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A World Champion

A World Champion

He Made History

In the 112 years the Olympics have taken place, Michael Phelps was the first person to ever win 8 gold medals in a single Olympics.  The crowd went wild when he won the 8th but nothing was more remarkable than his 7th win.  He won that one by one one-hundredth of a second.  To me, it looked like the other guy (he has a name but isn’t it interesting from a marketing perspective how it doesn’t just roll off the tongue?), Milorad Cavic actually won.  1/100th of a second difference took 1st place.  That was the difference between Gold and Silver.  The difference between 1st place and last place wasn’t even that great.   Even the slowest guy is a world-class athlete.  So, just a little bit can make a huge difference.

What I found most fascinating was Michael Phelps’ decision prior to the event to win 8 Gold Medals.  He made no secret of the fact that he wanted to do exactly that.  And that is exactly what he did.  It would have been easy to mock him with, “That’s impossible!” prior to the event.  To most people it would have seemed impossible too – just like the goals and dreams they have for themselves.  Why that is just out of reach.  A pipe dream.  There is an aspect of what he did (his 7th Gold Medal) that to me beautifully illustrates the Power of a Decision. 

When a person really decides on something, really decides and strips off all of the “maybe” – with just that clean simple, exact postulate to do “that”, it seems as though the physical universe shifts around as needed so as to be in alignment with that postulate.

In the mind, “maybe” is “yes” and “no” fused together.  It is common for a person to have conflicts with regard to what they hope to accomplish.  All of the counter-intention (thoughts that oppose your goals) that a person carries around causes dispersal: where the person will attempt to go in different directions at the same time.  They “do want” and “don’t want” the same goal at the same time.  Every single unresolved problem a person ever had or has – has a “maybe” (yes and no combined) sitting at the base of that problem.  Get rid of the maybe and you just “solved” the problem. 

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What is it you secretly dream about doing?  If you knew you would succeed what great thing would you attempt?

Written By

Russell has been an Associate Broker with John Hall & Associates since 1978 and ranks in the top 1% of all agents in the U.S. Most recently The Wall Street Journal recognized the Top 200 Agents in America, awarding Russell # 25 for number of units sold. Russell has been featured in many books such as, "The Billion Dollar Agent" by Steve Kantor and "The Millionaire Real Estate Agent" by Gary Keller and has often been a featured speaker for national conventions and routinely speaks at various state and local association conventions. Visit him also at and



  1. Obeoman

    August 19, 2008 at 7:33 am

    …well, I guess it would be to be a guest blogger at Ag (!)

    Seriously? Be like Superman…and use my super powers to unite all MLSs! (Kudos to the WRA -The Wisconsin WIREX project is coming along and it plans to start uniting MLS in WI!)
    Danilo looks like he has that covered though….

    Secretly? Have the best cheeseburger in the world and be able to franchise it globally.

    w0w. It felt great just to say it…


  2. Rob Hahn

    August 19, 2008 at 9:24 am

    If I knew that I would succeed, I would reduce the size and scope of the government (federal, state and local) to a healthy point a la Milton Friedman (see, Free to Choose for example).


  3. Mark Eckenrode

    August 19, 2008 at 11:23 am

    at that level of game, every single one of the competitors has “game.” evidenced by the 1/100th of a second gap. so, really, there’s not much difference in skill. where the real difference lies is in the mental game. at that level, mental game is everything. i’m curious to know what mental training he did prior to competing…

  4. Matt Thomson

    August 19, 2008 at 11:23 am

    What I loved was the first relay Phelps won. They never should have won, as the American was about 2.5 seconds behind the world record holder in a leg that took less than 50 seconds. In his interview, Phelps’ teammate (Lisak I think) said of course he doubted he could do it. Then he shook off the negatives, reminded himself he was here for his country, and just went for it. He said in about a 5 second period he changed his whole mind-set and that made the difference, and he indeed swam down the world record holder. Phelps’ has 8 golds in part because his teammate made an in the moment decision to change his mind-set.

    If I knew I’d succeed, I’d love my wife and my daughter without limits or reservations. I’d have no fear in showing my emotions and letting them see the real me. Sounds wierd, but being transparent and not worrying about rejection (not just from my family, but clients, friends, etc) would be my biggest achievement.

  5. Brian Brady

    August 19, 2008 at 3:26 pm

    “When a person really decides on something, really decides and strips off all of the “maybe” – with just that clean simple, exact postulate to do “that”, it seems as though the physical universe shifts around as needed so as to be in alignment with that postulate.”

    You just talked about this,for the 600th time. I was thinking about your training podcasts when I heard Phelps interviewed. This is REALLY uncomfortable, Russell. (I know, I know…it’s supposed to be).

  6. Vance Shutes

    August 19, 2008 at 5:22 pm


    Whether you think you can, or think you cannot, you are right. Michael Phelps thought he could, and he did. Imagine that!

    The mind cannot hold the opposite of an idea. If it can be conceived and believed, it can be achieved. I could go on and on with cliches, but you get the point.

    Thanks for the reminder about the power of our own mind, and the power of belief.

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