The truly great leaders in this world, no matter their field, are champions many ways. We tend to define a champion as someone who is objectively “better than.” What’s often ignored, though, are the more subtle attributes of a champion, the brilliantly understated qualities of a human being that make him or her truly a winner beyond the bounds of any game.
Whether a visionary leader, a consummate cook, a celebrated artist, an intelligent mathematician, astute politician, a dependable friend, a noble defender, or a charitable stranger, champions exist far beyond the sporting arena.
In the truest sense, a champion is not a finite title, but a work in progress. "Champion" is not solely a noun, but also a verb. Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, Einstein, Richard Feynman, Carl Sagan, Rabindranath Tagore, Rumi, Harriet Tubman, Helen Keller, Mother Teresa — all of these incredible beings never crossed a finish line to be handed an award, they worked endlessly to go down in history as everlasting champions.
Being a true champion means understanding yourself in relation to the greater puzzle of life. From this wisdom springs your life’s true purpose. A champion doesn’t get distracted by the temptations of the ego. A champion transcends beyond the shallow, self-fulfilling desire to simply win someone over.
Here are seven qualities that define what it is to be a champion:
1. A central purpose in life grounded in human value that aligns with the greater good of others.
That means the good is not just for the self. Even if the person fails again and again to accomplish his goal, the strength of character gained will form a new starting point for future triumph. The champion’s meaning of life is driven by the joy and passion that comes from commitment to this great mission.
2. A devotion to ethics.
It's important to note that the true champion realizes that these qualities are the essence of humanity not because someone coerced him to believe so, but because of a highly attuned moral compass. These ethics include: