In Tom Brady’s 22 years as an NFL quarterback, he’s been to the superbowl 10 times (45 percent of his seasons). This means he’s more likely to make it to the superbowl than most NBA players are likely to make a 3-point shot. That’s amazing.
Tom Brady is the greatest quarterback of all time, period. But, he started at the back of the pack. So how did he become the best? How did he realize his potential?
And, what can you learn from Tom Brady about realizing your potential? Tom Brady’s recent tweet to Elon Musk (see below) teaches you where to begin.
After learning where to begin, you’ll also learn below the 7 principles he practiced to realize his potential – principles that you can apply to realize your potential.
Tom Brady’s Tweet
Tom Brady recently tweeted to Elon Musk: “If you buy twitter, can you delete the combine photo.”
What was he talking about? To the right is the picture he’s referring to. This is his combine (physical fitness test) photo when he entered the NFL. Why did he, tongue in cheek, ask Elon to remove it?
Because Tom Brady’s performance was horrible. He ran the 40-yard dash in 5.28 seconds. This is the slowest time of any eventual starting QB over the past 40 years. His vertical jump was equally horrible. He performed poorly. Needless to say, nobody expected much from Tom Brady.
But look at this second picture. Not only does he look fit, but you can also see the grit, confidence, and knowledge in his eyes that he is the best in the world.
What is Potential?
Potential is your capacity to become something more than you are today. We all have more potential within us than we can ever imagine. It’s there. Everybody has amazing potential, including you.
Where to Begin?
Tom Brady’s picture teaches an awesome lesson. We all begin at the back of the line. There are no shortcuts. We all begin undeveloped. Raw. Green. Rough. But, we all have capacity and potential within us. Huge capacity. Limitless capacity. It never diminishes. It never goes away.
Tom not only began at the back but also faced chronic injury and setbacks. Like Tom we need to recognize that our path will also begin with resistance, failures, setbacks, and hardships.
So, how did he break through and move forward. By applying seven principles that you too can apply. These are 7 of the 12 principles of highly successful leaders – they are the common denominators in all of the best, and if you apply them you too can realize your potential.
Eight Principles to Realize Potential
Lead With a Vision –
Tom realized that his body was shutting down. He asked himself, “How can I continue to play for 10 more years? What am I trying to accomplish?” He changed his thinking from problem-centric to vision centric. He looked at the current reality and asked questions, “Why am I trying to squat 400 lbs? That has no value to a quarterback.” “Why am I competing with linebackers? My body faces completely different challenges.” He defined his vision and led with a vision: “I want to be an all-star quarterback that healthily plays for 10 or 20 more years.”
Innovate through Imagination –
He realized that he needed to work on pliability and not strength to meet the demands of a quarterback and completely modified all of his workouts, even developing new workouts. He looked at how he was eating and started a completely new diet that fought inflammation and supported his physical goals.
Live In Peace and Balance –
He took time to develop himself mentally and emotionally as well as physically. He gave his body, mind, and soul time to rest and recover and become whole. He also developed a strong mindset. Look into the eyes of the person in the first picture above then the other picture. Did his mindset change? Absolutely. This happened before he became the best, not after. Developing your mindset precedes and causes greatness and is not a product of greatness.
Do What Matters Most –
He started focusing his time on scheduling priorities and learned to Do What Matters Most. He is strictly focused on his key roles, key priorities, and he puts his time and energy into those.
Be Accountable –
He didn’t blame the “broken” culture of the NFL like many other quarterbacks. He took responsibility and ownership of his health – mental, emotional, and physical. He never blamed or criticized but simply took ownership. As a result, he chose and trailblazed his own path. He chose the set of his sail.
Never Give Up –
He had a “Winston Churchill” resolve and grit to become the best. Early on, when his body was injured and fatigued, he could have thrown in the towel. But he didn’t. He persevered, he put one foot in front of the other, he turned the next corner, and he kept going.
Apply the Power of Knowledge –
Tom Brady dedicated himself to continually learning and always asking himself, “What else?” “What can I do to be better?” He would read, get mentors, train with all types of coaches, and find every way he could to improve. He even developed his own reflective pajamas that are supposed to help his muscles slightly recover faster! He constantly gains and applies the power of knowledge.
Unleash Your Potential
Start with where you are today, looking forward and ahead. Start with your mindset. Believe and know that you have within you limitless capacity to do mighty, great, and wonderful things! Believe it. Tune out the voices that tell you otherwise. Then, go to work. Define your vision, and have vision-centric thinking. Do What Matters Most day in and day out by pre-week planning and scheduling your priorities. Be an avid learner, and apply what you learn. Take ownership and responsibility for your results – purge yourself of blaming, criticizing, or complaining. Learn to innovate and be creative, and you’ll find solutions – they are out there! And, persist until you succeed, and succeed you will!
“Your life will be what you make of it.” Tom Brady
“Our potential is one thing. What we do with it is quite another.” Angela Duckworth
Tune in to Episode 407 and learn more about the massive difference little words can make in someone’s life.
Tune in to Episode 406 of and learn how to coach yourself up, and improve your leadership and management skills.
Tune in to Episode 405 and get the inspiration you need to, regardless of the mountain you’re about to climb, just take the first step.