Simon Sinek on Dopamine and How It Casts Its Spell to Achievers

It’s 4:30 in the morning. The air is still cold, the city still sleeps, and no average person will be nuts enough to wake up and sacrifice precious hours of slumber –except for this man. At this hour, his knuckles hit the bag, perfecting the right combination of posture and speed. At this hour, his heart pumps with more intensity than the day before, driven by a cardio push that can only be quenched by an accomplished record-break. At this hour, his speed ball bounces back and forth faster, receiving blows from the fists that would be recorded as the most accurate fists in all of boxing’s history.

You’d think he slows down during the day… but not a chance! At the time when his opponents are working, he is still working. He’s pushing his footwork to dance better than before, he’s perfecting his movement, he’s increasing his power. Finally, when the day is over, he ends up training twice as much as any of his opponents.

Now, this man takes pride in having the most victories over champions in boxing. He has won over legends - including Arturo Gatti and Manny Pacquiao – and boxers as young as Canelo Alvarez and Andre Berto. With all these, Floyd Mayweather has been crowned the pound-per-pound king of boxing with a perfect record of 50-0 –an achievement of the highest prestige.

Great athletes perform better under pressure so put pressure on me.” –Floyd Mayweather

Mayweather is an example of an achiever of prime caliber, but what makes him different? Where does the great Floyd Mayweather get the drive and the burst of energy to do what he does, sticking to his hard work and grueling training? Simon Sinek in his book, Leaders Eat Last, gave us the answer. It is something pretty common to human beings, after all; primitive, even. It is caused by the chemical called Dopamine.

“Dopamine is the reason for the good feeling we get when we find something we’re looking for or do something that needs to get done. It is responsible for the feeling of satisfaction after we’ve finished an important task, completed a project, reached a goal or even reached one of the markers on our way to a bigger goal.”

In his book, Simon Sinek discussed that this chemical makes us “goal-oriented species with a bias for progress.”

Dopamine is a feel-good chemical produced in our body to incentivize us whenever we improve and helps us focused on a goal. It is considered as one of mother nature’s gift to secure the human species’ survival –greatly helping the Paleolithic man to develop a “passion” for hunting, thus keeping his tribe alive.

Achievers will find dopamine a great companion because of one reason: they have tangible goals. Passive activities without a goal do not get high dopamine shots because there are no markers that get rewarded.

Therefore, like Floyd Mayweather who has always worked hard to be “The Best Ever” in the sport of boxing, visualize a clear goal. This will help you foster healthy dopamine management and make you feel good whenever you achieve something worthwhile. In effect, you'll be inspired to do more.

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