Ana Stevanovic

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Black belt and the Oscar speech


Yesterday I had the opportunity to speak in front of EY employees on the topic of Self-image. Of course, in 20 minutes you cannot cover everything on the topic, however certain strong points were emphasized also in the Q&A section of the event.

But there was a part that I did not speak about. It speaks again of the importance of Self-image, about the necessity that before you do something you first need to become someone. And you need to be this person in your head sometimes long before results will be shown in the outside world. You need to start thinking and behaving today as the person that gets the results you want to get. And that brings me to the story of “chasing the rank” as I call it.

In almost all martial sports and martial arts, there is usually benchmark you need to achieve in order to move forward with your rank. You learn 20 different punches, you get a new belt. You learn to throw opponent, you earn a new belt. Usually these events are very formal where you demonstrate your knowledge and deserve what you have been working months/years for. However, there is one exception.

In some martial arts, you are presented with a higher rank long before you actually earn it. I personally always hated it. I got my first rank 2 years before I actually earned it. Then second at least a year in advance. The one I have now… oh boy, I do not even want to think how far I am from earning it. But the thing is, there is a certain logic that follows the process. When they give you the rank you do not deserve, you are mentally obliged to chase it. You start working more, acting as someone already in the possession of the rank until one day you finally earn it. Guess what? Usually around those days, they give you a new one. And the chase continues…

When Matthew McConaughey got his Oscar, there was one part of the speech that brought my full attention: “There are three things that I need each day. One, I need something to look up to, another to look forward to, and another is someone to chase… And to my hero. That’s who I chase. When I was 15 years old I had a very important person in my life come and ask me ‘Who’s your hero?’ I said, ‘I thought about it and it’s me in ten years. So I turned 25 ten years later and that same person comes to me and goes, ‘Are you a hero?’ I said, ‘Not even close!’ She said why and I said, ‘My hero is me at 35.’ You see, every day, and every week, and every month, and every year of my life, my hero is always ten years away. I’m never going to be my hero. I’m not going to obtain that and that’s fine with me because it keeps me with somebody to keep on chasing.”

Self-image should not be how you see yourself today. Your current results are just the reflection of your current thinking. They do not even start to describe your full potential. Self-image you need to work on is all about who you want to become for the results you want tomorrow.

So, set aside a part of your day. Make that image of yourself cause you are the star of your own movie… and go chase your hero. Cause it is your movie. And your hero is you.

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Change is inevitable, but personal growth is a choice. – Bob Proctor

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