Every 4 years, the world turns its attention to the Olympics, a celebration of human ‘s ultimate athleticism. The Olympians, the start of the Olympics, are faster, higher and stronger than mere mortals. Their lives are vastly different from us. But they can offer many tried and true life lessons that have taken them to the height of achievements.
- There’s no such thing as being lucky
The Olympics is always a time for upsets from the underdogs, but no triumph is a sheer dumb luck. Despite being blessed with superior genetic genes, all of the athletes quote 8–10 hours as the length of time they spend on training every day. No one comes out of nowhere. Fortune only favors the prepared mind.
2. Champions keep fighting until they get it right
With only 306 sets of medals up for grab versus 11544 athletes in attendance, that means around 10000 hard-working people will go home empty handed and resume the grind for the next 4 years. The gymnast Aly Raisman has never won a medal in all-around in either World Championships or Olympics, and it took her 5 tries to finally clinch a silver in Rio. Nick Skelton is an equestrian with a long career but he only managed to win the first individual Olympics gold medal in his 7th Olympics. Sometimes, we just need to try one more time, because we never know when the tide will turn.
3. Have the discipline to say no
We watch the athletes clinching their victories in thrilling moments. The pursuit of greater strength, agility and stamina has a dark side. The price of having that precious, elusive medal of any kind is often having no life other than sport — no hobbies, no catching up with the latest TV shows, no attending your classmate’s birthday parties, no time to read any kind of bestseller book. Sometimes you just have to say no, prune, priotize and don’t feel bad about it.
4. Mental will is a muscle that needs exercise
We all know that in sports,mental toughness can be the difference between gold and silver, or bronze and the fourth place. But mental toughness also plays an important part in everyday life. It is what distinguishes a star performer in any field from people who just let good enough be good enough. You can’t choose your genes, but you can choose to grow and develop your “mental toughness muscle” on a daily basis.
5. Focus on your strengths, not weaknesses
Sanne Wevers is the Dutch gymnast who stunned the world by beating the favorite Simone Biles to win the gold medal in balance beam at the Rio Olympics. In a time when gymnasts keep whipping out mind-blowing acrobatic skills to gain the competitive advantage, Wevers knew that she would never win on account of powerful tumbling. She can only make use of the body she was born with and took a creative approach by emphasizing tricky turns. Wevers’ unlikely achievement proves that once we can go far once we accept our limits and take stock of our strengths.
6. You don't win with the best talent — you win with the five players who are able to play well together
The Japanese’s Olympics silver in the 4×100 metres relay came as a surprise because they upset the North American springting giants when no member of the team have run 100m in under 10 seconds. The Japanese men lacked in raw speed, but they realized that the relay event is teamwork, not a one-man show. They worked for months on seamless baton handling and attended many competition to gel together. Too often in life, we overestimate the value of individual stars, but in fact, it is the team work that makes the dream work.