I am sorry if this will disappoint anyone, but I’m not into sports so much. Sure, I watch the occasional football match when either my country or my husband’s favourite club is playing, but that’s about as much commitment as I can put into it. That being said, I love the Olympics. Or better still, I love to watch certain ceremonies during the Olympics. As you may rightly guess, I am a sucker for the opening and closing ceremonies. Who doesn’t like the pomp and pageantry attached to them? But there’s one other aspect of the Olympics that I am particularly fond of.
The stage is set on the track. A platform erected for this purpose is strategically placed just a little bit close to the edge of the field. The raised platform has three stands of three different heights. The tallest stand is at the centre with two of varying heights on each side. The top three winners for each competition climb on to the platform; the winner taking the centre spot which is the highest. Olympics officials come over, offer handshakes, flowers, and the ultimate prize, the medals. The winner’s neck is graced with a wide ribbon on which hangs a gold medal. The weight of that metal a confirmation of the word ringing through that athlete’s mind…VICTORY!
While it is an irrefutable fact that most of us will never compete in the Olympics, that should never stop us from wanting the same thing that these athletes want…the gold medal. In our lives; our homes, jobs, relationships, finances and every aspect of our lives and existence that is important to us, going for the gold should be our number one goal.
What does it mean to ‘go for gold’? By going for the gold, we are doing all we can to achieve maximum reward or results in any endeavour. It is no passive, ‘what will be, will be’ approach to life. There is no time to slack off, every second counts. As we work towards being the very best we can be, let us always be reminded of the key words: ‘we’, ‘work’, ‘best’. Having these words in mind always show us what really matters when you want to go for gold. It’s about you; it’s about you working hard. It’s about you working hard to be the very best.
Mind you, the idea of going for gold is not a day dream after a heavy lunch. It is a very real life application that can change you. There are a few things I have seen reoccur with each gold-winning athlete which I believe we can apply for maximum results in our lives too.
- Pick Your Sport
No athlete wakes up one morning training to participate in swimming competitions, and the next moment decides to gear up and train for the marathon. Decide what it is you want to be great at in the different areas of your life. This calls for introspection. What do you want to do with the rest of your life? What area of your life are you prepared to give the very best so you can enjoy good success? What career have you decided to pursue? What is your calling? What are your gifts and talents which you want to harness? Do not be a jack of all trades.
- Want it, Crave it, Desire it
This is a true saying; Winning isn’t everything. However, though winning may not be everything, wanting to win is crucial. There are no ‘accidental’ winners here. If you want it, and you want it bad enough, then you adopt a “whatever-it-takes” attitude. Make a decision that that you will pay the price for victory.
- Have a Goal and Make it Tangible
While it is good to make going for gold your goal, you can’t measure your success rate by merely ‘going for gold’. Make it tangible. An athlete would say, “I want to beat the world record of one minute, seventeen seconds.” That’s a tangible goal. So, what are the goals you have written somewhere? What are the steps you have included to help you measure your rate of accomplishment? Goals are not goals if they are merely abstract. Make your goals tangible.
- Be Teachable
Every great athlete has an equally great trainer or coach. Who are you learning from? Who do you seek counsel from? Are you teachable? If you are going to get far in life, you’ve got to have people you listen to. Call them coaches, mentors or what have you. What they teach you is far more important than what you call them. Let them be people you respect, who give sound counsel, and who have themselves excelled in their own endeavours.
- ‘Okay’ is Very Bad
You are not going through all these rigorous exercises just to be called “just okay”. Excellence is where you should set your sights on; after all, in the world of sports, gold IS the ultimate prize. Don’t settle.
- Think Big
Take a poll. Ask people around you what they’re thinking at any given time, you will be surprised (and a little shaken) to learn that most people don’t form concrete thoughts, they just ‘get by’, ‘wing it’, or ‘float’. No gold-winning champion can achieve much thinking that way. You’ve got to be focused, harnessing your thought faculty to produce great results. Your thoughts should be consistently focused on your goal and the tasks you have lined up to help you achieve them.
To your greatness!
Photo credit: Giansanti-Langevin-Orban/Sygma/Corbis