The Greatest of All Time

What can we learn from the Greatest of all time?

You hear it in sports, in music and in business, the GOAT. The Greatest of All Time. The champion, the hero, the best of the best. GOAT is an acronym used to describe someone who is truly the best in their league. What we want to know is, what makes the GOATs the greatest? What habits, characteristics and values do the GOATs have, that anyone can adopt into their life to aim higher and achieve more?

Whilst GOATs are generally decided based on their team and personal accomplishments, lasting impact on their sport, their stats, and impact outside of their sport, there are three main aspects that they focus on to truly become the greatest. And these are things that money can’t buy, but things that everyone has and can cultivate and tap into; Purpose, trust, and Time. We will look at just how important these focal points are in becoming the greatest of all time and how you can apply the lessons from the GOATs to your own life to create success right where you are.

Aligning to purpose

The first aspect that GOATs truly value and use to take them all the way, is aligning themselves to their purpose. The greatest of all time in their field, aren’t there by accident or coincidence, they are there because their purpose was the driving force behind their actions and goals. People that know their purpose, make plans to take steps towards their goals and create purpose-driven success, are following the steps of the GOATs and are on the right track.

In the sports world, statistics are a key factor in someone becoming a GOAT, but they are empty numbers without the purpose-driven performance to back them up! If you look at Muhammad Ali, he often said, “I am the greatest!” and people believed him, not because of his stats (which weren’t all wins!), but because of his character and the way that he stood up for what mattered to him, that have had major impacts beyond the ring and beyond sports! His purpose was to fight, both in the ring and for what mattered to him, and he did this so successfully that he is the GOAT in his field!

Lewis Caroll says, “If you don’t know where you are going, any road will get you there.” But as people in pursuit of deep performance, lasting impacts and becoming the greatest where we are, we can’t afford to take any road! The greatest in all fields don’t just take any road, they align their goals with their purpose and use their strengths to help them achieve their goals. The GOATs are specific about what they want and make it happen!

Trust: the foundation of success

Trust is crucial in success. If success is gained by creating a false trust or being distrustful, is it really success? Whilst trust is incredibly challenging to fit into a concise definition, it is easy to feel where it exists and where it doesn’t. Trust is built upon honesty, consistency, authenticity, credibility, and competency. If you look at any GOAT in any field of life, they exhibit these characteristics. To create success where you are, you need to cultivate these characteristics in yourself. Audiences, clients and consumers are able to see through flimsy character, which decreases trust and becomes a roadblock to success. Consistent and transparent characters attract trust naturally.

For the greatest to reach that pinnacle of success, they must continually build trust with their fans, teams, and consumers. If people do not deem the sportsman, businessman, or any influential person as trustworthy, they will not invest, time, money, or support into these people. And without the people’s trust, they will never become the greatest, for being the greatest is so much more than just statistics and wins!

The other element of trust that the GOATs have, is trust in their team and their supports. The Greatest of All Timers didn’t make it to where they are alone. They have their team, their coaches, their mentors, their family, and support networks. Without these trusted groups of people, the greatest simply wouldn’t be, well, great! Teams are not effective if trust is not common between them all. Trust within teams builds a feeling of safety, minimizes miscommunications, and encourages creativity, and all these ultimately lead to the greatest reaching their goals. It is important that on your journey to success, you have people, teams and supports that back you! Success is not created in a vacuum!

Spending time like its limited

The Greatest of All Time

We all have the same 24 hours in a day, but clearly, the greatest of all timers use their time to invest in goals that help them stay at their peak and perform at their best! Assessing how you use your time will highlight what you value. If you dedicate large chunks of time to relaxing, it highlights that you value feeling calm, relaxed, and composed. It is helpful to inventory your time, break it down, and see where you are spending it. If you are not being effective in the day, look at where you need to invest more or less time depending on your goals! If you want to get somewhere, you will have to spend time like it's limited and choose wisely how you use it.

In an interview with Lebron James’ long-time trainer Mike Mancias, Men’s Health wanted to find out what Lebron’s daily routine looked like so he could see what habits he cultivates to stay at his peak. Mancias detailed that Lebron’s key elements of his routine are getting quality sleep, nutrition, training, and recovery. His day starts at the gym, he invests time into eating well and ensures that he gets good quality sleep, so he is ready to play at his best! His routine reflects his goals, values and ultimately shows you how he became a GOAT in his field.

Routine is a key element we can take away from the GOATs. They have a routine, they divide their time to invest in what is going to take them further and achieve more. Skimping on creating a routine full of habits that keep you at your peak will inevitably take you away from being on the ball. Ask yourself, “do my habits cultivate what I need to succeed today?” If the answer is yes, you have created routines and habits that set you up for a win, but if the answer is no, find out what habits you need to incorporate into your day that will help you be at your peak and push you towards your goals!

SO what can we learn from the goats?

The Greatest of All Time aren't where they are by chance or accident. The GOATs we know and love have that title because they not only are extremely proficient at what they do, they are diligent in investing into what money can’t buy! The Greatest know their purpose and set goals that take them in that direction. They cultivate trust, not only with their fans and supporters but with their team and the people that help take them far. And they know just how valuable time is, and spend it very wisely doing things that make them better in whatever field they are in. While we may never go down in history as a GOAT in our field, we can still implement these habits and values of the GOATs to become more successful wherever we are now!

References –

Bowman, A. (2018). How routines and habits can empower wildly successful people. Crowd Spring. https://www.crowdspring.com/blog/successful-entrepreneurs-people-routines-and-habits/

Brownlee, D. (2019). 5 reasons why trust matters on teams. Forbes. https://www.forbes.com/sites/danabrownlee/2019/10/20/5-reasons-why-trust-matters-on-teams/?sh=2e436d7d2d60

Bundy, J., Hayward, Z., & Kim, P. (2020). What makes a GOAT? Viking. https://vikingsportsmag.com/top-stories/2020/12/04/what-makes-a-g-o-a-t/

Carbert, M. (2021). Top 12 reasons Mahammad Ali is the greatest. The Fight City. https://www.thefightcity.com/top-12-reasons-muhammad-ali-forever-the-greatest-cassius-clay-joe-frazier-george-foreman-boxing/

Hao. (2020). Lebron James daily routine. Balance the Grind. https://www.balancethegrind.com.au/daily-routines/lebron-james-daily-routine/

Jaffe, D. (2018). The essential importance of trust: How to build it or restore it. Forbes. https://www.forbes.com/sites/dennisjaffe/2018/12/05/the-essential-importance-of-trust-how-to-build-it-or-restore-it/?sh=35fd13a664fe

Proof Hub. (2018). Work smarter, not harder: 15 time management tips that will change your life. Proof Hub. https://blog.proofhub.com/work-smarter-not-harder-9-time-management-tips-that-will-change-your-life-f2292f3d0044

Washington, J. (2018). We’re being overrun by herds of GOATs. The Undefeated. https://theundefeated.com/features/goat-no-longer-means-greatest-of-all-time-muhammad-ali/

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