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The Pyramid of Success

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success is found in layers working together, not a single piece

Allow me to introduce myself: My name is Mark Ursu and I am the Director and Coach at CrossFit Iron Bear.

I have spent years trying to understand success and what creates it. There are literally thousands of books on the subject, including personal favourites by Steven R. Covey, John Wooden and Larry Bossidy. Hundreds of hours of audio and video on the internet and my own journey with my coach, mentor and father during my years as a swimmer. Given all this, I have come to the personal realisation that success is not defined by a single subject, a single book or even a great address by an inspirational orator. Success is found in layers of activities and tasks working together.

Success, to me, is a pyramid. A pyramid where each layer works harmoniously with the layer above and below. This creates a system of execution that the person; the athlete; the parent; the human being derives great inspiration from over their life.

Success is not something we are given; it is something we work hard to achieve. Whether in the workforce, or in the CrossFit box, it is the journey that gives the individual fulfilment. This is my definition of success!

Let’s dissect some of the layers of my pyramid of success:

  • Goals

Setting goals is the base of any task and consequently I intend to use it – but at the apex of my pyramid!

Anthony Robbins describes goal setting as an opportunity to look into the future; experience the future; embrace the feelings of success when these goals are achieved and how happy your life has become.

This is the part that people spend the most time working on! Goal setting could be fun, but a lot of people struggle to achieve this task.

Many people simply write down arbitrary goals that they do not wholeheartedly wish for, or that society has imposed upon them.

As Robbins discusses, this is where the power of dreaming comes into play.

Marcus Child talks about creating a crystal clear, high definition version of your future self. Draw in your mind the imaginary clothes you will be wearing in your journey, hear the roar of the crowd or the pitch of the music. Smell the air; breathe and engross yourself in your new reality – only then will you have a personal picture of what is truly important to you.

  • Motivation

Here is where people often think success starts and ends.

Let’s imagine a darts board as goal setting.  Some people just throw darts blind folded and are happy when sometimes they hit the board. They feel that motivation is all they need to achieve their goals.

Don’t get me wrong, motivation is important, but it is not the foundation upon which success is sustained.

Motivation interacts frequently with the Goals layer. Motivation is what helps you push harder during that last round of “Fran”; stay later at the office putting the finishing touches on a presentation; or remove any negative voices in your head when you are just ready to tackle important tasks.

I constantly listen to and watch motivational videos and speeches. Eric Thomas is brilliant and I personally like Mateusz M’s channel on YouTube. However, they are not the reason I get up in the morning at 4:45am.

Motivation, in my opinion tends to fail when the going gets really tough. I hear people complaining that the mornings are too cold or the tasks seem too large. This is where Motivation needs to engage with Consistency.

  • Consistency

This is the base of my success pyramid. The foundation. The work. Consistency is all about building repeatable patterns. It’s what keeps us going when we hit hurdles; when motivation fails us and we are waiting for new inspiration.

We drill movement patterns in sports, in music; patterns in education and thinking; why not practise these same ideas when it comes to goals and success?

Consistency keeps you working when the nights get darker; the mornings colder; and the job gets tougher.

The amazing thing about CrossFit, is that community and the sense of belonging is built into every box. You see it, feel it, every day when you walk into your local gym and see the smiling faces of your workout partners.

When you are tired or sore, mentally drained or lacking motivation, it should be the thought of your team mates expecting you that should make you jump out of bed or drive to the gym after work.

The habits you will build will make you feel that you can conquer anything and this is consistency.

I have always found success to be a deeply personal topic. Different things work for different people. From my point of view, mixing with some of the greatest athletes of our time, I can tell you that consistency was the common ingredient of their success.

As my journey moved into the corporate world and CrossFit, it is pleasing to see these traits still ring true for successful people.

What about you?

Get into the habit of consistency now. Why wait? Picture your goals (in HD), find your own sense of urgency and get to work creating a timetable that will set you up for long term success.


Mark Ursu – CrossFit L2 Coach / Director

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