Physical universities offer students sports teams and intramurals. But what if you study at AU and want to get serious about sports? I personally think sports offer the best extracurricular a student could choose. Sports make you healthier, fitter, mentally sharper, and better looking. And you might even go pro.
Talk about pros, author Sarah McMahon, on a typical day, practices running three hours, does one hour of weightlifting, spends three hours in class, and studies for three hours (n.d.). That level of rigor demands the winning attitude. And, within us, we’ve all got a winning attitude.
To win at both sports and studies, we must have that winning attitude: “The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude in life. Attitude, to me, is more important than facts. It is more important than the past, than education, than money, than circumstances, than failures, than successes, than what other people think or say or do” (Charles Swindoll as cited in McMahon, location 51 of 673, 7%).
Simple tweaks to my attitude opened doors. Within a month of changing my attitude, I’ve secured happier relationships, fewer health issues, and a promising new career.
Weirdly, I used to think attitude didn’t matter as much as good looks. My grandma looked like a 20-year-old supermodel when she was 50. Even in her 90’s, Grandma had perfect hair and flawless fashion-sense. But even supermodels can endure low self-esteem and suffering. And a perfect 10 supermodel can have a 1-out-of-10 attitude; whereas, a 1-out-of-10 unattractive person can have a perfect 10 attitude. Grandma was a 10-out-of-10 on all scales, in my opinion. But when it comes to happiness, I’ll take attitude over looks any day.
Talk about a great attitude—and good looks—a tall blonde barista I knew served as captain of her soccer team. In fact, she ended up in leadership roles wherever she went. She smiled all the time and rarely seemed out of sorts. She even donated her long blonde locks to charity. She had the right attitude: “maintaining positivity will enable you to: be open minded, inspire and lead your teammates, overcome difficult losses or circumstances, motivate people to want to help you, be happier” (location 51 of 673, 7%).
Her good looks came not just from her health and fitness—but mostly from her smile. She smiled at everyone. I’m no supermodel, but I try to make myself look upbeat. Not with makeup or expensive clothes. (I can’t afford either.) But with good posture, tiptop health, a warm tone, and a love-filled smile.
The worst thing you can do for both attitude and appearance is complain. “I’m sure you know plenty of people, maybe even teammates of yours, who complain a lot. Even if the complaint is as simple as ‘I’m so not feeling practice today,’ it indicates negativity, which can make everyone else negative too, or just really piss everyone off. Negativity is contagious, but so is positivity” (lesson 51 of 673, 7%).
I believe that, to be a winner, you need to be selfless. “When you start to give (advice, energy, love) without expecting anything in return, you are selfless” (location 117 of 673, 17%). And when you give, everyone wins. And what you give grows more powerful within you. That’s the beauty of selflessness.
But selflessness might leave us vulnerable, right? Not at all. If we practice selflessness, we flourish with self-confidence and self-love: “It takes considerable amount of self-confidence to be selfless …. Confidence, not arrogance, in oneself translates to confidence in other people” (location 133 of 673, 20%). That makes you a team player. And “student athletes need confidence to be successful athletically, but also to be successful academically” (location 148 of 673, 22%).