s say you’re playing a serious tennis match against a 4-year-old. On this level of difficulty, you’ll quickly become bored and not want to play. Now let’s say you’re playing a serious tennis match against Serena Williams. On this level of difficulty, you’ll quickly become demotivated because the match is too challenging.
The Goldilocks zone is in the middle of that spectrum. You want to face someone with equal skill as you. That way you have a chance to win, but you have to focus and try for it. Adjusting your workload and goals over time to stay within your Goldilocks zone keeps you engaged and motivated long-term.
2. Pursue intrinsically motivated goals
Being intrinsically motivated to achieve a goal is when you want to achieve it for what it is. There are no external factors like a reward or the risk of being fired. The drive behind your actions is coming from within.
For most intrinsic goals we pursue them because they will enrich our lives or bring us closer to fulfillment. That makes these goals extremely sustainable long-term because they directly affect our quality of life and the things we care about.
3. Use “chunking”
Chunking is the technique of breaking down a goal into smaller short-term targets. By doing this you achieve multiple successes in your pursuit of the main goal. This triggers the brain’s reward system and drives you to keep going.
Traditionally, you may set a goal that you expect to achieve in one year. That’s a long time to commit without seeing any results along the way. By chunking your goals into monthly or quarterly targets, you get the consistent positive reinforcement you need to stay motivated long-term.
For example, instead of trying to lose 50 pounds in one year, try to lose 4 pounds every month for 12 months.
4. Be flexible
We’re all victims of circumstance. Things happen along our journey that we can either adjust to or quit because of. That’s why it’s important to have leeway and flexibility when you’re pursuing a goal. If you expect everything to go perfectly, the inevitable failure can make you disengaged and desireless. When you plan for things to go wrong, you make sure you can keep up for the long haul.
5. Pursue your goals in a sustainable fashion
Don’t lose hope when you’re not an overnight success. Overnight successes are the 1%—for the most part, they don’t exist. What we see as an “overnight success” is actually countless hours of work behind the scenes finally hitting a tipping point. Pursuing goals is a story of patience, persistence, and unseen effort.
Don’t compare yourself to others. Comparison is a recipe for a drop in self-confidence and satisfaction. It also cultivates a mindset where you think you haven’t done enough. As a result, you may raise your expectations and put more pressure on yourself.
This is pointless because things worth achieving take time. So we obviously won’t compare to the things around us when starting.
Mastering motivation is a superpower. With that ability at your fingertips, you can accomplish your goals and shape a life you want to live in.
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