Pure Gold: 8 Lessons We Can Learn From Olympic Athletes

Everyone is focused on Tokyo as the world’s greatest athletes compete in the 2020 Summer Games. Whether it’s for our parenting, our music career, or our general approach to life, here are 8 important lessons we can learn from these world-class athletes:.

They are coachable individuals who continually learn. Each Olympic athlete excels at their game because they spend time practicing, watching replays of their performance, and strategizing with their coaches. If you truly want to be the best at something, you’ll have to commit yourself to it for life.

They repeatedly overcome obstacles big and small. When most people encounter an obstacle, they try to find a way out. Olympic athletes push forward when this happens, intent on learning all they can from the challenge. They know facing adversity is part of being successful. In other words, they embrace it.

They think big. Really, really big. You might be surprised by how many folks spend their time thinking about just getting by. It’s called selling yourself short, and way too many people do it. If you ask every athlete in Tokyo how they think they’ll do, they all will say they expect to win the gold. They believe 100% in their abilities, and there’s absolutely nothing anyone could say to change their mind.

They are motivated by SMART goals that they’ve set for themselves. Setting goals helps you to navigate the way to your set destination. If you live aimlessly every day without aiming for a particular outcome, you’ll have an unfulfilling life. George T. Doran coined the term SMART goals in 1981. It’s been used by champion athletes ever since. SMART stands for specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-based.

They practice the fine art of visualization. Visualization involves setting goals and then creating a mental image of the steps required in reaching them. Olympic Gold medalist Lindsey Vonn, one of the greatest female skiers in U.S. history, credits visualization for her success in the Winter Olympics. At the start of every race, you can see her closing her eyes and moving her arms and legs as she pictures every intricate movement. In short, visualization works.

They hang out with people who think like they do. Olympic athletes spend so much time together because positive consciousness is contagious. Your level of success in any area of your life is most likely equivalent to that of the people you spend the most time with. If you want to be better at something, get around people who push you towards excellence.

They compartmentalize their emotions. Olympic athletes have the unique ability to put aside anything else going on at that very moment, and focus only on the task in front of them: winning the gold.

They know very good is never good enough. For the average person, being very good is something to be proud of. For Olympians, it’s an insult. Don’t settle for mediocrity. Why just be happy with the bronze or silver when you can go for the gold?

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