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Insights: Winning!
October 23, 2007


Yes, you guessed it – this week I just had to write something related to the rugby world cup victory for the Springboks!

I must confess to being an ardent follower of South African rugby but it seems to me that the entire population of our country – rugby followers or not - appears to have united around the team. The Boks’ win has injected a mammoth dose of collective spirit and pride.

Winning the World Cup for a second time is an outstanding achievement, whichever way you look at it. So what is the secret to the team’s success?

As I thought about the answer to this, I was struck by the obvious parallels between winning on the sports field – and winning in life. The big difference, of course, is that in life there doesn’t have to be a loser for every winner. We can – and should – all be winners in life, if we employ the right approach.

OK, back to the Rugby World Cup. In my opinion, there are five primary factors that contributed to the South African side’s success and our collective joy in the knowledge that we carry the label of world champions for the next four years:

1. Self belief and an attitude of gratitude;

2. Individuals being allowed to play to their strengths;

3. Mutual respect and unwavering support for one another;

4. Great coaching;

5. Good ‘luck’.

For those of you who raised your eyebrows at number 5, let me explain what I mean by this before looking at the other points.

Actually, I don’t believe in ‘luck’ happening to you, so much as I believe in you making your ‘luck’ happen. It’s an attraction thing - you attract good fortune if your intent is well meaning and your faith rock solid.

Every time I watched Jake White, John Smit or one of the team members being interviewed during the World Cup, I was impressed by the strength of self belief, whilst being touched at the complete lack of arrogance and the determination not to take success for granted. It seemed like our boys were almost grateful for every challenge thrown at them - whether that meant losing a key player to injury or citing, or surviving unexpectedly close matches - because they knew there were important learnings that needed to be embraced if they were to win rugby’s ultimate prize.

The team had a wonderful blend of individual talent and collective support. Nothing was out of place. Each player was allowed to play to his strengths, knowing that someone else in the team would make up for areas where they were less able. The result was a level of cohesion, power and skill that constituted an irresistible rugby force.

Finally, the coaching offered by Jake White and his team provided the vision, inspiration, motivation, technique, advice and support that gave the Springboks the edge over their rivals.

Well done Bokke – you did us proud!

So how can we, as individuals, adopt a similar winning approach to life - and what exactly does that mean?

I say again, that winning in life does not mean gaining something at the expense of someone else. It means living a life in which you experience the personal freedom to envision your life in the way you would truly like it to be, having the self belief, or confidence, to know that you can make it happen – and exploiting the life of your dreams to grow, spiritually or otherwise - whatever growth means to you.

If you want to experience freedom, confidence and growth in your life – and you’re unsure of where to start – get a coach! A good life coach will do for you what Jake White and his team did for the Springbok team.

On the other hand, perhaps your calling is to be someone else’s Jake White. To provide the insights, tools, techniques, inspiration and polite - but firm - prodding to help others live winning lives?

If so, why not take the first great step on that fascinating journey and sign up for our New Insights life coach training programme. You can study in your own time and at your own pace to become a part- or full-time life coach. Those of us who have taken that step will tell you – it’s a real winner!

Till next time...

With much warmth

Bill Burridge

New Insights Africa Life Coaching Skills Training - Putting an Extraordinary Business within reach of Passionate People.

If you think you are Life Coaching material why not study, at your own pace and in your own time, with New Insights Africa? Visit our website.

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