What can we learn from the Olympics and Paralympics?

Now the Olympics and Paralympics in Rio have been and gone.  It has got me thinking about what we can take from this and what lessons we can use in our own lives.  One thing which is apparent is that everyone who competes has passion, drive and motivation to achieve and become the best they can be and as a result of that dedication they achieve great things.  What can we learn from this?  I would like you to think about the following two questions:  When was the last time you had a goal or a dream which felt out of reach and unachievable?  Do you tell yourself that you can’t do it, or you don’t deserve it and as a result don’t even try?

I had a conversation with someone during the games, who asked me if the Olympics and Paralympics are a good or bad thing?  My instant response was that they are a good thing; it is wonderful to see people achieving great things and inspiring others.  They then asked me to consider the fact that there are so few winners, with so many, the majority who work hard and don’t win that medal, or if they do win a medal, maybe it isn’t the one they hoped for.  This seems like a really valid argument, that the games bring a lot of disappointment to people, so maybe they aren’t a good thing?  What is the point if there is no reward at the end of it?

Think about how that makes you feel right now?  Do you agree that they are a bad thing, or are you like me and can see that everyone who takes part has won, every single person who made it to the games has achieved.  They have set a goal and worked tirelessly to achieve that goal.  Every person who competes, are the best they can be, some will create new personal bests, or national records and some will win gold medals, to me they are all winners.  What if we could apply that drive, determination, focus and belief to our own lives and continually work towards our goals?

I would love you to take this away with you, the knowledge that no matter how out of reach and unachievable the goal may feel to you right now, that the only certainty is that if you don’t try you will never achieve it.  Alternatively, if you do try and you are able to set a goal and start to take those steps to take you closer to the goal, you will always be closer to your goal… and one day you may achieve it, and even if you don’t you have still progressed and will be further forward than if you never tried.  With focus, drive, motivation and determination I believe we can always become better and we owe it ourselves to try, who doesn’t want to be the best they can be?

One last thing, while you are on your journey and taking those steps to strive for your dreams, don’t forget to enjoy now!  The greatest gift you have is right now, make sure you enjoy the journey and don’t only focus on the destination.

Keep smiling!