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I had the pleasure of attending a conference recently where Michael “Pinball” Clemons was the guest speaker. You may remember Pinball as the Hall of Fame football player and coach with the Canadian Football League’s Toronto Argonauts. He is a multiple Grey Cup champion and current holder of the pro football record for most all-purpose yards in a career.

Pinball impressed me with an outlook on life. In many ways his perspective mirrors the way I have tried to live my life, both personally and professionally. Sports analogies always resonate with me, and I can easily translate them to my daily life.  These were my three key “success” take-aways from the seminar.

Good is the enemy of great

The premise is that you must always give your best effort regardless of the situation and even when you don’t feel like it. If you settle for good you will never be great, and being great at just one thing can guarantee you success. Similar in scope to another saying I like “How you do anything is how you do everything.” This philosophy is in contrast to a different camp that would say “good is good enough.” This logic means that striving for perfection is an impossible task that paralyzes you from acting and that showing up and simply being in the game is sufficient for attaining success.

The price of achieving success is painful

You have the pain of discipline or the pain of regret, your choice. Athletes need to be extremely disciplined to be successful, which comes with physical pain and mental toughness. Those that procrastinate through life live in regret of what might have been.

Be humble enough to believe that your work requires your very best

Treat all relationships like your best client, as all deserve your very best. Pinball also made the distinction that who you are as a person is different than what you do for a living. He wants to be known for who he is; as an excellent husband and father, not the guy that carried a piece of leather and ran away from people, for a living.

A pretty humble guy, with great self awareness and knowledge of what it takes to be successful.