What The Olympics Teach Me

What The Olympics Teach Me

I am an Olympic JUNKIE!  I love the Summer Olympics, the Winter Olympics… I WILL even watch CURLING.  I do not “get” people who don’t LOVE the Olympics.  How do you not love the highs, the lows, the triumph, the back stories?   I wonder why I am such a nut for it.  I think it is about what it teaches us.  So here are my Olympic Lessons

What the Olympics have taught (and continue to remind) me about life and success:

That it isn’t about winning.  It is about finishing well.  
I will NEVER forget Eric Moussambani from the Sydney games.  He was from Equatoguinean.  He had never seen a 50 meter pool.  To practice for the Olympics he was given access to a local hotel pool. He turned in a time better than twice that of the winner.  The last 1/4 of the pool was agonizing but the crowd leapt to their cheering for him.  When most would have quit, he fought on and finally touched the wall to a standing ovation.  Applause louder that for that of the victor.  In an interview when asked why he didn’t just give up he said “My country did not send me here to start. My country sent me here to finish!”
-It reminds me that you “gut it out”. Even when you won’t win.. even when it “doesn’t matter” you turn in YOUR personal best.

Life is about how we handle failure
The Olympics show us time and time again that it is about falling and getting back up.  Each time a swimmer false starts, a gymnast falls, a runner stumbles, a vaulter bumps the bar… they get back up and they get back to it.
-It reminds me that failure isn’t permanent… quitting is.

It is about pushing through the pain
Two words… Kerri Strug!  Small and injured but mighty.  Our U.S. girls had one misfortune after another on the vault.  It was down to Kerri she fell on her first attempt injuring her ankle.  She was our last chance at gold.   Béla  pulled her aside.. spoke to her…  and she took her mark.  Hurtling down the runway, up and over the vault STICKING the landing on ONE foot.  And when she knew she would get credit for sticking the landing and securing the points,  she collapsed.  Béla Károlyi carried her from the floor.
-It reminds me, that sometimes it hurts.  That doesn’t mean you quit.

The Olympics are about the bragging rights
Micheal Phelps and his incredible EIGHT gold medals.  A lifetime of practice and sacrifice to be able to say “I did that which has never been done”.  
-It reminds me that if it were easy, everyone would do it.  

Success is about sacrifice
Here is a lesson from every Olympic athlete who ever walked in the opening ceremonies and the multitudes who never made it that far.  Success is about early mornings, late nights, one more time, endless drills, hours on end, pain, fatigue, missed life experiences and stick-to-it-ness.  
-It reminds me that sometimes we sacrifice the small things for the BIG things. 

Life is about courage
It is standing on the world stage with the planet watching while standing next to the greatest competitors from across the globe.    It is about the courage it takes to quiet that voice in your head, feel the fear and do it anyway! 
-It reminds me that my success lies down the path of that which is fearful.

It is about vision
Laura Wilkinson and the 2000 games.  Laura was recovering from a serious foot injury and unable to dive.  As she recovered, Laura visualized her dives.  She was barely able to qualify for the Olympics and battling pain.  She was in 8th place after the first few dives.  Yet she gave it her all, in every dive she fought like a lion.  She was flawless and the competition began to fall apart around her.  Laura took GOLD!  
-It reminds me that what the mind can conceive, the spirit can achieve.

The Olympics is about the underdog
Out trained, out funded and out equipped  he (or she) take their mark, steels their nerve and they bring it.  Leaving nothing in the warm up area they defy the odds and stun the world!  It is about the Miracle on Ice and the countless other dark horses that came from behind to take the gold!  

-It reminds me that even when I may be down, I am never out. We are all at some point, the underdog… it is only an opportunity to be stunning!

On a very personal note… it is about patriotism
In a time when politics have become so divisive.  When we name call, vilify and point fingers… it warms my heart to see us come together and be one nation again.  It gives me hope for our future. WE are the USA!

 Michelle Archer is a certified coach with over 20 years experience in direct sales. Michelle works with companies and individuals to explode their business potential. Connect with her on Facebook Learn more at http://directsalesinstitute.com/

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