Image by David Schap
The Olympics are amazing, but while I am utterly amazed I think most of us still really have no clue to how incredible these athletes truly are. I really like comedian Bill Murray’s recent tweet, “Every Olympic event should include one average person competing for reference.”
What makes these athletes so incredible? Well, I won’t argue that genetically they have a lot going for them, but you would be a fool to underestimate how much they do mentally and physically to help themselves stand out and excel.
Olympic athletes have amazing focus and discipline. What can we learn from these incredible athletes to help us live better lives?
1) Visualize Success: Olympic athletes don’t just think positively, the speak positively using affirmations and verbal mantras and goals. They try to involve all five senses in this visulaization. They do this regularly. They literally see and practice success. I write about this in my book.
2) Have great coaches: Maybe you can’t afford a coach, but you can afford a book, a CD, or conference attendance. What resource can you obtain now to help you advance?
3) Don’t Believe in Life Balance: Olympic athletes are ‘all in.’ They realize sacrifices must be made. This may not work for you and me on a regular basis, but from time to time we need to ‘fully commit’ to realize and accomplish a life goal. I’m sure you can recall a time you did this and it made the difference. What needs more attention in your life?
You may not be aware of it but you are advertising to yourself every minute of the day. I’m talking about those little comments that you say to yourself. Everyone engages in self talk, whether it is audible or just thoughts inside our head. We need to be careful about what we say, because it is more powerful than the billions spent each year on commercial advertising.
The following is an excerpt from my upcoming book:
I read a wonderful book years ago on sports’ psychology titled Toughness Training for Sports by James E. Loher. In it, I learned that the majority of our self-talk is negative. The author emphasizes that negative self-talk is damaging and that positive self-talk improves the success of Olympic and professional athletes. This is huge, because we can change our self-talk and practice giving ourselves a great advantage.
What we say to ourselves is far more damaging than any criticism from others. Be intentional about how you talk to yourself and
I have heard a lot of people tell me that they were born without an artistic gene in their body, and that they don’t have any artistic skill. But I don’t really believe it.
I believe everyone is born with a desire and the natural ability to create and express themselves artistically. It’s what happens once you start making the art that determines whether or not you’ll continue as an artist.
Children take to art naturally. They create architecture with wooden blocks, sculptures with Play-Dough, and wonderful works of expression with paint, crayons, sticks, mud, legos, and any other medium they can get their hands on and use. They even create art with their food at the dinner table! Children are born artists.
As we grow, we create art, and it is either encouraged or deterred.
The encouraged become the artists of the world. They see what others miss. They create expressive works. They add value.
The deterred are still artists, but just need an awakening. They need a little encouragement, an opportunity, a gentle nudge. Some of the deterred rediscover their artistic talents later in life. They paint the picture, write the novel, bake the cake. Sadly, many others never find it. They cling to the fallacy that they just weren’t born with that special gene.
I am fortunate that my parents encouraged me.
Here’s how my parents helped unleash the artist within me.