Special contribution by Adam Roberge
Adam Roberge is a Canadian cyclist on his road to the 2024 Paris Olympics. Big Bang choose to sponsor Adam on his journey because he is a great ambassador of our core values of teamwork, groundedness, and responsiveness. The resilience that Adam is exhibiting, both in training and in publicly sharing his journey, is strongly aligned with who we are as a company and our approach to digital transformation.
When I was a kid, biking was a simple hobby, something I would do purely for fun. As I got older and stopped participating in organized team sports, something clicked within me. I realized that biking brought me a much greater sense of accomplishment than any other activity I had ever done. I could finally see the direct correlation between my efforts and my results. Since then, I discovered athletic pursuit, and thriving to outdo myself daily in search of excellence has always been a passion.
The Importance of Knowing Your Big Hairy Audacious Goal and Your Guiding Values
This goal is no banal goal – it’s big and ambitious. When defining your Big Hairy Goal, consider that every worthwhile objective starts with a crazy idea. You must be willing to go all in and let people doubt you. Choose to be a life gambler, and dare to do something that creates meaning & value.
Selecting a resonant “why” is the first step toward success. The best scenario is one where your “why” is strongly influenced by your core values. This creates a positive feedback loop where you ensure that you live according to your deeply held values and don’t have the daunting and overwhelming task of becoming the best every day.
As an athlete, my core values are love, presence & dedication. I set myself the ambitious goal of being the most successful Canadian cyclist with the most influence in the sports community in Canada. It’s one thing to finish first in a race or beat my competitors, but my goal must have a larger purpose of making the world around me better through my accomplishments and involvement in the community.
For example, every year, I participate in the Défi Bonneville, a charity ride held to raise funds for aspiring athletes and to inspire young people to get outside and lead a better lifestyle through exercise. I’m also passionate about creating content on my YouTube platform to connect with my audience and give them the tools and motivation to get out of their comfort zone and push their limits. To me, this aspect of my professional life is as important as my races and training.
“Life is an echo. What you send out comes back. What you sow, you reap.” – Zig Ziglar
Presence & Process Is Where Pleasure Exists
What is success to you? To me, success doesn’t necessarily lie in results; rather is lived through my journey. The process is a path of discovery dictated by lessons and rewards. Embracing it is crucial; most of the pleasure of a pursuit happens while chasing the objective.
I aim to fully engage in the process experience and concentrate on the task at hand. Macro goals help me to plan, adjust, and guide my path. I’ve found, however, that always keeping my bigger goals in mind is counterproductive to my performance. Why? Because it hinders my ability to be fully present. This inability to focus my attention on the next hurdle to overcome will provoke anxiety about the future. In life, like in sport, you must translate results-oriented aspirations that mainly exist in the future into process-oriented goals that live in the present.
This is why I break down the goal into sub-goals and daily actions to get me closer to it. Focusing solely on being the best Canadian cyclist will only bring day-to-day disappointment. I can’t become the best cyclist in one day, that I am sure of. However, creating a mindset where I focus on what I can achieve today ensures I don’t get overwhelmed. It also gives me a much greater sense of daily satisfaction, rather than always feeling like I haven’t accomplished enough.
Furthermore, constructing a system in which you have complete control of all variables will help you move towards the achievement of your goal in your day-to-day. Every day, I write down my objectives and make sure they are visible. This reminds me frequently of why I pursue my passion.
Additionally, setting objectives I can truly attain (or at least try to) rather than concentrating on whom I’m trying to beat is something I find to be very motivating in my career. The emphasis on internal rewards rather than external ones helps sustain motivation. In the end, intrinsic goals are way more powerful than extrinsic ones, especially over time.
Process is everything – learn to love and embrace it to the fullest. The present is the only time frame where bliss can happen. Once you reach the top, there will always be a higher peak and new goals. Happiness isn’t a destination but a direction – it can only appear as the by-product of being present (and in acceptance) of the process and the course of life itself.
Let Go of Your Attachment to the Outcome
Don’t work to impress; work to get better. Aim to reach a point where you prefer the optimal process to the desired outcome. To permit constant advancement, be super ambitious with macro-objectives but super conservative with the micro-target.
Every year, I establish performance goals using specific races throughout the year. I then assemble my yearly training using those objectives. From that point, I break down this yearly training into monthly, then weekly, then daily goals to a point where I can translate them into specific moment-to-moment actions.
Understand that the smaller the target, the lower the resistance. Precise and winnable objectives benefit forward momentum and decrease the likelihood of procrastination. Every day, getting on the bike is my first target. Completing the workout, eating optimally, and recovering well are follow-up objectives I intentionally ignore before hitting this first target. It’s all about starting, then slowly making your way up and building the momentum.
The end product will take care of itself. Only focus on what it takes now to move you towards it. Bring passion, presence and patience to the process, and your desired outcomes will appear. Make success possible in every moment by keeping track of your progress by valuing execution rather than results.
Accountability Is Key
“The greatest battles you will ever fight are with yourself; you must always be your toughest opponent. Always demand more of yourself than others demand of you.” – Tim Grover
It’s important to carefully establish and continually update your standard of excellence and success metrics. Use them to reflect on and evaluate your performance and know that reaching your standard is enough. Regularly doing this is necessary to hold yourself accountable for optimal performance.
Excellence and the illusion of excellence can only be differentiated in the details, which are easily overlooked without careful assessment. Meeting your standard then becomes your most demanding and most valued challenge. Also, sharing these aims with people you love and don’t want to disappoint will create accountability toward doing everything you can to fulfill what you plan to achieve.
Be Willing to Sacrifice
I always say priority over productivity. Let go of everything you “could” do and only do what you must do. Understand that being highly selective with your priorities is the only way to attend to those priorities. Successful time management is more about selecting where to put your time than being more efficient with it.
To be a master, you must carefully choose what you want to excel at. The fewer the areas of expertise, the more time you will have to invest in them. This will optimize your chance of improvement and, by logic, greatness. However, be prudent in eradicating all but one area of expertise in your life. The more unique your combination of expertise, the more exceptional you will be. This act of picking and combining what you are uniquely excellent at will decrease the amount of direct competition, thus making it more attainable to be the best at what you do.
Automate to Drive Consistency
Before every workout, I go through an 8-step ritual. I do it to ensure I am in optimal physical and mental shape to get the most out of the training. It also allows me to eliminate any resistance I may face in other areas of my life, which would impede my focus and performance during the workout. The goal of all of these tips related to processes and mechanization is to allow you to flow freely through the steps you know you need to accomplish to reach the big goal you set out for yourself.
The potential to get distracted by all the other things going on around can sometimes become paralyzing and keep you from achieving your daily objectives. By creating rituals, I no longer have to actively think about everything that I have to do. It allows me to stay consistent and always execute.
Rome Wasn’t Built in a Day
I think about this saying often. Rome is one of the most impressive cities in the world – but it started like any other project. An idea, an ambition and then years and years of perseverance for it to become what it is now. It takes time to create great work, and while you cannot expect success to come right away, it can be achieved with continued persistence.
Your future self will one day thank you for seeing the bigger picture and taking things one step at a time. After all, wanting to become everything all at once while ignoring the process will never lead to anything but disappointment and frustration. Trust your instincts and, as we say, trust the process! Good things come to those who not only wait but persevere.
If you want to learn more about Adam Roberge and his journey to the 2024 Paris Olympics, you can follow him on his social media:
Read about Adam’s latest achievements in the SBT GRVL and Gravel Worlds races here.
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