Go For the Gold (in Life)….

I’m not much of a sports fan. With the exception of race car driving or my children’s activities, I don’t do much spectating of any kind. The Olympics, however, sure do grab my attention. I can’t help but get pulled into the excitement of seeing the world’s premier athletes compete against each other for the glory of the Gold. Watching all of their hard work and diligent training culminate into amazing physical feats of endurance and skill is nothing short of thrilling. My belief is that the athletes don’t just do it for the opportunity to stand on the highest of the three platforms and be crowned with the Gold Medal- it really comes down to the love of something much more than the “win”….it’s a love of the chance to compete, excel and achieve.

I’ve been watching a lot of the summer Olympics with my kids and discussing the dedication and passion that the athletes give to their sport. It got me thinking about what it takes to be successful in any area of life. Why are some few people in life to “win it” and the majority of human beings seem fine with sitting back and watching others achieve their goals?

Just like Olympic athletes, successful people/happy people understand the importance of setting goals and doing what others are not willing to do. When I look around at my circle of influence (I’m fortunate to have great mentors and role models, but this is by design of course)- all the people I respect and admire have common traits. First, they don’t squander their precious time on activities that don’t contribute to the overall quality of their life. They spend their hours doing productive, enriching, educating, empowering, strengthening tasks. They prioritize their health, their interpersonal relationships and their mental well-being.

I recently saw a fantastic quote on a friend’s Facebook page. It was a quote about entrepreneurship and it simply stated, “Entrepreneurship is living your life for a few years like most people won’t, so that you can spend the rest of your life like most people can’t.” Pure brilliance! This is the same commitment shown by Olympic athletes- an undeniable dedication to do what others won’t to achieve a level of success that most people resign themselves to just dreaming about.

I don’t know about you but I value my life and the people in it too much to just let life happen to me. I know that the goals I have are lofty and I don’t fool myself into thinking that I can sit on the couch and still have the life I want. I have to work for it. I have to put in the hours. I have to push myself beyond my boundaries, step outside my comfort zone. But let’s face it, outside your comfort zones is where all of the real exciting and rewarding “stuff” happens.

We don’t need to be Olympic athletes to “Go for the Gold” in life. But we do have to follow their lead and remain committed to our goals if we ever want to achieve a high level of success. I’m making a rare exception to actually sit in front of the t.v. with my kids to watch the Olympics. And I’m doing this because it’s inspiring and a great reminder of what one person can accomplish when he or she looks at life like a constant training ground for high level performance.