Tom Brady is one of the greatest sportspeople some (non-Americans) may have never heard of. He’s the Mohamed Ali of American Gridiron, the Rodger Federer, the Pele.

He’s still doing it at 44 years of age.

He was in his 30s when he started training for his 40s, quitting sugar and white flour, among other steps. (another #Keto boy yay). And he works today for what might happen in the finals ten months later.

Tom Brady. Photo Wikipedia Creative Commons

He doesn’t judge today’s activity by how it feels for the moment. He delays gratification to feel it when it’s ‘done.

Sports can teach us a lot about business. It’s easy to skip the disciplines.

✵ That customer you’re serving today is a pain.
✵ That client request is unreasonable.
✵ Training staff is costly.
✵ Culture building is a low priority.
✵ Measuring service delivery gets in the way.
✵ No one will notice if we spend less on Brand building.
✵ I can always post on LinkedIn next month.

Tom Brady is married to the method, lest he become just another guy with big ambitions. Or we become ordinary companies with scuttled dreams.

Michael Jordan was 1st and last on the practice court. David Beckham was practising crossing a soccer ball before and after everyone else left training.

You get the point.

“The more good behaviours you have, the better things turn out,” Brady has remarked. “It’s just, do people have the discipline to repeat those behaviours? That’s the tricky part.”

This was a big lesson for me. I know the benefits of delayed gratification, but seeing it from a sporting perspective drove it home. 

What does it mean to be inefficient? It implies an opportunity cost. Instead of doing this (exercising), I could have been doing that (eating Doritos).

But giving up something today for unknown future benefit and zero immediate return is not inefficient; it’s an investment.

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