The following comes from Angela Duckworth's outstanding book "Grit." It gives a great example of Tom Seaver's decision making process on a daily basis and shows what the absolutely best often use a mindset. Seaver thinks in terms of whether even the smallest of choices he made each day would make him a better pitcher:
Consider Hall of Fame pitcher Tom Seaver. When he retired in 1987 at the age of forty-two, he’d compiled 311 wins; 3,640 strikeouts; 61 shutouts; and a 2.86 earned run average. In 1992, when Seaver was elected to the Hall of Fame, he received the highest ever percentage of votes: 98.8 percent. During his twenty-year professional baseball career, Seaver aimed to pitch “the best I possible can day after day, year after year.” Here is how that intention gave meaning and structure to all his lower-order goals:
"Pitching… determines what I eat, when I go to bed, what I do when I’m awake. It determines how I spend my life when I’m not pitching. If it means I have to come to Florida and can’t get tanned because I might get a burn that would keep me from throwing for a few days, then I never go shirtless in the sun… If it means I have to remind myself to pet dogs with my left hand, then I do that, too. If it means in the winter I eat cottage cheese instead of chocolate chip cookies in order to keep my weight down, then I eat cottage cheese."