Last night, Liverool FC dropped out of this year’s UEFA Champions League – one of the most prestigious trophies to win in international club soccer. That exit in the group stage came as a surprise because over the last five years they always made it to the eliminatory rounds, winning the cup once in 2005 and finishing as runner-up in 2007.
At the same time, domestically in the English Premier League, they never made it to the top, actually next year it will be 20 years from their last Championship. Other teams like Manchester Unites and Chelsea FC were more consistent – but Chelsea did not win the Champions League.
So what is better – consistency or peak performance? In sports, short term motivation may lead to success, but consistency pays on the long run. In business, the decisive terms are usually even longer. There are some people that know how to run a great presentation when they have to, but for their career probably the day-to-day performance is more important. The challenge – in sports as well as in football – is to bring the level of the day-to-day performance up. The key to this also comes from the mental side: Inspiration.
To look at this in more detail, let’s move from soccer to surfing (sorry for the hard cut…). I read the following remarkable sentences in an interview with Kelly Slater, one of the most successful surfers ever:
“I’ve heard people say that motivation is temporary and inspiration is permanent. There are days when I don’t want to compete. I can’t imagine competing right now. I put every bit of mental and emotional energy into this year. But I’m trying to have an inspired career, to live an inspired live.”
Not much to add – no matter if you are wearing a wetsuit or a tie.